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Microsoft, Nokia, and Amazon Contemplated RIM Takeover 114

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the carrion-eaters-are-people-too dept.
CSHARP123 writes "WSJ's anonymous sources indicates that MS and Nokia casually considered bidding on Research in Motion Ltd. The outcome of the talks are not clear. The Journal suggests that this wasn't anything more than a simple idea that came up at one of the regular meetings between senior executives from all three companies — perhaps it could have even been just a casual talk — but one wonders how Microsoft and Nokia executives think there is profit to be made by this take over. Maybe RIM provides a good backdoor entry for MS into the enterprise space for its Windows Phone 7? Recently, Amazon was also considering bidding on RIM. It is interesting to see who will gobble up RIM."
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Microsoft, Nokia, and Amazon Contemplated RIM Takeover

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  • So all your calls would take twice as long as estimated to get there and be broken up when they do?
    • by swanzilla (1458281) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:32PM (#38450576) Homepage

      So all your calls would take twice as long as estimated to get there and be broken up when they do?

      Interesting troll. You passed on three easy targets in order to jab Amazon. Well played.

      • by tunapez (1161697)

        Sounds like the OP may be suffering from some sort of yuletide rage. It's pretty common around the retail season, spreads faster than green boogers in a kindergarten class.

        • by Xest (935314)

          To be fair I can't really blame him, this time last year I had the same feelings about Amazon as their guaranteed next day deliveries took 3 weeks to arrive.

          This year I learnt my lesson, and just haven't bought anything from them.

          As you say, it's a seasonal thing, even retailers like Amazon aren't equipped to deal with the volume this time of year and fuck up people's orders with such regularity that it's like they're actually getting a hardon over it. Throw in the stress of people wanting to get everything

          • by tehcyder (746570)
            And as a counter anecdote, the half dozen times I have used Amazon, they have delivered within a day or two. To be honest, if you leave Christmas shopping until the week before Christmas, you're asking for trouble whoever you shop with.
            • by Xest (935314)

              Well indeed, my anecdote wasn't designed as a fanboy pissing contest, merely an illustration of the fact that this time of year (not just one week before christmas, but from around the beginning of December) things get a bit crazy for online retailers, the level of service drops dramatically, and more people than usual do suffer delayed products and so forth. Your anecdote of usually good service doesn't seem to hold any relevance to my point that this time of year, service is decreased for a greater number

  • To consider, to look, to evaluate.. and ultimately not to.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:58PM (#38450878)
      With the exception of Amazon, it seems like big players of the early 00's who are now considered the old phogies of the tech market is trying to buy off the other old phogie.
      • by tehcyder (746570)
        Phogies isn't a word. Fogy, plural fogies, is.

        As an old fogy in training, I am quite sure of this.
        • by NoseyNick (19946)
          Until reasonably recently, phreaking and phishing weren't real words either, and even now, probably only in somewhat limited circles. I wonder if phogey will join that club? I don't phear it, it doesn't phrighten me, I look phorward to seeing it used more phrequently :-)
  • by Qwavel (733416) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:27PM (#38450488)

    A brief read of the news recently makes it clear that the patent situation is completely out of control.

    The hope was that Google buying Motorola would create enough balance between the portfolio's of Google, MS, and Apple that it would be in all of their interests to return to some form of truce.

    RIM has an enormous stockpile of patents - if MS gets them, all bets are off.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      The hope was that Google buying Motorola would create enough balance between the portfolio's of Google, MS, and Apple that it would be in all of their interests to return to some form of truce.

      The defensive patents argument was only a "hope" on pro-Google Slashdot; everyone else in the world knew that Google was just after patents like everyone else, and that was proven correct when Google-owned Motorola won a preliminary injunction to block sales of iPhones and iPads in Germany.

      • by ackthpt (218170)

        The hope was that Google buying Motorola would create enough balance between the portfolio's of Google, MS, and Apple that it would be in all of their interests to return to some form of truce.

        The defensive patents argument was only a "hope" on pro-Google Slashdot; everyone else in the world knew that Google was just after patents like everyone else, and that was proven correct when Google-owned Motorola won a preliminary injunction to block sales of iPhones and iPads in Germany.

        What began with all the marks of a gentlemens agreement, curt nods, calm words of assurance patents were only being acquired defensively, taut little smiles and going about business has blossomed into an all out mudwrestling contest. It may be interesting, but it isn't entertaining and bodes particulalry poorly for those closest to the ring side.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:36PM (#38450648)

        and that was proven correct when Google-owned Motorola won a preliminary injunction to block sales of iPhones and iPads in Germany.

        Considering Google still to this day does not actually have control over Motorola Mobility, they had absolutely no say in Motorola's request for the injunction, which was filed before the Google's acquisition had even been approved much less completed. And that's pretty much irrelevant as the injunction request was a defensive measure as Apple was aggressor in the Motorola/Apple patent war that's now been going on several years.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hedwards (940851)

        Do you have any evidence to back that up? Remember that this all started when Apple decided that it owned the smartphone concept and the related rounded rectangle shape.

        You do realize how ridiculous you sound, right? Apple had the option of paying for those licenses at the time, making Motorola and Google to be the bad guys in all of this because they've refused to completely lie down to some rather ridiculous patent abuse suits is pretty pathetic.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      ms already has patents to do pretty much everything rim does. so does ms+nokia combination, obviously.

      so they should do their homework really, really well if they're buying.. if they had anything of use, why isn't rim doing anything with them?

    • Consider Pakistan and India. Both have nuclear bombs, but that hasn't reduced their perpetual war with each other. If Pakistan sends troops into India and starts shooting up Dell's phone support, India can't nuke them in retaliation, but they can't let it go unanswered, either (fuck Ghandi).

      If Google has a large collections of (mostly FRAND) patents, do you think Apple will ignore blatent copying?

  • How sad that RIM has basically backed themselves into the corner. They used to have a rock solid product and reputation in the business world for communications devices, enterprise encrypted emails... now flop after flop and stiff competition and suddenly they are on their death bed. Sad, but more pathetic than anything.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Slightly used, may be missing a few lifeboats but otherwise in decent condition.

    Free iceberg included!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't forget "as-is, where-is, local pickup only."
  • Less choice for us (Score:5, Interesting)

    by improfane (855034) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:32PM (#38450586) Journal

    They may throw away the BB OS and we'll have less choice.

    I would rather BB exist by themselves. Look what happened to Maemo, MeeGo, WebOS, Palm and all these other promising designs. It's bad for us consumers if BB disappears.

    In the UK BBs are good because of the cheap monthly contracts compared to other phones. I think they've reversed the stereotype of being business-only and managed to be attractive to consumers.

    Has anyone noticed the ridiculous volume of negative RIM/BB articles recently? It's like some large interests want to kill the popularity of BB. The date of the downtime of BBM was particularly interesting too...

    • by pionzypher (886253) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:47PM (#38450758)
      While I agree with your point that more choice is better, I have to disagree with your thoughts on the negative press. There have been nothing but negative articles because there's been nothing but negative news coming from RIM. They really are driving themselves into the ground between that nasty outage and lack of response to IOS and Android.
      • They really are driving themselves into the ground between that nasty outage and lack of response to IOS and Android.

        Sure, if by lack of response you completely ignore their QNX Tablet OS (and future BB10) and that they've finally released a phone with no keyboard that doesn't suck (9860), for all those people that never have to type more than 140 characters at a time.

        • by Tharsman (1364603)

          Sure, if by lack of response you completely ignore their QNX Tablet OS

          That thing that cant even do email???

          (and future BB10)

          Future promisses dont count as responces.

          and that they've finally released a phone with no keyboard that doesn't suck (9860), for all those people that never have to type more than 140 characters at a time.

          And it only took them 4 years to do this!

          • Email is an app, not part of the OS. As an OS the Tablet OS is more than a match for iOS. This is another example of what I've commented on here already of how RIM focuses on enterprise and then get blasted. The 1.x release of PlayBook is very obviously intended to be a companion device for a BlackBerry. If it was intended to be a standalone device, it would have had an email app instead of Bridge. You're taking an orange and trying to call it an apple.
            • by Tharsman (1364603)

              Wow... there are actually people out there that will defend RIM's standing on this??? Just wow...

        • The 9860 was years after iPhone, and a year well after the G1 and years after the Android touch prototype.

          The QNX tablet stunk. It got a lot of positive press until users found out what a dog it is.

          • It wasn't their first attempt at touch screen (the Storm was released in 2008), thankfully they've learned something since the first one. I'm not sure where the idea came from that the PlayBook is a "dog". Not everyone wants to haul around a 10" beast of a tablet. The hardware is also quite capable, take a look at games like Need For Speed to see what it can really do.
            • Look at it's browser to see what it actually does.

              It's not a matter of formfactor or size with the playbook.

              The software was garbage.

      • On a more recent note, RIM has upped its game with regards to Android and its new Android player. I wouldn't count them out just yet.

    • by Lehk228 (705449) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:58PM (#38450886) Journal
      Mostly the issue is the idiotic capitalist stock market

      RIM made over a billion in profit this year and 5 billion in revenue but the market is bitchy because they didn't "grow enough" (read, burn themselves out then die from over leveraging themselves)
    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      But I bet not even Microsoft can kill BB OS any fastr than RIM!!!!

    • I'd rather they dissolve altogether. Have you tried developing for BB OS (native or web)?

      The only people in America that have a BB are 45+ execs at large corporations too slow to catch up with change. And if they're not their friends wonder why they're friends with them.

    • by s7uar7 (746699)

      In the UK BBs are good because of the cheap monthly contracts compared to other phones

      Really? I have to pay £5/month on top of my data allowance for the privilege of connecting to BIS.

  • I ran into a student (circa 18-(low)twenties) using her Blackberry and commented on her using it to text. Her reply was "Yeah, but they're on the way out. None of my friends use them and they're just not cool." When you can't catch and enthrall your own future user base.....

    • by sinij (911942)

      Blackberry is a business device, meant to facilitate business communication in secure and reliable way and not serve as a personal entertainment device or attempt to appear to be cool. Forgetting this is what put RIM in its current situation.

      • by sehlat (180760)

        RIM is neither secure (as witness their cooperation with governments wishing to monitor communications) nor reliable, as the recent several-day outage proved.

        • by sinij (911942)
          Exactly, hence my comment about forgetting.
          • As a business device, even with the "co-operation" (which they resisted), the business email remains securely transmitted. But in those countries, the government has legal access to any email servers inside the country anyway. If you expect privacy you shouldn't be trying to operate there. If these countries were abandoned by businesses they'd change their tune to save their economy. I don't think RIM has forgotten what they do best, the share holders and analysts have. They constantly blast RIM for fa
      • The problem with not shifting that focus is that businesses are increasingly moving to employee owned devices, instead of company owned. If they can't appeal to consumers it will negatively affect their presence in the enterprise. Now, instead of having to appeal to IT purchasing departments you have to appeal to individual employees who don't really care if their admin can remotely wipe their data etc. They care more if they can play Angry Birds (which you can on a PlayBook now: https://twitter.com/#!/B [twitter.com]
        • by ihatewinXP (638000) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:43PM (#38451356)

          I had an argument with one of the China RIM execs that got thrown off of a plane and arrested last week (boy is he a fun drunk to be around) 3 or 4 years ago. And I told him the same thing:

          Me: "Yeah Blackberry is THE business solution at the moment but as an IT guy myself people are already starting to ask how they can get these new fangled iPhones into the business. There is going to be a trickle up effect that you guys sho-."

          Him: "What are you an idiot! Apple has NO chance at EVER unseating us. Are you kidding me?! What the hell does a punk like you know?"

          And in this manner he carried on and drank long into the night: Blackberry has NOTHING to fear, the iPhone is a toy (just look at the games), and consumers have ZERO effect on business purchases.

          And every time I read another death knell for RIM I think of that jackass. If he was one of their global decision makers, and that attitude fit into their corporate culture.... They were lucky to last this long.

          • by ulricr (2486278)
            IMHO it doesn't matter if he thought 4 or 5 years ago that the iphone would have no impact in the business space. there *nothing* that I can see that he could have done to stop it. their product is about selling BIS, phones locked down by admin, email machines. if they would have given that up the moment the iphone came in, there would be nowhere today, because they are not apple. It would have not have made their corporate clients' users like their phone better than the Jesus Phone. They are not apple,
            • by Anonymous Coward

              RIM should sell BES software on iOS + Android, and stop selling hardware.

          • To be fair, I understand his thoughts, as wrong as they turned out to be. I work in the US for a Fortune 300 company who I do not wish to name. I'm an IT guy in the office where I work. For many years, Blackberry was the only corporate approved phone solution if you wanted to read work email. Two things changed this.
            1) As much as I'd love to believe that my company "saw the light", the fact is that it took people in the very top parts of management in my company who demanded that iphones be approv
            • I don't know anything about this EMM thing, but my iPhone responds to calendar invites just fine.

              They arrive from MS Exchange (outside company), and hit our google-apps mail server. My iPhone thinks that Google is running an exchange server, and badda-bing, badda-boom, mail syncs, contacts syncs, calendar syncs, invites pop up, the whole nine yards.

              I don't know if there is anything special in the google offering here or not, I don't really care. I just care that it works and is easy to set up. :)

      • by ulricr (2486278)
        it's true that they make devices for sys admins at businesses. however, around here (subway, streets, restaurents) all the blackberries I see are in the hands of young women who are using it for texting. At work, everyone seems to have iphones now. maybe a regional thing. but there sure are a lot of pink blackberries out there :)
    • by na1led (1030470)
      RIM has nothing to offer to bring iPhon and Android users over. Their user base consists of Hard Core BB users and a few people who never had a SmartPhone and will take the risk and try one out. US Cellular used to have about 6 different BB phones last year, now it's down to just 1.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @01:36PM (#38450654)

    It sounds to me that someone wants to pump up the RIM stock price with rumors . . . before options or whatever expire at the end of the year.

    • I wouldn't be surprised. Quite sad really.

      You can be pretty sure any article from any business news website, financial websites (NY, FT times) have vested interests and inherent bias. Since this is WSJ it's a certainty!

      What happened to you World Wide Web? You used to host true facts. It never used to be ONLY smear campaigns, astroturfing, advertisements and junk -- I would adopt countless trolls instead of this fate!

  • >It is interesting to see who will gobble up RIM.

    Dear God anybody but HP.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Agreed. At least, acquisition by Microsoft would be a clean death.

    • by rishistar (662278)
      >It is interesting to see who will gobble up RIM. Personally I was hoping Apple would do it under its previous CEO. A collaboration called RIM Jobs would have been fantastic!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    For someone seeking employment, would now be a good time to go for a rim job or not?
  • This would be like if there was a plane crash in the Andes and someone made a big deal that they dodged a bullet because they had once mentioned maybe going to Chile sometime. It's a mammoth jump from one to the next. In the course of conversation even among senior execs they talk about buying THOUSANDS of companies. Only one in a hundred of those gets looked at seriously and only one in a hundred of those get to the bidding stage.
    • I am going to guess that this was something that came out while they were discussing strategies. Someone brought up something that they should plan to do, someone else mentiond that RIM already did that and was probably buyable. They tossed it around for a bit and decided that RIM's implementation would be to hard to integrate into the rest of what they were doing and moved on (with everybody there keeping in the back of their mind that it might be nice for their company to pick up RIM if the price were rig
  • The Journal suggests that this wasn't anything more than a simple idea that came up at one of the regular meetings between senior executives from all three companies â" perhaps it could have even been just a casual talk â" but one wonders how Microsoft and Nokia executives think there is profit to be made by this take over.

    One wonders? Really? It seems pretty obvious to me, and the next sentence spells it out:

    Maybe RIM provides a good backdoor entry for MS into the enterprise space for its Wind

  • What RIM does is anathema to Microsoft. If they buy the company, it'll only be for first shot at the customer base and perhaps some of their technologies, for instance, incorporating some features of BES into Exchange. Don't expect anything like a Blackberry to continue to exist after the sale.

    Amazon... I'm not sure.

    • by ulricr (2486278)
      they would probably buy it in a partneship with nokia, so as to not piss off the other Windows Phone 7 OEMs. the blackberries would probably continue, under WP8 personally I think the BES stuff is obsolete now with the data plans we have, html mails, higher resolution screens, etc. the devices can connect directly to exchange without going through BES. so all the is valuable here is the brand and the design of the phone hardware.
      • by roc97007 (608802)

        The thing is, there are still advantages to BES. With a Blackberry connected to the corporate BES server, I had direct access to the corporate intranet, as BES is in a special DMZ that gives access behind the firewall to devices it trusts. As a corporate Android user, I *still* don't have that capability. I know there are apps that are supposed to provide that, but I've not yet seen them work.

    • MS already provides some remote device management in Exchange, why would they need to buy RIM? Why not just expand what Exchange is capable of doing and make it exclusive to Windows Phone 7?

      Exchange corporate ubiquity coupled with WP7 remote management features and the Microsoft controlled WP7 app store might make for an attractive package.

      Since they own the app store, MS would then have access to all the details of WP7 apps, allowing easy allow/disallow/install for corporate WP7 devices. They could proba

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        > MS already provides some remote device management in Exchange, why would they need to buy RIM? Why not just expand what Exchange is capable of doing and make it exclusive to Windows Phone 7?

        Well, because, then nobody would use the features. You really *really* think that Corporate America will just hand in their Blackberries (or their iPhones, or any non-Windows phone), pocket a Windows Phone 7 device, and be happy?

        Let me see if I can explain this. The features of BES are valuable, and may be crucial

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Rimjobs for everyone!

  • MS (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:06PM (#38450958)
    "Maybe RIM provides a good backdoor entry for MS..." Oooh my!!
  • It's sad to lose QNX (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @02:32PM (#38451234) Homepage

    I don't really care about the Blackberry, but QNX is a good real-time microkernel operating system, damaged by being resold first to Harmon (an audio company) and now RIM. During all the resales, it's gone from closed source to open (but not free) source to closed source to open source to closed source. This killed all open-source interest in QNX, which used to have a version of Firefox and was usable as a desktop OS, although nobody did this unless they were doing real-time work. QNX, pre-Harmon, contributed heavily to the development of Eclipse, and Eclipse's ability to work on C and C++ programs comes from QNX.

    Some industrial automation company should buy QNX. Maybe one will.

  • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday December 21, 2011 @03:07PM (#38451622)

    All the bits and pieces for RIM are dependent on Microsoft back end. Microsoft buying them to slide into existing Microsoft centric environments is blatantly obvious. Only a blithering idiot could miss that. Nokia's interest is something that eludes me however. With the exception of making themselves more attractive to Microsoft, I don't see the fit.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      ms already has all the interesting stuff they could have from rim.

      what they would be buying would be the customer base...

  • I can see MS trying to get RIM so that they can add Windows Phones to it, because well.... Windows Phones suck
  • Do you know the definition of book value? RIM is trading below the value of their real estate, cash assets. You could parcel the company up and sell the real estate to Google and make a profit.

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