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It’s been on the tips of our tongues for a while now, and though our friends at CrackBerry don’t want to admit it, Research in Motion’s PlayBook tablet OS looks an awful lot like webOS. Okay, the boys over at CrackBerry are actually pretty cool about it, but we were beginning to wonder how long HP would be cool about it. Being cool is still the name of the game, though apparently Jon Oakes, director of product marketing, TouchPad, has decided to call things as he sees them:

From what we’ve seen in the market, there are some uncanny similarities. It’s a fast innovation cycle and a fast imitation cycle in this market, so we just know that we have the creative engine here to continue to build on what we have, and we’ll keep innovating, we’ll keep honing and those guys hopefully will continue to see the value in it and keep following us by about a year.”

Oh snap, RIM, you just got told. For their part, RIM defends the PlayBook as an experience built from the ground up, claiming that “there was no intention and no preconceived notion” that they wanted to emulate webOS, and that QNX may have even had the user interface under development before RIM bought them. That said, we aren’t buying the line about how “cars over time end up looking a lot alike.” That Lotus Espirit we’ve been lusting after doesn’t look much like the Honda Civic in our garage. There are many ways to manage a multitasking mobile operating system, and we’re disappointed that RIM doesn’t seem to want to innovate too far beyond the UI conventions put forth by webOS. Then again, it seems Microsoft couldn’t come up with something better either.