Now that Research In Motion has failed once again to hit the mark, rumors abound that Microsoft may be the Canadian BlackBerry maker's knight in shining armor.
Reports suggest that Microsoft met earlier this year to discuss a Nokia-like deal where RIM would abandon its BlackBerry operating system for Windows Phone. Others speculate that Microsoft will acquire RIM for its patents.
Clearly, RIM declined to follow in the footsteps of Nokia. And clearly, RIM is in a world of trouble with the revelation that it's BlackBerry 10 platform -- which was widely trumpeted as an operating system that may help turn RIM around -- will not make its smartphone debut until the first quarter of 2013.
Neither RIM nor Microsoft were immediately available for comment, but we caught up with Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, to get his take on RIM's fate. Although a partnership is possible, he told us an all-out acquisition is not likely.
Will Microsoft Buy?
"Microsoft has not been historically good at buying companies like RIM. They bought Danger and pretty much destroyed it. The key people are working over at Google now," Enderle said. "Remember, Microsoft also bought WebTV and that went south. I think that's going to give them pause. "
If Microsoft did buy RIM, Enderle said, the software giant's likely motive would be to scoop up the intellectual property as part of a patent defense. Enderle said Microsoft could even organize a consortium just to keep the IP out of Google's hands. That, however, would not keep RIM alive as the industry knows it.
Will Google Buy?
What about Google? Google recently acquired Motorola. Could Google be in line to grab RIM? It's common industry knowledge that Google wants a stronger patent portfolio, especially in the mobile arena in which they hope to dominate.
"The Motorola patents have proven to be less than effective. Many of them are under programs that suggest that they have to be licensed at fair levels," Enderle said. "Most of the really good patents had already been sold by the time Google bought the company. So it hasn't provided the patent defense that they'd hoped and they still desperately need."
RIM holds the last of the major strategic mobile patents that may be available for acquisition. The rest belong to Hewlett-Packard or Microsoft or Apple. So, Enderle noted, if Google did buy RIM it would probably only be to acquire the patents.
"Google running a company in the shape RIM is in probably isn't viable, and they wouldn't be interested in the mobile platform because they have their own," Enderle said.
"All paths at the moment lead downward unless RIM can get the right executive team in place to do a turnaround. I think they could still do it but it would require much more dramatic moves than if they had started this a year ago."
Based on your interest in this article, here's something that may be of interest to you also:
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Google pretends to be a harmless lamb, but chose a full-size model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex as its mascot. Beware the T-Rex in sheep's clothing.
Posted: 2012-07-03 @ 5:13am PT
I love blackberry and hope RIM can get their act together and learn to keep up with the Joneses!