RIM Playbook, BlackBerry Could Use Better Spokesmen than Lazardis, Balsillie
News Analysis: Research In Motion and the BlackBerry Playbook still have a lot going for them if the company successfully addresses legitimate criticism of the new tablet. However, co-CEOS Mike Lazardis and Jim Balsillie have done nothing to help their cause by the way they responded to media questions.Things have been tough recently at the Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters of Research In Motion. At the start of the week of April 10, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazardis got into a tiff with a reporter from the BBC, and eventually walked out of an interview complaining that the reporter's questions were unfair. Later that week, RIM's other co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, complained that negative reviews of the new RIM BlackBerry Playbook were unfair. I suppose that means that there's plenty of unfairness to go around. In defense of Lazardis, the questions asked by the BBC reporter were at the very least pretty dumb questions. There the reporter equated the BlackBerry's virtually uncrackable encryption as a "security issue." I hate to break this to the Beeb, but really good encryption is a very good thing. It's something that other smartphones don't really have and they really need. The fact that some governments don't like not being able to spy on their citizens might be a political problem, but it's not a security issue.
Now, at the end of the week, it seems that RIM is catching grief for the software-or lack thereof-on the new PlayBook. Basically, the device doesn't have its own email, contacts, calendar or other basic BlackBerry capabilities. The idea with the PlayBook is that you're supposed to link the device with your BlackBerry smartphone and the two devices will do some sort of mind meld, and shazam, the tablet will have mail, contacts and calendar courtesy of the smartphone.