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Blackberry Businesses

RIM Responds To an Employee's Open Letter 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-ignore-red-flags dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An executive at Research In Motion has written an open letter to the company's leadership, begging them to focus more on user experience, developers, and accountability. 'We urgently need to invest like we never have before in becoming developer friendly. The return will be worth every cent. There is no polite way to say this, but it’s true — BlackBerry smartphone apps suck. Even PlayBook, with all its glorious power, looks like a Fisher Price toy with its Adobe AIR/Flash apps.' RIM decided to address the letter, but their response completely skates over the issues. Unfortunately for them, the original letter triggered many more from current and former employees, who largely agreed with the need for better decisions at the top."
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RIM Responds To an Employee's Open Letter

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  • Balls (Score:5, Insightful)

    by molnarcs (675885) <molnarcs@gmai l . c om> on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:43AM (#36634270) Homepage Journal
    That guy certainly had balls. He's basically asking the CEOs of the company to resign, along with half the management. And if half of what he writes is true (and based on other employee reaction, it seems to be), they should go! I found the links in the open later very interesting as well. I have no love for Apple, their vision of the future of computing quite frankly scares me - I prefer to decide myself what is or isn't appropriate for my consumption (censoring Ulysses ffs?!). That said, there are a lot to be admired about Apple - their marketing strategies, their organization and management techniques, etc. I never saw the linked keynote, and I found it quite interesting. The second link to the video about leadership/marketing was equally interesting.

    It's such a pity that RIM's response is basically "fuck off!" - way to bury their heads in the sand.

    • Re:Balls (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:51AM (#36634388)
      It's entirely possible that the CEO and his cronies are making more money at RIM than they could anywhere else, at any time, even if they drive the company into the ground.

      If that's the case, they are going to hold on for dear life with both hands, the company and stockholders be damned.
      • If that's the case, they are going to hold on for dear life with both hands, the company and stockholders be damned.

        The larger stockholders can band together to fire the CEO.

        • by andy1307 (656570)
          Can the stockholders fire a CEO? Don't they need to elect a board of directors that would then fire the CEO?
      • It's entirely possible that the CEO and his cronies are making more money at RIM than they could anywhere else, at any time, even if they drive the company into the ground.

        Pretty much really.

        Most CEO's have share options and a very generous golden parachute. So their incentive is to convince people everything is OK for long enough for the shares to vest and then bail out.

        I think most medium sized companies follow a ballistic path in terms of value. They start off small and very efficient and grow very quickly. Then there is a plateau when they are highly inefficient but still have a large enough income to be viable. Eventually there is a decline as old sources of income dry

      • The RIM CEOs have more money than they could possibly need in one life... by orders of magnitude; as long as they're not complete idiots. And considering they started the secure handset market (android and iphone/ipad still aren't secure) and the messaging handset in general, they are NOT idiots. Lazaridis started RIM (with a couple of other guys) as a tech startup in Waterloo, ON. Canada where he previously attended The University of Waterloo, and eventually served as chancellor (it has one of the top engi

    • Having balls would mean that he put his name out there. Fighting anonymously is not showing bravery.
      • by maeka (518272)

        Having balls would mean that he put his name out there. Fighting anonymously is not showing bravery.

        What would be gained by putting his name out there?

        Nothing.

      • Just because he fights for what is right, it doesn't necessarily mean that he wants to put his future at risk. Probably has a family to worry about. So he CAN care about the issues at RIM, speak out about it, and still have a way to protect his current interests.

        And as someone else said, putting his name out there would not affect the situation at hand one way or the other.

        • by s73v3r (963317)

          Well, in an ideal world, he would be consulted for what he feels are the problems, and their potential solutions. Or, since he complained, he would be put in charge of fixing them.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      That's untrue. He specifically calls out one product manager, who headed a disastrous release and yet wasn't removed from his position. And even then, he's not saying "this man should be fired," he's using it as an example to demonstrate that the company has no accountability.

      He *does* say that perhaps the dual CEOs should step down in favor of a different, single CEO and take positions in the company more in-line with their strengths. I agree with this; the dual-CEO arrangement is just weird, and I think t

      • The most interesting thing to me is how the rise of RIM's overseas sales is cloaking their weakness in the North America market. Every time there's a criticism of RIM, they do the same thing they've done here: respond with a laundry list of their strong financials. That response completely misses the point.

        I think you are totally right, RIM looks like Nokia two years ago or Ericsson around 1999. There's an entire new platform type which has been developed. Only Apple has it and only Google understands what it is and is ready to compete with it. Making a great looking new user interface like Microsoft's and a new app store is still going to leave you five years behind. RIM needs to get their key features ported onto Android and make a telephone based on that or they will die. The only other chance would

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          RIM needs to get their key features ported onto Android and make a telephone based on that or they will die.

          That would be a dumb idea.

          Unless something major changes, Android is on a race to the bottom. Manufactures really SHOULDN'T be screwing with Android, so its consistent to users, so they can't compete based on OS. That means they have to compete based on hardware. In every situation in history like this, the race is a race to the cheapest, most easily mass produced with the largest possible margins. Since there are a large number of companies competing, the margins are hardly worth bothering with, making

          • That would be a dumb idea.

            Unless something major changes, Android is on a race to the bottom.

            In a sense you are right. However, I see Android as something equivalent to Windows 3.11. It's not quite at the level of IOS, but it's as close as is needed. Almost anything RIM (or for that matter anyone else) does at this point is doomed to fail; However, if they did go with Android a) It's true that Windows PCs are more or less commodity, but companies like Panasonic still manage to sell premium versions like the Toughbooks. b) The inevitable commoditisation of Android hardware is going to mean tha

      • respond with a laundry list of their strong financials. That response completely misses the point.

        Short term, this open letter is to the shareholders and their board (nobody else can fire the CEO(s)), which care usually only about current earnings.

        That said, this guy is worried about long-term performance which the shareholders ought to care about, but the stock market isn't structured to care. The bond market, more so.

  • Gone in 10 years. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:45AM (#36634294)

    RIM is the AOL of the 20teens. The once juggernaut who will be a footnote a lot sooner than they might have thought.

    I've got any number of users who are asking me how well our company integrates business features with iPhones and Android phones, and I keep telling them "well, decently, but not as good as with blackberry", and the thing is... none of them care. As contracts expire, phones die, or just as they get sick of their BBs, they're all going to iOS and android anyway cause the rest of the RIM experience is crap, and I don't blame them. I've got two phones on my waist, a droid and a curve, and I use the curve for email and phone calls. that's it. It's just inferior to the droid at, well, everything else.

    BB executives don't have to "right the ship" at this point, they need to build a whole new boat, and instantly. Somehow, I don't see it.

    • RIM has a chance to come back though...
      Unlike AOL who based their technology a well understood dying tech (Dial Up), even back in the early 90's most educated people knew that Dial Up networks will soon be leaving for broadband, then with the growth of the Web Browsers and normal Internet access their specialized services will become more and more useless. As well it was known for a lot of service problems.
      RIM is in the current field Mobile tech, It's product Quality is good, I don't hear too many people s

      • They could, but they aren't.

        Check the story on the front page from a couple days ago where mobile developer after mobile developer say "when we have to decide where to cut out a product to focus on the quality of our others, it's always the BB version of an app".

        While BBs are struggling to reach the likes of the android and iOS app markets, android and iOS app writers are coming on strong for business. My marketing department recently purchased an ipad2 for business use, which I internally scoffed at until

        • by Lehk228 (705449)
          best keyboard, best email, strong battery life.

          androids and iProducts typically need a charge during the day, or at a minimum need to be charged every night, blackberries do not
          • Email is decent. I wouldn't say it's better than what my droid can do. If you mean exchange integration, then yes blackberry's built-in enterprise integration is better than something like goodlink for iOS/android. but not by that much anymore...

            Maybe your BB is better than mine, but mine will go for about a day and a half on a full charge (it is about 8 months old, so battery should still be fine), while my two year old droid will outlast it by at least 12 hours.

            Also, my wife's droid pro keyboard is way be

          • by s73v3r (963317)

            That used to be enough. Nowadays the other products are "good enough" at those things, and the strengths they have far outweigh the capabilities of the BBs.

          • On the battery side of things, you're wrong.

            Check out the charts here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4471/htc-sensation-4g-review-a-sensational-smartphone/10 [anandtech.com]

            The best Blackberry, the Bold 9780, is roughly equal to the iPhone 4 in all tests, trading off for the top spot in the web browsing tests. In the 3G talk time test both the iPhone and the Blackberry are firmly beaten by a number of Android devices.

            I'll also point out that the Blackberry has a small 2.4" screen compared to the 3.5-4.3" screens of the ma

            • by schnell (163007)

              The best Blackberry, the Bold 9780, is roughly equal to the iPhone 4 in all tests

              True, but I think there is a perception that the BlackBerry's battery is better because there is a different usage profile. My work phone is a BlackBerry and my personal mobile is an iPhone. What do I do with the BlackBerry? Make calls and read e-mails. What do I do with the iPhone? Lots of web browsing and app usage, some of which are absolute battery killers. I also tend to leave WiFi active on my iPhone but turned off on my BB, since unlike the iPhone I don't do anything on the BlackBerry that needs the

          • by BitZtream (692029)

            best keyboard

            Everyone agrees on this, this is the one thing they had.

            best email

            If we're comparing it to what was on phones in 1995, then sure, but BB's email is all around shitty in pretty much every way. It only happened to be considerably less shitty than affordable device implementations at the time. Porting PINE to a RIM device would be an upgrade for their mail client in every single possible way, assuming PINE supports IMAP IDLE, without the need for a bunch of RIM middleware because they couldnt' be bothered to develop s

        • by Machtyn (759119)
          I agree. I think BB may be going the way of Palm. Palm had a great product and I loved being able to 1-stroke write my letters. They then split their software and hardware divisions and lost Grafitti. Grafitti 2 was atrocious (why they thought 2-stroke writing is easier than 1-stroke...)

          In any case, I see a similar thing happening with BB. They are focusing on hardware and forgetting to upgrade/update the software to be more developer friendly. But even on the hardware side, there is very little ex
      • by jbolden (176878)

        AOL could have very easily moved into specialized services. Huge classes of services existed in the early 90s that don't exist today. Other features like facebook, Myspace, 2ndlife, twitter could have been AOL products. Wikipedia could have been funded out of AOL. For a long time they were funding but not using Mozilla / Firefox. AOL could have been in the 2000s where they were in the late 90s a wrapper around the raw internet offering specialized content.

        They didn't have to die just because dialup did

    • Well, as much as AOL sucks, it's still around and generating millions of dollars of revenue every day. Calling them--or RIM--a footnote is maybe a bit sensational.
      • well perhaps "gone" is not the right word. perhaps "ignored, maligned, disregarded, and clinging to a tiny toehold in the market" would be more accurate. Whatever AOL is today (I admit I didn't even google/wikipedia it before writing the OP), you don't hear it in the same breath with google, facebook, twitter, apple, microsoft, etc as a pillar of the modern online technological world. This is the same company which (if memory serves) leveraged themselves to buy freakin Time Warner in the 90s. to millions up

        • well perhaps "gone" is not the right word. perhaps "ignored, maligned, disregarded, and clinging to a tiny toehold in the market" would be more accurate.

          Amongst nerds, maybe, but I still know plenty of people that use AOL still. Considering they made nearly $2.5 billion in revenue last year they must have some sizable user base left.

          • by jackbird (721605)

            What percentage of those people are AOL users because they're actively being scammed by the company? As in, they have broadband in the home but pay AOL for their client software in order to open it, minimize it, and run IE? Or who are too afraid to switch and lose their @aol.com email address, not realizing that you can use AOL's webmail for free without subscribing?
             
            How many new users are they getting?

            • What percentage of those people are AOL users because they're actively being scammed by the company?

              60% [huffingtonpost.com].

          • by BitZtream (692029)

            Considering they made nearly $2.5 billion in revenue last year they must have some sizable user base left.

            Revenue means nothing. You want high revenue for your business?

            1. Setup a kiosk/vending machine in a populated area.
            2. Sell a $20 bill, for $15.
            3. Turn the machine on.
            4. The revenue is only limited by how fast you can have the machine work and how quickly you can reload it with $20 bills.

            Of course, for every transaction you loss money, and so more revenue means you're actually further in debt, but if you decide to start a business let me know, I'd love to drive your revenue numbers up and I can give you so

    • by IICV (652597)

      It makes me really sad, too, because with Nokia and RIM becoming irrelevant, there's not many other smartphone manufacturers out there who are willing to put a physical keyboard on their phones. There's very few models out there with one these days.

      • I've mentioned it elsewhere in this thread, but motorala will still do it, and they still make some pretty decent phones. Droid Pro, Droid 3, etc.

        Sad thing is, as much as I like physical keyboards, I think on sheer weight of features my next phone will probably be a Droid Bionic because my previous "waiting patiently for it" phone choice of droid 3 just doesn't have the 4g connectivity I want for the future (my city is scheduled to get 4g this summer), nor a couple other nice features of the Bionic. The Key

    • Mostly I agree that Blackberry is very quickly losing the enterprise. Next January my phone contract will be up and I plan on getting a new Android phone to demo. If I can make everything work (calendaring, mail, etc) work with our enterprise, then I plan on ditching Blackberry by the end of 2012 for the whole company. I see no reason to keep Blackberry at this point. They went from being a year ahead of everyone to being at least 1 year behind, most likely 2.

      However, don't forget that Blackberry really

    • I've got any number of users who are asking me how well our company integrates business features with iPhones and Android phones, and I keep telling them "well, decently, but not as good as with blackberry"

      I don't know... I suspect even some of Blackberry's business integration features are a matter of over-hype. These days, I'm seeing way more problems with Blackberries syncing with BES than with Androids/iPhones using ActiveSync. When there are problems, they're much harder to sort out. The whole BES setup has become an additional complex layer of unreliable mess to troubleshoot, and I'd rather not deal with it.

      RIM is still putting out products of the style of Windows Mobile (pre-7) and Palm devices. T

    • by JackAxe (689361)
      So your BlackBerry phone is better at being a phone than your Droid, go figure. Who knew these things made phone calls, I thought all they did was play apps.
      • No, I just don't want the people I support to have my personal number. Although as a coworker pointed out, I have both phones on opposite hips, does it really matter which hip rings when somebody calls? I suppose it doesn't, but it sure feels like it should.

        For the record, I probably make equal numbers of calls on both phones. I have no preference for call quality/clarity. They're about the same.

  • It's useless for Blackberry to try to compete with iPhone and Android. They'll lose. Instead, they have their own sizable and very profitable niche in the market: business. Blackberries aren't made for their users, but for their users' employers. The tight central control, ability to lock everything down, and link to MS Exchange are the main selling points. And their (relatively) good keyboards, obviously.

    • by morcego (260031)

      I agree. On the other hand, they have to be careful about Microsoft. They are a very attractive target, and the obvious market for MS to take over first, before going for iPhone's and Android's.

    • Apparently they're ok with not competing.

      In fact, while growth has slowed in the US, RIM still shipped 13.2 million BlackBerry smartphones last quarter (which is about 100 smartphones per minute, 24 hours per day) and RIM is more committed than ever to serving its loyal customers and partners around the world.

      13.2 million is a drop in the bucket compared to Apple and Android.

    • They don't have to go chasing after a niche.

      They have to go make their products not suck.

      Business and government are fleeing blackberry for Android and iOS because they don't suck(if you're a fanboy of either, use a modern blackberry, use the competing device, then go back to your flavor of choice; you will never want to argue about phone OSes ever again).

    • And when Google, Microsoft, and Apple catch up to that feature set RIM is totally screwed. You've got a great short-term plan, but when you can lock down and control an iPhone to the same degree as a BlackBerry; but have way more usability and features available without the substantial cost of BES because you're using an ActiveSync reverse proxy, RIM is done.

    • More and more businesses are seeking to use data plans and equipment purchased by employees on their own dime instead of paying for phones and data plans just so they can force employee's to use a particular platform.

      It's clear in the market that if you are trying to make use of whatever the employee buys for himself, you got to sort out an Android and iPhone strategy. Sure, businesses still care, but they simultaneously push for improvements in Android and iOS while at the same time realizing they frequen

    • The link to our hosted MS Exchange was a pain in the butt for a small business (10 people) to set up, not to mention it costs extra per month over an iPhone with ActiveSync. Seven Blackberries set up during a 2-year period, each time it took several hours to a day to get working. I don't recall details since I didn't set them up.

      It was for only three employees too--the boss went through three in a single year (only once was it his fault, he said right up front it got wet). They all kept breaking, and of cou

  • Having recently left RIM (BlackBerry Storm 2) for an Android (Galaxy S 2) I'm 100% happier. The Storm 2 had great potential, but was marred by RIM not innovating with apps and core functionality - it didn't even get an upgrade to BB OS6 despite being only 8 months old. That, I could have lived with, but the worst was they'd been saying all along that it WOULD. Suddenly, nope, it didn't. The advantage of RIM was always in email, and it still does email very well, but not so much better than iPhones and Andr
    • If the best thing about a device is that it does e-mail, that's not saying much. E-mail is everywhere. It's like saying "well the power button works great!"

  • "330 words to say nothing"

  • by fruey (563914) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:54AM (#36634420) Homepage Journal

    From basic observation I have seen execs moving from BlackBerry to iPhone & Android because the latter platforms are in fact now both capable of syncing reasonably well with Exchange.

    BlackBerry is still a powerful platform for corporate email but they're mostly used for reading - rather than writing - email so the data entry & ergonomy for basic email operations isn't *killer* enough. On top of that new >200 DPI screens on Android & iPhone devices make reading much more pleasant. If you read a lot, then having hardware keys to scroll (I love being able to use space to page down on BB) is great though, but the text resolution is shit.

    The thing most have missed so far is that the gadget that is invading the boardroom is the iPad. Meetings where everyone has a slide deck on their own tablet make sense, especially when (if indeed it isn't already out there but has escaped my attention) a collaboration tool allows slick collective annotation on iPad.

    Many apps on BlackBerry are pretty awful, and my all-time favourite, viigo, was bought by BlackBerry and then almost instantly killed. It relied on a proxy to format RSS properly and serve it to the terminal, and the proxy never works any more. The new RIM News Reader app isn't available in my country. WTF? It was the only app that allowed RSS + Twitter (multiple accounts) + stocks + weather in one easy place.

    Note also that the processing power on smartphones make BlackBerry appear exceptionally slow. RIM are going to lose, unless they bring back something a bit more *killer* in the corporate space. They have some interesting niches though, esp. for teen texting where BlackBerry does come into its own. iPhone text messaging is way sexier though, mostly thanks to the higher DPI.

    • If you read a lot, then having hardware keys to scroll (I love being able to use space to page down on BB) is great though

      It's not like there aren't Android phones with hardware keyboards [androidauthority.com] (on those with arrows, Fn+up/down normally works as page up / page down - the OS itself is aware of the existence of those keys for list scrolling etc).

  • Developers are struggling as it is to support multiple platforms (alng with the java stigma invented for the past 10 years) but it's possible to do. If RIM tries to stick to it's abhorrent, single-platform support, horrendous java development environment *nobody* is going to want to touch it. It's just too difficult to implement and support when you're not a mainstream market-share holder anymore.

    • Wait, you're saying the market needs yet MORE me-too android phones? There are already so many that we're due for a natural culling...

      • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

        Yes, in a sense. The market is created by the needs (or rather perceived needs) of the consumer. RIM has only a wee bit of the market share right now and In order to remain relevant they will need to compete in an area dominated by two major systems (apple/android). If RIM thinks they are going to come to the table and be a game changer with their current offering, their execs are on more crack than mundie and ballmer.

        RIM needs to change and they need to do it fast. What they offer needs to suck less than

  • Wrong apps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Friday July 01, 2011 @11:59AM (#36634480) Homepage

    RIM's "app store" has as its lead product something for getting sports news. Wrong answer.

    They should be focusing on being a really good business tool, and having applications for business users. Some examples:

    • GetMeThere - a travel application for executives. You want to get somewhere, it figures out how and makes all the arrangements. It knows where you are, it knows your company travel policies, it knows your frequent flyer information, it knows your preferences, it knows about travel delays, and it knows how to talk to all the reservation systems. Including NetJets. The iPhone travel applications [seatguru.com] have all that data, but are too dumb to put it together.
    • ExceptionMonitor This ties in with corporate systems to report exceptions. If something was supposed to ship by Thursday, and it didn't, you get an alert. Monitors key ratios for your business while you're out of town, too.
    • BackgroundCheck Check out a company or an individual. Connects to Dun and Bradstreet, Hoovers, corporate registration information, criminal records, etc.

    That's what executives need, not Angry Birds.

    • by djdanlib (732853)

      Interesting thoughts. The executives where I work (a Fortune 500 company) use their Blackberries for Exchange, OCS and surfing the Web. They have people in cubicles to do the last two things (and sometimes the first), and those concierge services from their really high end credit cards to do the first. So when they get together and whip out their phones for a high tech geek contest, it's always about the apps and features that don't help them do business. You know, getting live sports updates mid-game, read

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      The problem is ... every single one of those is better as a web app rather than a native app. They all require a working connection to relay the data off to a central server or download it, so a HTML5 app with a local data cache would be far more intelligent from a vender perspective than a local app.

      Since the 'good' apps you point out (and they do sound like good apps) are clearly designed wrong, it puts even less faith in the platform.

  • As I tweeted yesterday, RIM's response should have been, 'We were caught with our pants down. The bozos are getting the golden chute. We'll be back, or die trying.'
  • Research in Motion have broken much-needed barriers with the PlayBook tablet [newstechnica.com], a BlackBerry that can’t read email. And needs to be tethered to a phone.

    “We feel a technology preview is just the thing we need to fight iPhone and Android in the consumer market,” said founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. “The missing core functionality should be seen as areas of spectacular potential. Also, the board has ascertained that you should stay away from the brown acid, it’s not so good.”

    The PlayBook has launched remarkably, with thousands of the devices being recalled for crippling operating system bugs straight after release.

    In a double-tap Osborne through the head, the PlayBook uses the new QNX BlackBerry OS, which does not run current BlackBerry apps, will not be available on phones for another year and will not work on any current BlackBerry device. This is separate from OS 7, to be released soon, which will also not work on any existing BlackBerry. RIM’s present mobile carrier partners were “overwhelmed” to be stuck with so much already-obsolete stock, and developers were simply thrilled to have two dead platforms and one that didn't work yet..

    RIM led the world into the smartphone era, several years before Apple’s iPhone turned everyone into the sort of twat you only ever used to see carrying a BlackBerry.

    Technology industry rumours suggest a Microsoft takeover of RIM, considered an excellent match in competence and vision. “Synergy’s just another word for two and two makes one!” said Steve Ballmer. “We will assimilate your technological stench of death into our own.”

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Friday July 01, 2011 @12:24PM (#36634724)

    I'm not a fan of RIM products but I'd hate to see a Canadian company go the way of Commodore by having incompetent management run it into the ground.

    The co-ceos need to be "FIRED" for cause for failing to do their jobs to protect shareholder equity and grow the business. They should not get any golden parachute and should be black balled from getting another CEO jobs in any publicly traded company.

    Contrary to other commentaries, I do not believe Android is the answer. They need to work on QNX and develop a bridge API similar to Apple's Carbon to allow developers of BB apps to quickly port/recompile on their QNX platform.

    They also need to refocus on their core competency which is corporate users. Get out of the BB for consumers market and focus their app world store on applications applicable to business users including getting apps like gotomeeting, join.me, Citrix receiver, Salesforce.com to work seamlessly on their future "superphones" and their tablets. Speaking of tablets, get a native email, calendaring and contacts client on their tablets. They need to have a "universal" app model for their tablet/superphone platform as well.

    Finally, scrap the "Playbook" name. Think of something like "WorkBook", "WorkSlate", "WorkPad", "TaskBook", "TaskPad" , or "LaunchPad" instead. Not everyone is into football which I assume is where the playbook name comes from.

    Basically, they have to either do that or sell off their hardware completely and get into the application market with BBM and BB Email clients for Android and iOS to compete with Good Technologies to offer "secure" corporate email on employee's personal smartphones and tablets that is kept encrypted and separate from the personal email. Think of it like a mini VM that just runs the BB stuff securely between the mobile device and the BES servers.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday July 01, 2011 @12:41PM (#36634900) Homepage

    There has been much talk about Microsoft's leadership failing due to "whatever" it is that the leadership can't seem to get beyond. Even with all this very public discussion, the leadership of Microsoft can't get their heads out of their asses to keep them from rolling.

    It looks like RIM is in a similar position. And the fact that they publicly responded with doubt, suspicion and with a hint of anger, I would say they have a lot of trouble looking beyond their own egos as well.

    RIM has huge potential in their own market. That market is always being threatened because that's the way the market works.

    Do blackberry apps suck? I don't know -- I have never used blackberry apps other than the ones that came on the phone. There's certainly not a "market" in the sense that one exists for Apple and Android. Perhaps they need one too in order to remain interesting and relevant. But more than that, the game is more advanced now that Blackberry currently offers. And perhaps what they should be doing is leveraging their current client-server model so that apps live on servers and not just on clients. I'm already updating RIM with good ideas and I'm just a crappy, know-nothing who has used Blackberries and administered BESes. I know the product(s) and service(s) they offer and they have not evolved in the market significantly.

    They are like the movie and music executives who are "risk averse" and simply want to remake the same things over and over again expecting to continue getting good results. The problem is, people get bored with the same things and the market is people.

  • I have to agree, it seems to be a horrible system to develop for.

    I remember my company had me developing a version of their app for mobile devices that run Java ME and for BB they had an entire team and some BB dev support company to help out in the technical details and still they constantly encountered things that simply could not be worked around and development was slow.

  • Clearly this guy has never used an Android phone...

    Android has a major weakness — it will always lack the simplicity and elegance that comes with end-to-end device software, middleware and hardware control.

    Last I checked, Android was doing better with end-to-end device software than even Apple was, especially when it comes to things like Hardware Control. Apple's hardware has a basic functionality which can never be changed (without purchasing a new device). Android devices are pretty generic, and can be completely changed - at will, on the fly, in software - to use the hardware (correctly) however it wants. I can program my camera to stream over WiFi or 3G,

  • by Surt (22457)

    By the time your employees can tell you are making the wrong decisions, your corporate infrastructure is so screwed there is little hope of recovery. They'd basically need to wipe out their entire middle and upper management teams to fix this.

  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Friday July 01, 2011 @01:28PM (#36635566)

    The problems that open letter describes is applicable to countless American companies. I've said it many times before and I'll say it again: this is the end result of business, marketing and economics majors being in charge. Engineers and designers should have been in charge. They've got a better understanding of the technology and are far more likely to be passionate about their products. It's not a certainty that things would improve, of course, but the odds are that they would indeed be better off.

    I'm not surprised that management glossed offer the letter. It's already too late, even if they wanted to do something about it they can't. They botched things long ago. If they had the ability to turn the company around they wouldn't even be in this situation right now.

  • Could this be just a publicity stunt planned by upper management to gain some headlines?

    Will management respond to the letter publicly stating something to the effect that "We've heard your cries and we have announced a new strategy blah, blah blah...", much like BP did after the oil spill, while actually not changing a damn thing?

    Inquiring minds want to know - well actually, no, I don't really give a damn.

  • Sounds like a good time for a few of their lead engineers and technologies to depart and form a new company.
  • ...in my experience, the reason I hated my BB and love my Android is that BB had such tight built-in controls for locking down the client.
    New browser? Nope, no applications allowed by my IT dept!
    Better map software? Nope, no applications allowed by my IT dept!
    Music player? Nope, no applications allowed by my IT dept!
    even navigation software, required by our safety policy when traveling, nope. Nope, no applications allowed by my IT dept!

    Sure, I understand how attractive this can be for an IT dept, but use

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson

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