PlayBook in your hand... but RIM's offering us all the next best thing by turning a beta version of its PlayBook simulator loose on devs way, way in advance of the tablet's release -- ostensibly in the hopes of drumming up a beefy third-party app catalog in time for retail. On that note, we've spent a few minutes playing with the simulator today, which is delivered in the form of an ISO that can be loaded as an operating system installer for a VMWare virtual machine on either Windows or Mac. There's seriously very little to see here so far, but you can play with the on-screen landscape keyboard, confirm the presence of inertial scrolling in text areas, and get a quick look at how the status and app bars work. Speaking of apps, there aren't any -- not a single one -- but it's way early, and that's obviously where RIM hopes you come into play with that million-dollar software idea of yours. Follow the break for a video walkthrough!