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Microsoft to buy RIM?

Posted: , by Alex I.

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Microsoft to buy RIM?
An analyst claims that due to RIM's not so good showing in the past months (or a year), Microsoft may look into the possibility of acquiring the Canadian company to boost its own presence in the smartphone market.

It's hard to argue that RIM is losing its smartphone momentum - not only this notion is now treated as a common sense thing, but also there is some very persuasive evidence pointing in that direction - its profits and revenue are plunging, people in the mobile industry seem to agree that Windows Phone is sure to overcome BlackBerry OS in the coming years, not to mention that Mike Lazaridis, RIM's co-CEO, doesn't act like a man who is able to turn around the Canadian company's failing fortunes.

Its BlackBerry World announcements - the new BlackBerry OS 7.0 (previously known as BB OS 6.1) and its two new handsets - did little to dispel the fears that RIM is lagging behind the smartphone curve. That's only iterated by the fact that Steve Ballmer's appearance during BB World fueled previous speculations that the Redmond-based company may purchase RIM at some point in the future.

Here's what Harry Wang, director of mobile research at Parks Associates, says on the subject:

"Will Microsoft buy RIM? That is a possibility and a fast track for Microsoft to gain a foothold in the mobile hardware business."

He goes on:

"RIM's market capitalization is only $25 billion and Microsoft has $48 billion in cash. If RIM's value drops to $15 billion, it will become an attractive target for Microsoft. Maybe Steve Ballmer was planting that seed during his keynote appearance at Blackberry World."

The analyst says we shouldn't expect such a deal to be announced in the next year or so. Of course, it goes without saying that this move may never materialize - especially if RIM's transition period goes well. However, if things don't work out for the Canadian manufacturer, there is some chance that Microsoft may buy it for its enterprise appeal:

"There's a 50 percent probability that, in about two years, Microsoft will make a big and bold more to acquire large hardware vendors. RIM will be the best target because it has a user base that Microsoft is looking for: enterprise customers. And they are in the key, fast-growing area that Microsoft isn't very successful at yet, the mobile world. The need for Microsoft is so urgent in mobile, yet RIM is a perfect entry."

As you can see, there is nothing certain in this analysis - there are plenty of "ifs" and "buts" in it. What's your opinion on it, though - would you be happy if Microsoft purchases RIM or you feel it would be a shame if the Canadian company is no longer in the mobile game?

source: PC Mag

36 Comments
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posted on 09 May 2011, 08:08 6

1. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I hardly think It will happen... but just in case I hope Google outbids them...

posted on 09 May 2011, 17:15 3

20. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


r u kidding me? a dual core torch with wp7 would be so epic

posted on 09 May 2011, 19:54 1

23. downphoenix (Posts: 2357; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


actually lets hope Google DOESN'T outbid them. Google OR Apple. BB should either remain indy and crash and burn on its own faults or let MS buy them out.

posted on 10 May 2011, 08:57

26. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


well Google will probably expand the service to be on many devices/computer as possible while Microsoft may make it exclusive... they are well known for that

posted on 10 May 2011, 15:00

32. Evernox (unregistered)


Microsoft well known for making thing's exclusive?
You're not talking about the Zune now are you? Windows is on almost every frking computer and the zune is so exclusive because no one wants it.

posted on 10 May 2011, 16:41

33. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


well lets count
-no official windows live messenger
-no official outlook client
-no official office app

posted on 09 May 2011, 08:17 4

2. doubler86 (Posts: 318; Member since: 26 Jan 2011)


I think that would be great. I only really see it hurting apple to be honest. Google will take a bigger lead at having the newest best smart phones for fully customizable users. Microsoft will now have a larger ability to take the most easy to use smartphones out there by far (seriously if you've ever used one they are just as easy at it gets). Then apple will just kinda be in the middle unless they finally do release a lower end iPhone as well. Either way I really think it would be a great Idea for there to be three big OS's because they will push each other to out due the other and we the customers would win. We've already seen it with Android and iOS, one more big one would just make it more competitive than two more lil ones that otherwise would be left behind.

posted on 09 May 2011, 13:27

13. jcoberg10 (Posts: 110; Member since: 30 Oct 2009)


kinda like the carriers, at&t and vzw are sitting at the top just staying status quo not really pushing, but if a third jumped into the mix, it would be interesting to see what would happen.

posted on 09 May 2011, 08:23 1

3. E.J.Su (Posts: 25; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


MS, Nokia and RIM all of which are in decline, is this the best way to build your foundation?

posted on 09 May 2011, 14:10 3

15. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


technically MS is on its way back up. Windows phone 7 has sold much more than windows 6.xx. Add in the partnership with Nokia, and they have a huge world wide distribution partner. And if they buy blackberry, they have the bulk of the corperate world at their fingertips with blackberry's uber secure data sending services.

If MS cant come up with a competing solution for enterprise businesses, than i think it would be a great move strategically to buy up RIM if they continue to go down. If MS doesnt than Google should.

posted on 09 May 2011, 08:29

4. dandirk (unregistered)


Not sure why MS would buy RIM. The only reason I can see is to get ahold of the BB network and enterprise BES product (which is hands down the best for the mobile management).

Even that seems a stretch given their platforms are soooo different.

The only other reason would just to get rid of a competitor, but I think RIM is doing a fine job of that by themselves.

posted on 09 May 2011, 08:34

5. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5850; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


If MS has managed to sell a total of 600,000 WP7 handsets to date, they are going to have to do something. If you can't build market share, then with a big enough checkbook, you buy it.

Another potential acquirer of RIM would be HP. They have already acquired one former heavyweight (Palm), and RIM enhances their 'secure computing' focus.

posted on 09 May 2011, 08:43

6. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


probably they will make a huge check.... that seems to be their strategy so far

posted on 09 May 2011, 09:39

8. jsonny (unregistered)


stop spreading FUD. The 600K figure was what a russian dude came up with for 2010.

posted on 09 May 2011, 14:11

16. remixfa (Posts: 13930; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


its been well more than 600k. And thats also only on Tmobile which didnt advertise it and ATT which noone goes to ATT unless they want an iphone.. lol.

posted on 09 May 2011, 17:17

21. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


its way more than 600,000 and anyways hp doesnt have enough money to buy rim after buying palm

posted on 09 May 2011, 09:38

7. Gcombs (unregistered)


That would be big deal for Microsoft because they could add RIMS main features into there WP7 platform.

posted on 09 May 2011, 09:56 2

9. messiah (Posts: 433; Member since: 19 Feb 2010)


Goodbye RIM ultra secret, secured, and locked down bbm servers.... hello trojans

posted on 09 May 2011, 10:22 1

10. snowgator (Posts: 3233; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Come on, this doesn't need to happen. RIM just needs to get aggressive and start developing products with a sense of urgency. They have the tools and capital to compete. Blackberry still is a respected name. Microsoft- go play with Nokia. RIM- wake up, see what is working for other companies, and keep your strengths.

posted on 09 May 2011, 11:01 1

11. Maxxx (unregistered)


RIM is selling SOFTWARE, their hardware is CRAP

So if Microsoft wants to keep RIM`s software than it`s a GO...but i don`t think it will keep it

posted on 10 May 2011, 16:44

34. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)


Can you elaborate? I think they make excellent phones, its the software that SOMETIMES seems to be their downfall. Such as their outdated browser and video players, which they are improving.

posted on 09 May 2011, 12:07

12. barfbagger (unregistered)


RIM reminds me a lot of Nokia. Very good hardware and software, usable, but not the most marketable anymore. The problem is that the software is a bit archaic in that it was made to be used by the people that programmed them. Very clunky and engineer-like. I am not saying that its not as powerful as any other platform out there, its just when having to appeal users outside of their core competencies. Going from Enterprise use to mass market consumption is a steep climb. WP7 is really a great platform looking forward.
Their RIM OS is similar in behaviour to that of Symbian's. I also think they make similar hardware. Nokia, RIM and M$ will make for a decent combo......way down the line in about 5 years.

posted on 09 May 2011, 13:32 2

14. captn3x (unregistered)


WOW!!! With the new features just announced with Mango, and now BB messenger along with BB's Enterprise implementation, Microsoft could set themselves up as a powerhouse in the smart phone market. For all you bagging on them for "buying" success, who cares. If it gives me a better phone then I'm in. How many companies has Google and Apple gobbled up in the past few years for patent rights…..better yet, how many should they have gobbled up to avoid all the lawsuits? I may get one more Android phone and take a HARD look at WP7 early next year. SO MANY DECISIONS……my head hurts.lol

posted on 09 May 2011, 16:39 1

17. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


So RIM, a smartphone company that people are barely buying anymore, might be bought out by Microsoft, a company that makes a smartphone OS that no one buys?

posted on 09 May 2011, 16:48

18. barfbagger (unregistered)


yeah, so you are implying that Android was sooo polished when it first came out on that crappy G1 and the buzz was there? Talk about lack of insight.
Yeah the iPhone OS was perfect too. Copy/Paste, no flash.

Watch what happens in 5 years in this space. OS will be irrelevant. What will be relevant is interoperability between all devices that a person has. Smart home, phone etc.

posted on 10 May 2011, 12:37

29. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


I'm not implying that Android of iOS is better, in fact you're right that Android sucked when it first appeared on the G1 and iOS is lacking things. But those two really stole the spotlight from RIM when the iPhone and Droid came into the scene and RIM's touch screen devices haven't been all that well received and I have not seen anyone go for WP7.

posted on 09 May 2011, 20:49

25. JML191 (unregistered)


Man here in Canada I see like 3 Blackberrys for every other smartphone, to the point where the 9900 is going to be my next phone after my LG Optimus 7 (current device), Nokia N8, and Moto Milestone (droid), in that order. It just makes sense because almost everyone I know has one. RIM will never go away so long as they rule their home turf.

posted on 10 May 2011, 12:39

30. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


I would hope the RIM doesn't go away and you're right about the home turf situation. Look at Nokia in Europe, they're huge. But in the US, carries can't even give them away for free because no one wants them.

posted on 09 May 2011, 16:53

19. joey18 (Posts: 521; Member since: 20 Jul 2010)


Blackberry are for businnes but now android has betters phones then rim somebody say google makez phones google dosent makes only they put the sofware so my phone are droid x but it frece and my opinion why i have verizon phone when metro android are similar only f things diferent .....

posted on 09 May 2011, 19:41

22. jbash (Posts: 341; Member since: 07 Feb 2011)


that was hard to understand

posted on 09 May 2011, 19:55

24. SMARTGUY (unregistered)


Possible alliance against evil apple (just jk)

Nokia+Microsoft+Blackberry>Apple
(loser+somehow a winner+loser>winner(although I hate to say this but apple is winning)

Im not an apple fan ok, i use andriod!

posted on 10 May 2011, 09:29 1

27. aramos6775 (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 May 2011)


Re-focus, Re-structure, Re-invent!!

Blackberry should not go anywhere! Shame on their executive team for allowing this to happen.

Come on Blackberry, lets get back in the game.

posted on 10 May 2011, 09:37 1

28. aramos6775 (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 May 2011)


Re-focus, Re-structure, Re-invent!!

Blackberry should not go anywhere! Shame on their executive team for allowing this to happen.

Come on Blackberry, lets get back in the game.

posted on 10 May 2011, 14:28

31. kindia361 (unregistered)


RIM had 44% market share 1.5 years ago, now it is 25%. In 1.5 years, it will certainly be 6%. So I think it is good for none to buy it. It is the end for them. It is logical that Blackberry/RIM's owners are searching to try to sell the company. The value of the company is dropping every day, and will continue to drop, as they have nothing to compete with android. Why buy a company that had many many chances to disappear, and whose clients are vanishing.

posted on 10 May 2011, 16:47

35. iHateCrapple (Posts: 734; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)


They command some uber strong patents though...

posted on 12 May 2011, 13:11

36. Ralph Wiggum (unregistered)


I doubt it - but lets see !

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