For months now there have been rumblings about Microsoft buying RIM and I never really understood why. I mean RIM is a currently a niche product at best, on it’s way down, with no real plan to right the ship. Why in the blue blazes would Microsoft want to get involved in that mess?
I never really understood it until I read an article in eWeek titled Nokia, RIM Fighting for Third Place, Winner May Take All. It is a long and involved four page post so I will try to summarize the high point for you in a few paragraphs.
First: There is no room for a fourth eco-system. With two major eco-systems all ready in place (iOS and Android) it’s either going to be Windows Phone or BB8 or BB9. (or whatever number they are on now.) Therefore if Microsoft buys out RIM Windows Phone becomes the third eco-system by default that would have ended in a bloodless war if you will.
Second: It would essentially it would all but assure a slow and steady recovery for Microsoft’s biggest mobile partner Nokia. If Microsoft would be able to get rid of the the BlackBerry OS quickly this would launch the Windows Phone OS faster than ever thought possible before. Who would have the most to gain from this besides Microsoft themselves? Nokia of course. At the moment when you think Windows Phones you think Nokia so as Windows Phone fortune goes so does Nokia’s.
Third: Microsoft is not only aiming for the large consumer smartphone market but also they have their sights set on the business market as well. With features like the entire Office suite baked right into Windows Phone, the email integration, and the rumor floating about that Nokia is building a full QWERTY E6 or E7 type device for Windows Phone it is easy to see how Microsoft would benefit from just buying RIM outright and just claim the Market as theirs. They would probably recoup the money it took to buy RIM alone in the money they would save in advertising to business to convert from RIM to a Windows Phone.
Do I think Microsoft will buy out RIM? Not right now, RIM is still to big and the Canadian government has to many hands on RIM for it go easily. Down the road however once RIM’s sales slide a little more and Apple gets serious about the iPhone being a business phone the sale will happen. Give it two years tops RIM as we know it today will be no more. Sad but true.
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