[FoRK] Microsoft has to buy RIM

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Sun May 30 20:22:06 PDT 2010


Apple has computers, OS, iPad, and mobile phone/music devices with a 
good or good enough OS.
Google has Linux, Android with HTC, Motorola, Verizon/Sprint/etc., etc. 
all going full speed, with aPads in multiple pipelines (with one already 
showing in China).
HP has computers, Linux & Windows, WebOS and/or Android (or Android plus 
WebOS if I were the architect), with plenty of hardware pipeline (Palm / 
various HP, plus many easy partners).

What does MS have?  A fading OS, DOA mobile OS, serious brand problems, 
ugly technology, chronic usability problems, and a new product that 
should be hot but clearly is too little too late for too much. [1]  They 
are firmly allergic to Linux / Java / Flash, which, at this point, is 
probably good for the rest of the industry to avoid pollution.

RIM has hung on and made reasonable sales on this last round, however 
between Android, WebOS, and iPhone, the current owners have to have a 
growing sense of buyer's remorse.  I just don't see how the hardware / 
OS / software / service paradigm is competitive at all.  Keyboard's 
good, but not being touch screen based?  Clumsy messaging except for 
their own proprietary service?  Greatly sub-standard web browsing?  
Having clumsy dev tools (Windows only, zillion steps to build an app)?  
Doesn't bode well.  But they have a reasonable lock on business 
customers and some degree of lock-in and momentum.  The gap between 
everything they have and something like the HTC Evo seems very wide.

Nokia is already Linux, now owns Qt, has great sales, can't reasonably 
be bought by MS, and is easily mergable with the Android/WebOS germ 
lines if needed.

Symbian isn't Linux, however all new Nokia projects are Linux based 
(Maemo and MeeGo), so it's likely that the Symbian market share will be 
Linux-based in the next cycle or two.  Android and WebOS are 
Linux-based.  iPhone/OS X are BSD so they're part of the Unixen family.  
That leaves only RIM and Microsoft (26% total) as non-Linux/Unix (which 
has or will have the other 70-71%, which is increasing).

MS has to buy RIM to have any mobile play worth discussing.  There is no 
way they can successfully build developer interest now.  Even with RIM, 
I'm skeptical, however it is the logical next step.  If they can afford 
it.  They need a significant mobile presence now to have any chance.

If Microsoft doesn't get RIM shortly, they'll go Linux and even Android 
or WebOS within 2 product cycles.  (I rate it at 75% probability.)  At 
that point, MS is done for mobile until they choke Linux down, which 
won't happen until their desktop / server OS sales really tank.  
However, that won't happen enough for them to wake up and notice the 
Linuxularity for some time.

Microsoft: The company you can't trust, can't trust to make the best 
decisions for their customers (technology or otherwise), can't expect to 
get usability / security / admin / programability right, and can't 
expect to get a fair deal from.

Wow, did you notice HTC's market cap?  [4]  339.4B

[1] 
http://www.businessinsider.com/the-verdict-on-microsofts-new-kin-phones-theyre-duds-2010-5
> The bottom line here: Microsoft has put out half a product for the 
> full price.
>
> Read more: 
> http://www.businessinsider.com/the-verdict-on-microsofts-new-kin-phones-theyre-duds-2010-5#ixzz0pTJQw1dc

[2] 
http://cell-phones.suite101.com/article.cfm/smartphone-development-and-top-smartphone-sales-in-2010
>
>
>       Worldwide Smart Phone Market
>
> In 2009, the share of smart phone market as given by Canalys in 2009 
> was as follows:
>
>     * Symbian – 47 percent
>     * Research In Motion – 21 percent
>     * Apple – 15 percent
>     * Microsoft – 9 percent
>     * Google Android – 5 percent
>     * Others – 3 percent
>
> The smart phone market is growing at the rate of 17 percent every year 
> since 2006. The growth in the first quarter of 2010 is of 49 percent. 
> In US only, 17 percent phone users had smart phones in 2009.
>
>
> Read more at Suite101: Smartphone Development and Top Smartphone Sales 
> in 2010 
> <http://cell-phones.suite101.com/article.cfm/smartphone-development-and-top-smartphone-sales-in-2010#ixzz0pTJa7tlZ> 
> http://cell-phones.suite101.com/article.cfm/smartphone-development-and-top-smartphone-sales-in-2010#ixzz0pTJa7tlZ

>
>       Worldwide Smart Phone OS Market
>
> The smart phone operating system market share as given by Gartner 
> Inc.in the first quarter of 2010 is as follows:
>
>     * Symbian – 41.6 percent
>     * Research In Motion – 19.4 percent
>     * iPhone OS – 15.4 percent
>     * Android – 9.6 percent
>     * Microsoft Windows Mobile – 6.8 percent
>     * Linux – 3.7 percent
>     * Other OSs – 0.7 percent
>
> Google Android has left behind Microsoft Windows Mobile and Linux and 
> is now on the 4th position as compared to the 1st quarter in 2009.
>
>
> Read more at Suite101: Smartphone Development and Top Smartphone Sales 
> in 2010 
> <http://cell-phones.suite101.com/article.cfm/smartphone-development-and-top-smartphone-sales-in-2010#ixzz0pTJdktIB> 
> http://cell-phones.suite101.com/article.cfm/smartphone-development-and-top-smartphone-sales-in-2010#ixzz0pTJdktIB

[3] http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/RIM?countryCode=ca
>
> Market cap
>
> $35.23B
>

[4] 
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/snapshot/snapshot.asp?ticker=2498:TT
> MARKET CAP
> 339.4B


sdw





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