US approves its first 'tablet' for federal workers

Jul 22, 2011
Photo illustration of a Blackberry Playbook tablet. Blackberry's PlayBook electronic tablet has been approved for use in all US federal government agencies, becoming the first tablet to get certified, developer Research in Motion said.

Blackberry's PlayBook electronic tablet has been approved for use in all US federal government agencies, becoming the first tablet to get certified, developer Research in Motion said.

The Waterloo, Canada-based RIM said its PlayBook, which has an 18-centimeter (seven-inch) high definition screen, received Federal Information Processing Standard , which is delivered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Under the Federal Information Security Management Act, which was passed shortly after the September 11 attacks, all computer tools used by the federal government must meet federal certification standards.

"This certification demonstrates our continued commitment to meeting the needs of security-conscious organizations and enables the US to buy with confidence knowing that the PlayBook meets their computing policy requirements for protecting sensitive information," said Scott Totzke, who runs Blackberry's security division at RIM.

The Playbook, which has a camera on the front and back, is an alternative to Apple's iPad.

It has been sold in the United States and Canada since mid-April.

The certification provides a needed lift to the company, which announced in June that it would face an unspecified downsizing during the current quarter.

RIM's most famous product, the Blackberry, is already well-established in the US government. President is a big fan, and uses a version modified to meet his security requirements.

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