Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) board may have no other choice than to make a last-ditch effort to save the company through an alliance with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Reuters reports. Microsoft could make a large investment in RIM that may stop the nosedive of its shares. And the world’s largest software company has nearly unlimited technological and marketing capability. The cost of a relationship with Microsoft would be substantial. The software company almost certainly would force RIM to give up its own operating system, which it has used since the first BlackBerry was launched. In its place, RIM would use the Microsoft Windows mobile OS, which has struggled to gain adoption against Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android and Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) system.
Microsoft already has made an attempt to increase its mobile footprint through a joint venture with the world’s second largest handset company. But Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has had nearly as much trouble selling smartphones as RIM has. Microsoft also is attacking the mobile market with its own tablet PC. If Microsoft can coordinate these three efforts to get mobile adoption — RIM, Nokia and its Surface tablet — it might finally break though in the mobile sector.
Douglas A. McIntyre