Rumor: Microsoft still considering BlackBerry for possible acqusition

Is Microsoft still in a buying mood after announcing a deal Monday to acquire Nokia's smartphone business? That's the possibility that has been brought up in a new Bloomberg article, which claims that Microsoft could be interested in buying troubled mobile phone maker BlackBerry.

The article claims, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft "is keeping an eye" on BlackBerry for a possible deal. The Canadian company announced a few weeks ago it was looking at "strategic alternatives," which may include selling all or part of its business. Bloomberg's sources claim that there is still a large enterprise market for BlackBerry devices that could draw Microsoft's interest as it seeks to expand its smartphone business.

BlackBerry tried its best to relaunch itself in 2013, even going so far as to change its name from its previous title, Research in Motion. However, the launch of BlackBerry's new phones like the Z10, using its BlackBerry 10 OS, have been a sales failure, which helped Microsoft's Windows Phone, lead by Nokia's Lumia devices, to overtake BlackBerry as the third most popular smartphone OS worldwide.

If a Microsoft-BlackBerry deal is made, it's possible it could be similar to Nokia's arrangement in that Microsoft buys out the hardware business from BlackBerry, while allowing the company to keep its BBM messaging service. Such a deal still likely remains extremely unlikely, however, though it's no surprise Microsoft would monitor BlackBerry's status.

Source: Bloomberg

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24 Comments

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I think it would be a NICE boost for Microsoft in the mobile market. BB has that brand reputability for professional work devices and it could give Microsoft another edge up.

"...which helped Microsoft's Windows Phone, lead by Nokia's Lumia devices..."

Should be "led". "Lead" is used to shield Kryptonite.

I was kind of thinking that BB would sell, license, partner its IP with another OEM like HTC who, let's face it, are hardly innovating very much beyond their hardware. BB could easily release its BBM service on all the platforms if they so chose.

I just don't think the rest of the enterprise stuff makes any strategic sense except for more patent stockpiling and the opportunity to kill the BB device brand and cement the market position.

and what is Samsung Innovating? Because last I check they aren't. They are on top because of their marketing not the quality.

This would be good for microsoft, lots of patents, they could copy lots of the innovate stuff in blackberry 10. They can also aquire their creative staff. They would be aquiring blackberry messaging service that they could integrate further into exchange and outlook and of course into windows phone 8. Blackberry will be dead in a few years if someone doesn't buy it.

BB is dead in the water when they release BB10. They don't have the money and share power they get there platform out there. Little too late. There best bet is to sell the company to Microsoft if they want a chance to keep there technology in the public and or business aka enterprise. People will choice iPhone over blackberry any day. Same with WP but they can buy there way in and the OS is easier to use then Android and too sure about iPhone.

Yes, not an android fan!

hmm, well honestly I like some of the UI controls of BB more-so then WP. But I mean, if only Microsoft could give its employees, and leaders, the push to innovate further and go one step above and beyond. I felt Nokia was doing this the whole time, in-fact I was feeling like Nokia was the only pushing factor behind lazy-ol'-sloth microsoft

auziez said,
I mean, if only Microsoft could give its employees, and leaders, the push to innovate further and go one step above and beyond.

That appears to be meaningless.

Dont see this happening. MS has very little to gain from BB. They are pretty much dead. The Nokia acquisition was obvious. IF MS buys BB, its just to dissolve their name.

CanonCygnus said,
Do you aware that in some states RIM enterprise solutions are wider adapted than Microsoft Exchange?

True. Even in our firm although we have exchange corporate still gives people oldschool blackberry phones only because of security and bbm

wrack said,

^this. Can't be any more complicated than that.
Yeah, otherwise it would have made sense about 6+ years ago My company are in the process of upgrading to BB10, but we're also looking into ways of managing Android and iOS devices in a similar way to give users more choice of company phone.

techbeck said,
Dont see this happening. MS has very little to gain from BB. They are pretty much dead. The Nokia acquisition was obvious. IF MS buys BB, its just to dissolve their name.

11 billion in revenue is a long way from dead. Everyone is catering to consumer entertainment these days so a professional oriented device would be a valuable to MS.

Actually there is a lot to be gained at the enterprise level for Microsoft in acquiring all or part of RIM.

1) Blackberry Enterprise Server would give them a way to manage thier phones and tablets.
2) access to the bb encryption hardware and software to harden the Windows Phone for enterprise use.
3) market share in all those enterprise users still tied to thier bb

sooner rather than later Microsoft pulls the trigger on this move to really add weight to its devices and services ambitions.

Edited by Sl@yer, Sep 4 2013, 1:20pm : pressed post before commenting

Lord Method Man said,
It would be to acquire their patents.
^^^That and possibly the services too. Remember Windows Mobile was the Enterprise king until RIM came with the their services. If MS bought BB totally out, they could easily integrate BB services into their own and just rebrand them. BBM could easily be replaced with Skype. But BBM could become Skype Business where it would be the replacement for what use to be Netmeeting/Windows Messenger. The server that BB has could easily have its services roller up into Exchange which could turn Exchange into the world's biggest mail/messaging service ever.

Blackberry likely wouldn't survive very long on just offering services, and I simply don;t see them just become a software dev for other platforms. It wouldn't make enough money to maintain a company of its size. They would have to downsize considerably.