AdobeMAX got what RIM's own DevCon was denied -- an actual working demo of the upcoming iPad competitor, the BlackBerry PlayBook. I guess now we know why RIM co-CEO Balsillie mentioned Flash 3 times and RIM's own technology approximately zero in his hot retort to Steve Jobs last week -- they're going all in on AIR and Flash, at least at first. Is that risky, tying your platform's future to technology another company controls? Hey, they did it for years with Java 2ME on the BlackBerry, though arguably they suffered as much as they gained. Flash will no doubt get them to market faster, but after buying QNX to serve as their next-generation operating system, I can't help but wish they'd taken the time to roll their own user interface and software developer kit and come to market better. ActiveX waned, consumer-facing Java has waned, Flash might be next. It's a gamble but it's also one that could pay off, especially in the short term.

As to the demo itself, as Dieter noted it looks almost like what we'd expect from an HP PalmPad, cards and all, rather than a BlackBerry device, and what else can I say, it gave CrackBerry Kevin a happy.

Check out the video after the break and let us know what you think -- does it make this iPad competitor more real?