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Rumours of Microsoft looking to purchase RIM (Blackberry)

October 16, 2008

Rumours have been abounding on the Internet that Microsoft is looking to purchase Blackberry manufacturer RIM. Whilst the current financial crisis is a bane to many, it looks to be a blessing to others in that dropping share prices of companies are making them affordable targets for takeovers.

If these rumours are true and Microsoft is looking to purchase this company, is this a good move for the software titan? Microsoft has their own mobile operating system called Windows Mobile and they are already working with numerous mobile device manufacturers to propagate it further.

In my opinion the glaring issue with Microsoft’s mobile play is they are not addressing a key fundamental that new players in the industry like Apple are doing well and that is creating a positive user experience. Microsoft has a lot of share holders and to keep them happy they must sell a lot of licenses of their software. Microsoft is geared for mass market plays in selling software, but going for these mass markets can mean they do not address properly how people use mobiles and the operating system within them.

Microsoft must return to basics with their strategy in mobile and recognise that all business users are personal users as well. Users need the ability to personalise their device and that’s not just adding a ring-tone here and a wallpaper there, it’s about having the capability to tailor the device to their usability requirements.

Microsoft’s Windows platform is not famous or pervasive due to the fact that it was released by Microsoft. Windows success is due to the 3rd party developer ecosystem that surrounds the platform. Windows users have an amazing choice in both software and hardware when purchasing a desktop system. This freedom of choice has expanded the Windows platform to be the dominate desktop operating system on the planet to this day. So why isn’t Microsoft doing the same with mobiles?

Microsoft has had a difficult time battling in the mobile arena to date due to only focusing on the business user. Microsoft’s mobile operating play has been to try and replicate some of the features and user interfaces from their desktop environments without taking into consideration that mobile is not just a different environment, its a whole new world.

Mobiles are a personal addition to our lives, they give us freedom and empowerment that we have never experienced before with technology. The cordless access to anyone, or anything, at anytime and in any place, allows us humans to be completely free.

So, whilst Microsoft may or may not be looking at the mass marketability of the Blackberry legacy (and of course one or two patents that they own) in the end the power of mobiles are that people use them, not businesses.

Posted By Shane Williamson

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