updated 01:25 am EDT, Sat March 31, 2012
Nokia and Microsoft might gut BlackBerry in deal
Nokia and Microsoft's talk of possibly buying RIM would amount to a wholesale OS replacement, new leaks uncovered late Friday. The Wall Street Journal tip not only left the door open to a "coordinated" bid for RIM but understood they would drop the BlackBerry OS entirely in favor of Windows Phone. Microsoft would take over the server side, the informants said, implying that it would go to a direct Exchange server instead of a BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
RIM wouldn't comment on the prospect. Extra tips maintained that RIM, which was refocusing on strengths, might sell off those parts it wasn't doing well in, rather than simply adjusting priorities. The company had even considered putting its phone business up for sale and focusing on enterprise networking, according to the claims.
It wasn't clear how serious these options were for RIM, which has publicly said options were open at this stage. An invitation from investors willing to put money into RIM in return for a small stake had reportedly been turned down during the end of the Balsillie and Lazaridis co-CEO era, but might be brought back under singular CEO Thorsten Heins.
The range of options show the relative fragility of RIM as Heins inherited it, as the company had posted a rare loss even after seeing its revenue and shipments shrink for a prolonged period. Going to Windows Phone would be a major risk for everyone involved, however, as it would risk antagonizing business customers that could be forced to switch platforms and might not necessarily stay with whatever company owns the BlackBerry name.