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I have no idea if it will happen, but I get first credit for calling it! :) Maybe I should become an overpriced tech analyst.

If they do it I bet they spin it as part of their "enterprise" (aka Outlook) offering since Blackberries are already tightly coupled to that.

W7 phone will continue to be a consumer play for as long as MSFT decides to flush money down that drain.
 

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sorry jvincent but this rumour has come up quite a few times before. What got tongues wagging again is Ballmer's appearance at Blackberry World.

Personally I think MS would be wise to offer $40 billion and dump W7 Phone but I never see it it happening.
 

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Agreed. Although MS says its still early in the game, I think we are well along and the market for smartphones will be quite mature in two years.

In other words, in two to three years everyone who wants a smartphone will have one therefore the next 24 months will be critical for RIM, Nokia and Microsoft.

Three years from now, I really can't envision more than three ecosystems of smartphones. I see Apple and Android sucking up 80 to 90% of the marketplace with RIM taking 10 to 20% thanks to its strength today.
 

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It seems Microsoft can't even buy a win these days. Personally I think they would be smart to either buy or partner with RIM, but I don't want to see another Canadian business success disappear either.

-Mike
 

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I think RIM would cost Microsoft more than it would benefit them.

From a software (technical) perspective, WP7 is on a much better trajectory than RIM. The uncomfortable leap between tech generations (WM6.x --> WP7) has yet to happen on the RIM side and Microsoft has already completed it.

So, from a software perspective RIM isn't interesting.

From a hardware perspective, Microsoft is already covered by their existing partners and soon Nokia.

From a business relationship perspective, well, Microsoft already has all the relationships with the major corporations that RIM has, so a purchase wouldn't open any doors that aren't already open to them.
 

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The future of RIM is likely QNX so I`m not sure that I would say MS is on a better path.
 

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I don't see it as a good match. RIM's software doesn't seem that much better than Microsoft's, if at all. Microsoft doesn't seem overly interested in building their own hardware. So, what do they get out of it? A hardware manufacturer they don't seem to want, and software older and more dated than their own.

I think they can position WP7 just as well as RIM can position their QNX operating system. The only thing they might really want, aside from RIM employees, is BBM.
 

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The future of RIM is likely QNX so I`m not sure that I would say MS is on a better path.
The kernel-level choice of OS platform really doesn't matter much at this point, as all the players have "modern OS kernel" features in their platforms.

What really matters is the framework that provides app developers with an environment that increases their productivity and tries to enforce consistency between applications. This is where WP7 is much better than Android, for instance.

RIMs primary app strategy seems to be emulating Android apps, with a secondary strategy that is basically copying the webOS framework (RIMs version is called WebWorks). They also offer Adobe Air as another development platform, but its hard to say how seriously developers will take that option. I'm not sure what RIM wants you to write a 3D game in for their Tablet OS.

It goes without saying that applications that come from those three frameworks will behave very differently from each other. Just like how Java client applications are 2nd class citizens everywhere they go when compared to native apps on a OS, Android applications will be numerous but will seem awkward and "different" from the the apps that are developed using WebWorks which will be different and the apps that are developed using Adobe AIR.

By contrast, Microsoft has a much better strategy, and a much clearer message for developers: use Silverlight for building WP7 apps unless you're building a game, in which case use XNA. Having two different dev environments in the WP7 case makes sense because the needs of an app with buttons, lists and fields is much different than one that is building Halo for your phone. The three application development frameworks that are offered by RIM you can build an app with buttons, lists and fields, and they will have a different look and feel.

Finally, RIM hasn't even started migrating it's Smartphone user base to it's Blackberry Tablet OS yet. Which makes me wonder what they will call it when they put it on Smartphones. The Blackberry Smartphone OS?
 

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If we`re betting, I`ll take RIM over MS in the Wireless sphere anyday.
 

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If we`re betting, I`ll take RIM over MS in the Wireless sphere anyday.
RIM over MS in what sense?

My previous post was technology oriented and how RIMs Smartphones are a software generation or two behind WP7, and how their QNX based Tablet OS has a unfocused application development strategy.
 

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Sure, but it's a commercial discussion, not a discussion of the merits of the SDK.

MSFT has a significant investment in WP7 that isn't going anywhere, and deserved or not, has a real stink on it. Ballmer needs a real win in the mobile space, and he needs it much quicker than the Nokia agreement can provide. If he can't generate some significant excitement soon, he's out of the game.

I'm not convinced that RIM is the right strategic target, though. What synergies does it bring?
 
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