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Will Microsoft buy RIM or Nokia?

Posted: , by Alan F.

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This article contains unofficial information.

Will Microsoft buy RIM or Nokia?
A report from Reuters says that while there is much improvement with the upcoming Windows Phone 7 OS, Microsoft might have to think about getting into the hardware end of the business to stay in the game. To that end, Toan Tran, an analyst at Morningstar, says that the guys at Redmond have talked to each other about buying BlackBerry maker RIM or even Nokia. Tran says, "To really compete in this business, Microsoft needs to get into the hardware business, where they are able to control the entire user experience. Apple has shown that's the model that works. In a consumer device, people just want something that works, they don't want something as complicated as a PC."

Before letting your mind wander too far, can Microsoft even afford to buy RIM or Nokia? the company has $9.4 billion in cash and equivalents and $26.7 billion in short term investments that can be quickly converted to cash. RIM has a current market value of $39 billion and Nokia has a market cap of about $51 billion. To buy either company, Microsoft would have to offer a premium to the current value of the stock of either manufacturer. But Microsoft has not been shy when an opportunity presented itself. In 2008, the company attempted to buy Yahoo for $47.5 billion. A comment from CEO Steve Ballmer to Reuters at the MWC makes it sound like a deal is far from happening. During the presentation of the new Windows Phones 7, Ballmer said, ""The word 'ever' is a big word, but I certainly don't feel like that's the right strategy for us today." Of course, if Ballmer was planning a takeover, he wouldn't risk raising the price of such a deal by opening his mouth prematurely.

Morgan Keegan analyst Frank McCourt thinks that Microsoft has no desire to get into hardware as that would alienate current customers of its OS.
The latest figures from Canalys show that Microsoft's marketshare in the smartphone space has dropped to 8.8% from 13.9% the year before. McCourt feels that buying a hardware firm would happen only if Windows Phone lost so much market share that upsetting its customers would not matter. He says that Microsoft is not yet in that position although it will be at least a year before the impact of Windows Phones 7 will be felt. By then, Apple, Nokia and RIM will have upgraded it's offerings putting more pressure on the company. Jack Gold, head of J. Gold Associates a research firm that concentrates on mobile, says Microsoft should concentrate on getting people to use its services and that a hardware acquisition would be a mistake. But on Wall Street, some deals are made not necessarily for need but because the M&A guys are antsy. And where there is smoke, there is fire.

source: Reuters

17 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:45

1. grech03 (Posts: 13; Member since: 24 Feb 2010)


Microsoft should actually buy palm so they can both go down. We can go without Palm's Web OS and Microsoft can stay out of the cell phone market with their windows 7 OS. Google is going to take over the world! I see the future being Google, Apple and RIM being the top 3. (Hate to say Apple, I really dislike them but they have good OS)

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 05:46

3. Talhamid (Posts: 4; Member since: 13 Jun 2009)


It would be less painful if you just stuck your ears in sand and pretended it was night. Despite the recent bad press for Symbian by technically illiterate, Apple-bribed American press, it still holds leading market share. If Symbian starts losing market share rapidly, they have the excellent Maemo/Meego to take over, far more advanced than any mobile OS out there. Also, Symbian is the only smartphone OS that is available for $150-200 phones range with no features disabled. That;'s where the volume is. Apple OS is too crippled to be liked by tech geeks, and Iphone is too expensive to gain much more market share. For you to ignore 40% of the world like that is just ridiculous.

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 07:29

8. ILOVEtechnology (unregistered)


what are you talking about? TOO expensive? do you know that in the last three months iphone sold 2.1 million phones. $600*2.1million=Consumer must like. I really believe that Microsoft must control its phone production just like it does with its software. Apple really does a good job of the "user experience"

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 08:15

12. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


apple controls it too much. the recent ban on apps further shows the overlord mentality of steve jobs. no thanks. even if i thought the iphone was a good phone (i dont ) the way they handle the phone turns me off to the product even more. At this point i dont think theres any saving palm. it is what it is. companies are born and die every day. MS is a different story. If windows 7 actually works well, they could be reborn into good market share within a year or 2. With android updating all the time, MS comming out with something new, and even palm staying in the game, the oldest OS on the market will be apple. They are making the same mistakes that windows did in not having any major changes from year to year. Id expect apples share to start falling when windows 7 takes hold and androids are all on 2.1 and higher... unless they do something drastic.. but i doubt they will.

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 04:20

2. uknow85 (Posts: 38; Member since: 28 May 2009)


i think microsoft & rim goes together and besides i dont really know anyone with a nokia so

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 05:56

4. zZ INFINITY Zz (Posts: 27; Member since: 22 Jan 2010)


How can you know nobody with a Nokia? :P Seriously when I look around, most people have Nokia's. Then there are two guys with an iPhone, 3 or 4 with a BlackBerry and me with my HD2. I am not saying I am a fan of Nokia though. I think they are very basic phone's that are pretty stable. But if you really want more then just a phone, go HTC (both WM and Android), iPhone or something like Palm Pre. Ontopic: I myself dont see the point of MS buying RIM or Nokia. And I dont see it happening either. But we will see.

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 07:30

9. ILOVEtechnology (unregistered)


I don't know anybody with a Nokia, Nokia is big in other countries but definitely not in the US.

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 13:04

14. Symbianlover (Posts: 6; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Pretty basic? You must not be talking about any of the N-series, E-Series, X-series, or even the Express music series. One huge advantage Symbian has over the competition is that it's available on many different device types. But back on topic.. microsoft will never buy RIM or Nokia.

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 06:10

5. AMZSS (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Jan 2010)


True Microsoft buying RIM is a good move as both companies targets business men / women , but in either way we may lose good products by this move , I think the right move is to buy other manufacturers such as HTC which are not commented to a specific software .

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 06:29

6. BB-$$Rich$$ (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Mar 2009)


Maybe Microsoft should buy HTC... They are becoming a major player in the cell world and my good quality phones... or Google should buy them lol i got a blackberry to get away from Windows OS i dont want them f-ing it up... I could use a better browser but other then that my device is solid

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 06:42

7. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 838; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)


Just for the record, not everyone wants a phone that just works. If I did, I wouldn't be using a smartphone right now. I'd be carrying some dumb feature phone around. These so called analysts never cease to amaze me.

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 07:49

11. Kappy (Posts: 108; Member since: 14 Dec 2009)


Analysts don't know $hit. They are pretty much useless. They speculated and rumored everyday for almost a month before the iPad launch that VZW was getting the iPad, the iPhone, the iWhatever. It obviously isn't happening. Now they are changing their tune and saying it won't happen. All the random crap they spew is pathetic. They say what they want to try and change the market.

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 15:42

16. rwolf1984 (Posts: 518; Member since: 06 Jun 2009)


Kappy is right. You can tell who all the Wall street analysts who have Verizon are. Yeah, if I were as news writer I'd wanna make the prediction and report the news before my competitors, but when the Verizon CEO said in a Nov. 2008 interview "We'd like to get the iPhone"...That turned into VZW iPhone hysteria. . .This is something that could happen in the future...but to be so wrong so many times...cracks me up!!!

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 07:47

10. Kappy (Posts: 108; Member since: 14 Dec 2009)


I don't see it happening. I will admit I don't know much about this, but I think if Microsoft is going to buy a phone company it will come after the launch of Windows Mobile 7. They will want to make sure it is successful and popular. If it is they can use the money they make from it and purchase a phone company. Probably a struggling one at that. I don't think RIM or Nokia are struggling much...

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 12:44

13. rwolf1984 (Posts: 518; Member since: 06 Jun 2009)


Does Microsoft really need to buy another phone manufacturing company? I am not so sureI think that would ruin the brands that they acquired. Nokia is doing something right (internationally, not in the US) as they are the #1 OS. RIM is also doing really well, but they too much of a direct competitor with Microsoft. With the enterprise servers I could just see that merger being a mess. I think that it would be a disaster if MS bought RIM and it would affect the blackberry brand. RIM makes great hardware (except touchscreens)...The best phones and computers on the market are the ones made all in one house (except for Palm). . .it's the original Apple computer concept. Apple has greater control over its devices because so little is done outside of Apple. As opposed to the Microsoft way where they would license their OS. One of the mistakes or flaws of Windows Mobile is that there was not a consistent experience between Motorola, Samsung, HTC. The phones either worked really well or they completely sucked because of limitations of the hardware. With the new Windows 7 series the phone team and the Zune team should work closely together to ensure quality. I am not sure who worked on the Zune HD. It looks like the Zune switch hands from the original made in collaboration with Toshiba to Flextronics.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zune I am If Microsoft has any friends left at Apple someone over there would probably be the best consultant for the new Windows Phone device. If the next Windows Phone had touchscreen technology as good as the iPhone that would be huge!! Palm would be a disaster, but there was an article on Phonearena not too long ago that Palm could be ready for a buyout. Nokia and HTC would make great partners, but Microsoft doesn't need to buy anyone. Microsoft is good at getting what it wants if Gates and Ballmer are anything like how they were depicted in Pirates of Silicon Valley, lol. . .

posted on 24 Feb 2010, 15:10

15. thatdude1 (unregistered)


Microsoft will never be able to purchase rim or nokia. In terms of os and hardware, they have too much market share to sell. Especially Nokia, controlling some 40 percent of the market share and selling over 440,000 handsets in the last quarter of 2009. It's wishful thinking.

posted on 27 Feb 2010, 11:20

17. TBONEJF (Posts: 17; Member since: 16 Feb 2010)


Just stay away from Nokia M$ why don't you guys just buy RIM. You are getting too greedy buying everything up.

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