It's bad enough that RIM's PlayBook was released on the market without key BlackBerry features like BBM or email, but now the company is saying that the software upgrade that's supposed to enable this functionality has been delayed until February.

RIM's senior vice president for the PlayBook, David Smith, said they've made the difficult decision to hold off launching BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 until they're confident it fully meets the expectations of developers, enterprise customers and end-users. The company’s approach is understandable given their recent troubles and all the bad press it got, the problem is by then it will have taken them 10 months to get things sorted out.

The PlayBook is just not a viable competitor right now and RIM will have a hard time changing that by the time the new OS lands.

Native support for e-mail, contacts and push messaging was supposed to arrive in an update soon after the device launched. Instead, RIM offered a workaround that allowed users to access such features by connecting their PlayBook tablet to a BlackBerry handset via a BlueTooth link program called BlackBerry Bridge.

The company did demo a developer beta of PlayBook OS 2.0 at BlackBerry DevCon, where it also announced its unified, next-gen mobile platform named BBX that's said to combine the best of BlackBerry OS and QNX.