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Which Fading Smartphone Company Is More Valuable To Microsoft, RIM Or Nokia?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the is-there-an-option-c dept.

Blackberry 222

colinneagle writes "Nokia and RIM, the two former leaders in the early smartphone market, are now basically at the end stage of their downward spirals. This is an opportunity for Microsoft, which wants to make some inroads in the smartphone market, assuming Microsoft it can play its cards right. The question is which firm is worth more. Both have their values, especially in the patent areas. In terms of just smartphones, Microsoft would probably gain more from RIM, because it could integrate BlackBerry Enterprise Server into its own server products. Nokia, though, is a much older player and probably has a lot more of a patent portfolio. The question then becomes which is an easier purchase. Nokia is a 150-year-old storied company. The Finns may not be too keen to let it go to an American firm. There is the distinct possibility Microsoft acquires both firms and keeps the best of both worlds for hardware. But where does that leave OEM partners like LG, HTC and ZTE?"

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222 comments

Easy - RIM (5, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 2 years ago | (#40270025)

This is because RIM is 'corporate' orientated, so its a natural for Microsoft. Nokia, is consumer oriented ( Apple's territory )

But, considering all their handset technology is different, would it be wroth the trouble/money just to get the BES, that wont work with a windows phone anyway?

More likely they will both just fade away and someone like Google will grab the patents just before they go under water forever.

Re:Easy - RIM (3, Interesting)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | about 2 years ago | (#40270149)

Then again, Nokia has a strong presence around the globe. For instance, this [mtsgsm.com] report indicates that Windows Phone is outselling iPhone in Russia, and there were reports recently (admittedly which originated from Microsoft so obviously to be taken with a large dose of salt) that Windows Phone is outselling the iPhone in China as well.

Re:Easy - RIM (2)

firex726 (1188453) | about 2 years ago | (#40270457)

Yea, Nokia does not seem very strong in the US market, but aren't they like the go-to brand for Asia?

Some of the stuff they put out there is like light years ahead of what we'd have in the US. it's just it's all kind of "beta" and might not work as smoothly as the Western markets would like.

Re:Easy - RIM (4, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40270987)

Windows phones probably are outselling iPhones in China because the iPhone still has limited carrier selectivity over there at the moment, at least according to all the news reports about Chinese carriers indicating they'll be offering it "soon".

For example, it's still not on China Mobile (the world's largest cellphone network) as of May 2012: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/electronics/9268854/Worlds-largest-phone-company-China-Mobile-in-iPhone-talks-with-Apple.html [telegraph.co.uk]

Re:Easy - RIM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40271215)

I've always wondered, why is that you make these kinds of posts?

What does apple's market share matter to you, and why do you always rush in to praise them whenever possible?

It just seems very odd for a disinterested individual to have so many factoids at hand and such a strong desire to promote and defend a company which already has a billion-dollar advertising and PR budget.

Re:Easy - RIM (4, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | about 2 years ago | (#40271387)

I've always wondered, why is that you make these kinds of posts?

What does apple's market share matter to you, and why do you always rush in to praise them whenever possible?

It just seems very odd for a disinterested individual to have so many factoids at hand and such a strong desire to promote and defend a company which already has a billion-dollar advertising and PR budget.

I think it says more about you than it does me. Where do you get that I'm "praising" Apple in my post? All it offers is a potential reason for Microsoft's original statement (that the OP questioned might be a lie because Microsoft said it) to be true. My comment was neutral regarding Apple - it neither praises nor condemns.

Apple's market share doesn't bother me at all, but I thought the point of a discussion site was to have, y'know, actual discussions? Or is coming in with a point that effectively says "I don't think Microsoft is lying about Windows Phone sales in China" not allowed, or considered to be "promoting and defending" a company with a "billion-dollar advertising and PR budget" merely because I mentioned them.

If you think me pointing out that Windows Phone is "only" outselling iPhone due to some "artificial crippling" of sales due to carrier availability is some sort of "fanboy defence" then I think you're projecting your own prejudices and bias into it. I was merely pointing out possible explanations about why Microsoft was unlikely to be lying.

Either way, it says more about you than it does me. Also, you forgot to log in.

Re:Easy - RIM (2)

MisterSquid (231834) | about 2 years ago | (#40270999)

For instance, this [mtsgsm.com] report indicates that Windows Phone is outselling iPhone in Russia,

IN RUSSIA WINDOWS PHONE SELLS IPHONE OUT!

er . . . wait

Re:Easy - RIM (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270159)

This is because RIM is 'corporate' orientated, so its a natural for Microsoft. Nokia, is consumer oriented ( Apple's territory )

True but irrelevant - Microsoft would buy both for their patent portfolio, not for their technology.

Re:Easy - RIM (3, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40270627)

Indeed. The technology itself is non-transferable (it's probably faster to write new apps for a Windows phone than to attempt to port either company's vast repositories of applications). The employees might be worth something, in that their expertise with creating phones makes them a valuable asset; however, since they are not owned by the company, and can easily resign / retire if / when MS attempts to acquire either company, it's probably best to approach them individually, and offer them a job with better pay (which, on the whole, also happens to be cheaper than buying the company).

So yeah, the employees and the IP are the most valuable items of either company. Their current customers will jump ship as soon as MS announces an intent to acquire the company (no loyalty, haha), and the software is for a platform that MS does not intend to run or emulate on its phones, making it worthless. Its manufacturing assets are also relatively worthless, as they are probably out of date, and would require pointless amounts of capital to bring them up to a competitive position; remember, they're competing against the likes of Foxconn & TSMC, who are somewhat brutal in their controlled costs areas and general inefficiencies.

That said, the Nokia name is probably the better buy; Nokia has been, in times past, associated with indestructible cellphones (there is a meme about it), and a fair amount of quality control (currently, they are associated with 'not getting their acts together / an inability to fix minor software issues,' which while being bad, is nothing compared to RIM's stupidity). RIM, on the other hand, has had its name dragged through the dirt over any number of software / government issues, which leaves a stench. If MS buys RIM, the Canadian government will love them for a bit, then probably try to tax them more / ask them to 'increase jobs' at the acquired locations (politics). If MS buys Nokia, Finnish government will love them for a bit, then probably try to tax them more / ask them to 'increase jobs' at the acquired locations (politics).

There is, however, an issue that no one has touched -> is it a good idea for MS to acquire either of them? And the answer is no. For MS to dominate, let alone be competitive, in the phone market, it needs to get in shape; you don't lose weight by eating more. Any merger by MS, of either or both of these companies will result in two things: 1.) the M&A guys patting each other on the back, as they will make out like kings (the WSJ & Reuters will trumpet that the merger is bringing in a new era of 'Mobile Synergy' or some other bullsh*t, only to recant it all later when it's found that 'MS didn't properly integrate the Nokia / RIM units, which is why the gains were never realized'), and 2.) it will be revealed as a failure of leadership when a year later, the news reports that MS overpaid for its acquisitions (compounded by the number of Nokia / RIM employees who, having spent a year at MS, spread their wings for clearer skies...which will be several months before the Windows Mobile unit reports a catastrophic loss of income).

We need a paradigm shift (2)

arcite (661011) | about 2 years ago | (#40270161)

Obviously Apple should purchase RIM and graft a RIM keyboard onto the next iPhone. It would be revolutionary....in a sick twisted what-if-Frankenstein-and-Nefertiti-had-a-bastard-child kind of way.

Re:We need a paradigm shift (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270263)

Obviously Apple should purchase RIM and graft a RIM keyboard onto the next iPhone. It would be revolutionary....in a sick twisted what-if-Frankenstein-and-Nefertiti-had-a-bastard-child kind of way.

That won't happen as long as you don't cross the beams.

if you do cross the beams not only will you get the RIM keyboard on the iPhone, but dogs and cats will sleep together and we'll see the end of the World of Biblical proportions.

Re:We need a paradigm shift (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270441)

That won't happen as long as you don't cross the beams.

if you do cross the beams not only will you get the RIM keyboard on the iPhone, but dogs and cats will sleep together and we'll see the end of the World of Biblical proportions.

It's streams, don't cross the streams.

Re:We need a paradigm shift (1, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | about 2 years ago | (#40270887)

not only will you get the RIM keyboard on the iPhone, but dogs and cats will sleep together

A phone without a physical keyboard is unfit for any serious use, so use something real like N900. Mine's currently on my bed, next to a dog and a cat, sleeping together. ARM processors have a heavy stress on sleep modes, so I guess you can count the phone as sleeping as well.

Re:We need a paradigm shift (0)

mruizcamauer (551400) | about 2 years ago | (#40271245)

Siri is the paradigm shift! No keyboard, just dictate long texts and ask for actions, do not do them by hand yourself. The only benefit from RIM is their network effect, messaging between users who don't need to pay sms costs. But surely they can implement that too, like Apple has done, at less than a billion or two of costs...

Re:We need a paradigm shift (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about 2 years ago | (#40271343)

Who had a "serious" use for a phone, smart or otherwise?

It's a productivity booster at best. When you've got real work to do, sit down at a desk and get the work done.

Re:Easy - RIM (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40270323)

Yes, MS has already decided to abandon the business segment with WP7 and Win 8. Technically Apple never competed directly with RIM or WinMo. Apple (and later Android) went after the under-served segment of consumer smart phones.

Re:Easy - RIM (2)

CptPicard (680154) | about 2 years ago | (#40270335)

I never quite undestood why RIM was so strong in the American corporate market while in the rest of the world it really was all Nokia and Symbian, which has great corporate integration. Nokia's predicament actually comes from ignoring the consumer... Windows Phone is also a step backwards in the corporate sense, but let us hope MS at least leverages Office there.

Re:Easy - RIM (1)

sensationull (889870) | about 2 years ago | (#40270879)

BES is a horrible pile of java shit which is so inefficient and backward in the way it handles things that they would be mad to integrate it. For everything but device lockdown and control ActiveSync is better which is why along with device UI RIM have lost most of their market other than the hardcore fans.

Re:Easy - RIM (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 2 years ago | (#40271137)

Both but just buy the IP and gut the rest. Neither company is worth squat in todays market but the portfolio will protect MS while they build up a windows handset. They can get fresh talent and start a company from scratch to their specifications.

fumbles for hysterically ridiculous font

MS/Nokia (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270029)

MS already owns Nokia

Re:MS/Nokia (3, Insightful)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about 2 years ago | (#40270359)

I was just thinking they should buy RIM outright (analogous to Google buying Motorola Mobility), since they already effectively "own" Nokia without actually having to deal with the regulatory or financial hassles of literally "owning" them.

Re:MS/Nokia (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 2 years ago | (#40270523)

"[...] assuming Microsoft can play its cards right."

In other words, to launch a Nokia Android phone. :p

Re:MS/Nokia (1)

Kartu (1490911) | about 2 years ago | (#40270935)

Agreed. Otherwise it's hard to justify, why Samsung or HTC can produce both Windows and Android phones, while Nokia must be Microsoft exclusive and that with, cough, Microsoft's non-existing market share...

Why choose? (4, Interesting)

bashibazouk (582054) | about 2 years ago | (#40270033)

Just buy both in a two for one sale!

Re:Why choose? (4, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 2 years ago | (#40270061)

That would be a really expensive gamble, but one with high potential rewards. Personally, I think you're right. A small- to medium-sized hungry player in the market would probably not think twice about taking such a gamble to make it to the big leagues, but Microsoft is so big, old, and luggish these days that it's in what I call the "protectionist" stage of business operations, which is to minimize risk in lieu of chasing huge payoffs and vastly increasing market share into a segment they're not used to playing in. I doubt they'd even consider such a thing. Too bad too, because it essentially means they will forever be pretty much irrelevant in the mobile market.

Re:Why choose? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40270569)

Not only that, but I doubt they've paid adequate protection money to be able to cram that through the DOJ.

Give Microsoft another decade or so and they might be able to lunge around with all of their body weight, but for now they have to at least look as if they're behaving.

Or pay the price.

Literally.

Re:Why choose? (1)

moss45 (2543890) | about 2 years ago | (#40271429)

At this point, I don't think the combination of RIM/Nokia/Microsoft would substantially lessen competition in the cell phone industry. No regulator stops an acquisition if one of the companies is going to die without it. It's easy to show that with RIM, a Nokia acquisition would be harder to get past European regulators.

Still, the combined market share of all three for smartphones is ~15%. That isn't the kind of number where regulators step in.With dumb phones, RIM and Microsoft don't really compete for that market, so Nokia's marketshare there wouldn't be a problem. So on a regulator front, they probably would be able to go through with the merger. If Motorola went through, i don't think they are going to stop anyone but Apple from acquiring phone companies.

neither (4, Insightful)

neurocutie (677249) | about 2 years ago | (#40270039)

I dont see MS benefiting for buying either. MS has gotten what it needs from its deal with Nokia. If WP doesnt do well under Nokia, RIM isnt going to help.

Re:neither (5, Insightful)

gadget junkie (618542) | about 2 years ago | (#40270351)

I dont see MS benefiting for buying either. MS has gotten what it needs from its deal with Nokia. If WP doesnt do well under Nokia, RIM isnt going to help.

I do not think that MS has got what it needed; it got what it wanted, and given MS track record in corporate deals, the two are such distant relations that under Catholic law they could marry without dispensation.
AFAIK, Ballmer wanted to jumpstart MS's phone business, and with this deal he will have some numbers tucked in; but the best comparison is with the deals mobile operators do with Apple: if there's money, it trickles Apple's way, not to the operator's coffers. Then again, in the mobile space MS lacks the factors that make it dominant on the desktop:

1. huge installed base;
2.a teeming ecosystem of programs that won't work on other platform;
3. a HUGE corporate market using his program/services exclusively.

I am not in Bill Gates' confidence, but given the above, I'd have gone for RIM everytime; it's already in the corporate space as a service, while nokia is there as a product, and as an indifferentiated product at that, just like any other phone, and having had an HTC and a Samsung, I must say that the competition is fierce; the only thing Nokia could have going for it is backward compatibility, which they just sold down the river for a neat billion bucks; my personal bet is that they will go back to producing toilet paper and car tires, maybe with a chapter 11 in between.... unless Ballmer decides to throw bad money after the bad.

Partnering with Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270043)

"But where does that leave OEM partners like LG, HTC and ZTE?"

The same place where every Microsoft partner ends up.

Re:Partnering with Microsoft (4, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#40270271)

...face down in the mud, with a sore ass...

Re:Partnering with Microsoft (4, Insightful)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#40270387)

...face down in the mud, with a sore ass...

...And losing blood fast...

As far as I can remember it's been the same for every company that has dealt with Microsoft. Nokia really self-destructed on that one.

Re:Partnering with Microsoft (2)

blippo (158203) | about 2 years ago | (#40270727)

I think the first faceplant was to totally misjudge Apples ability to turn the iPod into an iPhone.
Anyone with a clue could tell that it was going to happen, but that it was packaged so good was probably a surprise for all.

Steve Jobs had a passion for product design, and that passion included the software and UI.
Anyone that have uses an old Nokia or any other pre-apple "smart" phone would notice rather soon
that there is no passion involved at all. They were (and are) made by people writing "use-cases" and
gantt-charts, and the "design" was something that regarded the plastic shell.

There were probably hordes of proud and passionate software developers, but my guess is that there was
no creative process, no feedback and no iterations. Just project plans and use case documents.

I have no idea, but I have always figured that how things worked at Apple was that Steve said that he wanted something,
a team of developers and ui-designers made version 1, Steve basically said that they could do it better, and eventually at iteration n, Steve was happy.

The funny thing is that you probably don't need Steve; anyone with a mild disposition for design could say "no" a couple of times, and
let the developers make awsome stuff, while having fun.

Anyway, having lost their massive market share, Nokia hired the microsoft guy to fix things. And what else can really happen after that?

Unfortunately, Nokias engineers were probably more inclined to focus on Linux and Android phones, if not for nationalistic reasons, but
as long as the use-case guys rules, they will not be able to deliver something that does not suck. Letting microsoft piss away millions on
gui design for you, may not be a bad choice given their circumstances, but they could equally well have let google piss away the money...

The same place as Android partners .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40271211)

And BTW, that wasn't a defense in favor or MS. Just a simple fact.

OEMs... (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#40270045)

I highly doubt OEMs took WP7 seriously. Samsung has clearly prioritized the Galaxy (Android) line. HTC also bet on Android. ZTE isn't big enough to make a difference in most markets and LG is pretty much invisible.

Besides, they'll probably get more money by licensing patents to Android users than by selling WP7 on phones that don't sell.

Re:OEMs... (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40270337)

I think the other OEMs make WP7 phones to avoid the patent and licensing threats of MS. Also it hedges their bets in case MS puts out a winner or if Google screws them over.

Re:OEMs... (1)

kesuki (321456) | about 2 years ago | (#40270901)

apparently you missed the iphone siri ranking the nokia 900 as the 'best' smartphone. google does it too, if you block/ignore the ads above it.

They already have one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270055)

They already have Nokia in all but writing. They control it in every possible way. And whichever they choose, MS will not do the right thing and the phones will still not be popular.

there's the Stephen Elop factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270057)

Right now, Elop is the CEO of a company that's headed south. But if Microsoft buys Nokia, Elop will be the obvious candidate to succeed Ballmer the next time MS falters, for example if Windows 8 tanks.

Ballmer knows this. He didn't get to where he is by being dumb.

Re:there's the Stephen Elop factor (4, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40270089)

IF windows 8 tanks?

What is this "IF" word? An acronym for Inevitable Future?

Re:there's the Stephen Elop factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270753)

IANACBTDF

Re:there's the Stephen Elop factor (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 2 years ago | (#40270519)

...for example if Windows 8 tanks.

You know, Mr. AC, that's a rather non-standard way of spelling the word "when."

Why buy? (4, Interesting)

mveloso (325617) | about 2 years ago | (#40270063)

Why buy at all? Not everyone has to be like Apple.

People think this stuff is easy - but Nokia's having issues and it's 150 years old. RIM knew its market too. Why would Microsoft be any different?

Apple makes it look easy, but it isn't. Look at the corpses strewn behind the iPhone, iPod, and iPad and you'll see some of the best companies of the era. And Apple has just started, or so they'd lie you to think.

Re:Why buy? (1, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#40270131)

Why buy at all?

Patents. Microsoft can use the patents to hold back their competitors. If they don't buy, those patents will go to someone else who will use them to hold back Microsoft.

Not everyone has to be like Apple.

Yes they do. You can't just opt out of patent wars. Until the system is reformed, you have to play both offense and defense aggressively.

Re:Why buy? (3, Insightful)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about 2 years ago | (#40270223)

Microsoft's competitors also have patents. Some of which probably also apply to the desktop too. Microsoft is as much at risk by a patent war as Apple. It is Mutual Assured Destruction and why the Big Boys don't usually attack each other over patents (they use them to crush smaller players and individual inventors - completely counter to the original intents of patents, but that is how the system is being used now [down with idea/software patents!]).

Re:Why buy? (1)

mveloso (325617) | about 2 years ago | (#40270317)

If the patents were worth something, don't you think RIM and Nokia would already be in court trying to monetize them?

Also from what I remember, Apple already has licensed the appropriate patents from Nokia.

Old patents, how useful really? (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40270995)

Patents. Microsoft can use the patents to hold back their competitors.

Everyone says that. But how useful are these patents the companies own?

I mean, did they stop any of the RIM or Nokia competitors even slightly? Why would Microsoft fare any better using them as a road block?

Google spent way too much money for Motorola "for the patents" and look what happened there. Posner told them (and Apple) to go home and take a cold shower. It's going to take a lot of scrubbing to wash away the shame of mis-spending 12 billion dollars.

Yes there's a lot of patent action going down right now but it doesn't seem to be having any effect. To waste a huge sum of cash to buy either company just for mouldering patents is, well, a waste.

"Well, there you go again." burning money. (2)

swschrad (312009) | about 2 years ago | (#40271239)

why is it that every failing company that gets in the news, a bunch of wacks jump up with hands in the air, saying, "Ooh! Ooh! I know who should buy this outfit!"

answer: NOBODY buys them. they're FAILING. they are CRAP. you are BURNING YOUR MONEY.

patents are cheaper in chapter-7.

Didn't Microsoft swallow Nokia already? (2, Informative)

anandrajan (86137) | about 2 years ago | (#40270065)

Thought this already happened. In any case, Tomi Ahonen has a long, detailed, analysis [blogs.com]. Too long for me to read, sorry.

Re:Didn't Microsoft swallow Nokia already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270167)

Too long for me to read, sorry.

Offering a link to an article you haven't read, well that's pretty lazy even for Slashdot.

But it's not a bad read, and the author thinks the best fit would be Samsung. MS doesn't have much to gain except for the patents since Nokia's Windows Phone line is doing so poorly.

Re:Didn't Microsoft swallow Nokia already? (1)

Lisias (447563) | about 2 years ago | (#40270547)

Didn't Microsoft swallow Nokia already?

As a matter of fact, it appears to me that Nokia had swallowed Microsoft, after sucking its... uh... Forget about. =P

Re:Didn't Microsoft swallow Nokia already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270907)

As a matter of fact, it appears to me that Nokia had swallowed Microsoft, after sucking its... uh... Forget about. =P

You mean, did Nokia gulp down a juicy load of Microsoft semen from the huge festering penis that MS shoved in Nokia's mouth, right after pulling said penis out of Nokia's ass which was thoroughly raped (with only partial consent)?

Yes.

Buy two losers! (3, Insightful)

matunos (1587263) | about 2 years ago | (#40270071)

Anything to avoid creating a good product themselves, amiright?

Re:Buy two losers! (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#40270413)

Anything to avoid creating a good product themselves, amiright?

Not 'to avoid'. It's not something they thought about and decided it's too much like hard work, it's something they know they are unable to do.

Microsoft buys innovation and passes it off as their own invention. It's always been that way.

Re:Buy two losers! (1)

matunos (1587263) | about 2 years ago | (#40270711)

Yeah, but they used to buy promising technology, not companies already on the way down.

The only reason to buy Nokia or RIM would be to go patent trolling.

Re:Buy two losers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270471)

Don't two losers make a winner? Or how does that go again...

What about google, facebook, etc? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270073)

Just as important for microsoft is their positioning versus these other companies, and whether buying one or the other as a defensive play is worth it. What would be the cost to Microsoft if one of these other companies bought RIM or Nokia instead, particularly the effect on their patent portfolios?

Re:What about google, facebook, etc? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#40270097)

Just as important for microsoft is their positioning versus these other companies, and whether buying one or the other as a defensive play is worth it. What would be the cost to Microsoft if one of these other companies bought RIM or Nokia instead, particularly the effect on their patent portfolios?

Don't you need to look at the age of the patents involved?
Most of RIMs magic came a long time ago, pre-cellphone days.

Impossible to buy both (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 2 years ago | (#40270105)

Good luck trying to buy both and getting it approved by the FTC and its European and Chinese equivalents.

My bet is for Microsoft to try for RIM. Who knows, Facebook may even try for a merger with one of these companies.

Re:Impossible to buy both (1)

MachDelta (704883) | about 2 years ago | (#40270591)

Chinese? You know that RIM is Canadian, right?

Re:Impossible to buy both (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | about 2 years ago | (#40270699)

Chinese? You know that RIM is Canadian, right?

Of course, major corporate buy-outs need to be approved by the FTC, China and Europe these days.

See Google's buy-out of Motorola Mobility.

Nokia:no corporate baggage for Microsft to rewrite (1)

Lime Green Bowler (937876) | about 2 years ago | (#40270119)

As the title says. Microsoft would have to deal with the RIM corporate polices and conditions that are already in place for customers. Microsoft would have difficulty gutting the parts that don't make them money and filling them with new ones. Also with applying shittier restrictions. A blank(er) slate, however, would be much easier to start from.

Re:Nokia:no corporate baggage for Microsft to rewr (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40270381)

Starting from scratch isn't easier. As evidenced by the HP and Palm [slashdot.org] story a few days ago. Without a lot of capital up front, Palm had trouble sourcing parts specifically because of Apple. They had hoped HP's big pockets would help, but new CEO Apotheker was not behind it partially because Palm was purchased by the previous CEO.

Nokia (5, Interesting)

CockMonster (886033) | about 2 years ago | (#40270127)

I worked for Nokia when the MS alliance was announced. Elop is ex-MS, he brought in some higher management from MS. The company is already drinking the MS kool-aid internally, the takeover is complete in every way except financially. Nokia shareholders would not object to getting the company out of Finland, it's expensive to hire people there and expensive to fire them. Fortunately for MS a whole lot have already been fired.

Re:Nokia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270175)

Well, let's see. Novell lasted about 6 years. Is there a betting pool yet on how long Nokia will last?

Re:Nokia (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#40270623)

Well, let's see. Novell lasted about 6 years. Is there a betting pool yet on how long Nokia will last?

I'm gonna bet 2047 Slashdot dupes on this very topic.

Re:Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270831)

2047 what? rupees? euros? us dollars? or real money... canadian dollars?

RIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270137)

Regarding smartphones Microsoft and Nokia is basically the same entity. Also I expect to replace my Google services and apps with Microsoft ones for various usability reasons, IF they won't sabotage crossplatform (otherOS) integration of their services and apps.

This brings me to RIM, wich I have considered dead since learning of their outdated solutions for non-existent problems. Their only usecase left is for security branche/paranoid enterprises.

"at the end stage of their downward spirals" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270197)

Maybe Microsoft could invest $150 million in Ap^WNokia!

Oh, wait, never mind... Apple in 1997 must have merely been having its "40 days in the wilderness" while Nokia after 150 years is "at the end stage of [its] downward spiral".

There's only one way for Nokia to certainly lose: to give up and follow some shitty trend, like most other non-Wintel companies in the late '90s (whither Acorn & friends), and accept sponsorship from some group ready to gut it.

MS please buy RIM (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | about 2 years ago | (#40270207)

I hope MS buys RIM and we can watch both of them fail out of the phone market, meanwhile they leave Nokia alone so they can go back to making awesome Linux phones from the n900/N9 line. Perfect!

Re:MS please buy RIM (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#40270431)

I hope MS buys RIM and we can watch both of them fail out of the phone market, meanwhile they leave Nokia alone so they can go back to making awesome Linux phones from the n900/N9 line. Perfect!

I have a n900 and it's awesome. It would be wonderful if Nokia kept on making great things but I fear their MS bias has already killed them.

Re:MS please buy RIM (1)

phik (2368654) | about 2 years ago | (#40270505)

I have an N9 and it's awesome too! (I also have an n900) I ache when I realize how close Nokia was to making linux/meego/maemo their top OS.

Where does that leave partners? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#40270211)

This leaves Microsoft partners where Microsoft partners have always been ... Useful right up until Microsoft decides to steal your lunch, and go it alone.

They have done this numerous times and will continue to do so. Partnering with them has always been a two edged sword.

Re:Where does that leave partners? (1)

1s44c (552956) | about 2 years ago | (#40270453)

This leaves Microsoft partners where Microsoft partners have always been ... Useful right up until Microsoft decides to steal your lunch, and go it alone.

They have done this numerous times and will continue to do so. Partnering with them has always been a two edged sword.

I think you are putting it a little too mildly. Microsoft eat their partners from the inside out. When there is nothing more of interest to them they leave the remains to die.

Why would an additional purchase help Microsoft? (4, Interesting)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | about 2 years ago | (#40270213)

The premise of the article is that by purchasing a smartphone company then Microsoft would gain assets that will help them gain traction in smartphones. This is simply not going to work and a waste of shareholder assets. Microsoft is not gaining traction with their own phone because the ideas they have that work (or worked) for them on the desktop are not desired by customers looking at mobile phones - but they treat the phone very similarly to the desktop (who wants to have Office capabilities on their phone? no-one). Despite Microsoft generating enormous profits they can't get enough new ideas out that customers want. Buying an ailing smartphone company that also does have enough new ideas is hardly going to help them get new ideas that would affect their smartphone market penetration to the tune of their investment.

IMHO Microsoft should be looking at shoring up its desktop rather than fighting Android (Linux!) and Apple on phones. That battle is pretty much lost for them. By focussing on phones Microsoft seem a bit distracted from their core area of desktop - which has allowed Windows 8 to garner very unfavourable reviews. Concentrate on what you are good at Microsoft! By obsessing over growth they are starting to lose focus, making the new desktop experience worse, and rather than maintaining their high profits they are at risk of negative growth - especially if developers decide Anrdoid desktop or OS X are worthwhile targets for their desktop products (as well as smartphone apps), since the people will also follow. Windows 8 is a muddle of ideas and less suited to the existing users than Windows 7 (hint: tablets and desktops shouldn't have the same experience, one is for content consumption and the other for content creation and their needs are different - don't lose sight of this!).

Re:Why would an additional purchase help Microsoft (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 2 years ago | (#40270435)

MS is trying to avoid a future where the move to mobile leaves them behind if they focus only on desktop. The problem for MS is that despite a ten year head start on tablets and phones, they are behind the likes of Apple and Android. Instead of forging a separate effort in mobile, MS has decided to forcibly capture a large number of future mobile developers by pushing them to design for Metro by making Win 8 default to Metro.

Re:Why would an additional purchase help Microsoft (1)

blackest_k (761565) | about 2 years ago | (#40270849)

what is a phone other than a computer in a tiny case. The main problems are screen size and input.
solve these and it might replace your desktop and it would be with you all day not in a bag but just a pocket.

do you really think a phone isnt powerful enough to do word processing for example. It is the io which is a problem now i could see that solved in the next few years

Embrace and Extend (1)

naubrey (1452173) | about 2 years ago | (#40270217)

I see Microsoft looking at these two like this: 1) Nokia wants to make Android handsets. By purchasing Nokia Microsoft will gain a solid handset manufacturer and eliminate some competition from the Android marketsphere. Not that it will make much of a dent, but every penny counts... 2) RIM really wants to be Microsoft's handset maker. Microsoft knows it. The corporate world is still a massive profit system for Microsoft and the corporate world can easily connect the Blackberry to their internal email system. And since a lot of IT departments still will not update policies to allow iPhones or Android handsets, Microsoft can bribe companies to stick with Exchange or use it if it's a new company, by giving out mobile email devices that can also substitute as cell phones. *) Then again, this is Microsoft. The company known for not giving us choice might not want a choice itself. It might decide to do both. Purchase both companies and move forward.

Gain from BES? What a joke! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270247)

"Microsoft would probably gain more from RIM, because it could integrate BlackBerry Enterprise Server into its own server products."

Are you serious? Do you now anything about BES? Its architecture is completely failing, especially the integration with Exchange 2010 and CAS Arrays. Beyond that, the next version of BES is planned to utilize ActiveSync, so what exactly is the gain here?

The partnership with Nokia that Microsoft has is the most logical thing. RIM should be allow to die a quiet death. What a useless slashdot article.

Neither (2, Insightful)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | about 2 years ago | (#40270255)

Apple is proving neither is relevant outside of their patent portfolios.

Nokia is using Windows because its own software stack is worthless and it has been having trouble producing a credible handset. The Lumia is nice but is not really competitive.

RIM's software stack is notoriously bad - hence the death march to BB 10. Its hardware is woefully not competitive and its business phone moat seems to be evaporating very quickly as Apple is demonstrating that it is taking security and enterprise deployment and provisioning very seriously (the recent security white paper as a case in point) - convincingly enough that Fortune 500 companies are dumping BB in favor of iPhones.

Given that Microsoft is already in bed with Nokia it is likely cheaper and less risky for MS to bankroll Nokia for a while in the hopes that it lifts off the ground than to buy it outright. RIM on the other hand, offers nothing.

Where does it leave Microsoft's parters? (0)

Rix (54095) | about 2 years ago | (#40270315)

It leaves them fucked. That's what happens when you do business with Microsoft.

Nokia is a Finnish champion ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 years ago | (#40270349)

... and the Finns aren't going to be happy about handing it over to Americans. But RIM is a Canadian company and Canada won't just hand Americans .....

.... Oh wait. Never mind.

Neither... (1, Interesting)

barfy (256323) | about 2 years ago | (#40270375)

They are not trying to be Apple, but more like Google. They are not attempting to make a play like Xbox, but rather a massive infrastructure play. RIM provided an interesting value proposition at the time. They would send somebody to install a thing in your server room that let the mail work on the phone. This was HUGE. Microsoft is attempting to not require RIM by making their mail servers aware that they are talking to a phone. And that they will be first class with Hotmail, and possible with Yahoo. And Gmail may well limp and work as well.

I think it will come down to the Windows environment and the ITunes environment. This race will become much closer over time. Apple found a huge wedge with iPod, in establishing the iTunes environment on top of a compelling UI and continual Internet Access and compelling and good enough environment to develop for. There was simply nothing else like it.

Android is simply too lasses faire and requires too much learning for your non-geek and simply doesn't "work" yet.

Windows phone definitely appears to match the compelling features of the Apple environment and will become easily a major player in the market place. Personally, they are very close. I love the 900, but I am going to live off contract for awhile while I get the last few drops of functionality out my 4. What happens next, I don't know. But I definitely do not think that Microsoft needs to spend resources buying a handset manufacturer.

RIM-r-world. (1)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#40270463)

RIM, to get the business market which MS does OK in. If it bought Nokia, then Nokia would go the way that most MS consumer stuff goes, down the plug-hole.

Raise the share price & save cash (2)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#40270503)

Microsoft needs to focus on raising its shareprice right now. If Gates & Balmer didn't own a majority stake, Balmer would be canned already.

The stock price has not moved in a decade and investors are getting impatient. They need to save cash, cut expenses, and invest wisely in what will bring back more capital and liquid assets. An expensive several billion buyout will lower the value of the company and hurts its shareprice more.

I do not see the value?

Worse, the other handset makers like HTC will shit their pants that they are supporting a competitor now and will cut Windows Phone sales and focus solely on Andriod. Ala OS/2 syndrome. All OEMs prefered OS/2 over Windows/DOS but they would be supporting IBM and a competitor if they did so they touted the NT and Windows 9x platform instead.

Not RIM, Nokia is the only target (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270565)

No, RIM is not the target and is not interesting at all. It was nokia all along, and Ballmer has played it super nasty. He set up a stooge to head nokia and do asset stripping,bring the business to its knees and bust share price to rock bottom. Elop has systematically killed off profitable business and pushed his Microsoft oriented 'strategy'. Only, this was never a strategy for nokia, it was ms strategy all along. Ms will buy nokia, but somebody will go to jail over the systematic destructuion of the value and losses to shareholders.

Google should buy them (3, Interesting)

khipu (2511498) | about 2 years ago | (#40270605)

Google needs a big patent portfolio to beat down Apple and Microsoft; they should buy both Nokia and RIM. Microsoft has done a great job depressing the Nokia stock price. And if Google buys them, they can really kick Windows 8 Phone down, given that Microsoft has bet on Nokia. Oh, and they can fire Elop too.

wut ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270737)

Please explain this downward spiral... with facts that can be verified.
Last I checked they had a couple of billoion in the bank and somewhere close to 80 million customers.
the OP seems more like propaganda... likely by an androidian who is paid to post that style of propaganda
while taking a break from trying to lure small children on the internet.

I *LOVE* my Lumia 900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40270937)

I *LOVE* my Lumia 900, so i dont really care what MS does other than provide the operating system.

Facebuy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40271073)

Facebook ATM is more valuable to Microsoft than both companies combined. That, of course, could change (is probably changing). As far as IP is concerned, Microsoft already has enough patents to troll Apple or Google. What Microsoft needs now is market-traction. It can do that by latching on to the company will a billion-people portfolio.

my company just shopped for phones (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40271099)

My company just shopped for new smartphones. We ended up with Android based because of limited phone selection (CDMA, yay). The windows phones looked so unbelievably non-business friendly, it took about 10 minutes to rule them out. But, I will say that the article is horribly wrong. Blackberry Enterprise Server is THE software from hell. It's one giant memory leak that runs slow, doesn't work half the time, has the worst interface imaginable, and would have to be completely rewritten from the ground up. So that's not a benefit whatsoever. Nokia just generally all-around sucks and has no place in businesses either. I wouldn't buy either of them. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I saw an article on slashdot that suggestedac Microsoft stop making phones and MP3 players.

MS has no hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40271165)

It doesn't matter what they buy. They will still try and stick Windows Phone, or Windows 8 on it. That is the root of the problem. If Microsoft wants to make inroads into the mobile phone market, it needs to start selling its software for Android. Nobody wants a Microsoft controlled platform any more.

Come on Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40271335)

You can tell a CEO is not the vital leader he professes to be when, when confronted with the dilemma of whether to buy RIM or Nokia, decides to ask Slashdot.

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