RIM on the Ropes: What If BlackBerry Gets Bought By Microsoft?!

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has had it tough in this dwindling economy. RIM’s shares, which were around $148 a piece on the NASDAQ a few months ago are at $55 today (in fact that is what they closed at just an hour ago). Shareholders understandably are feeling queasy about the state of the company, but a story put out by Reuters on the topic has us also feeling like we may need to lay down.

The recent plunge in the market value of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion could leave the company vulnerable to a takeover from a well-capitalized buyer such as Microsoft Corp.

A Microsoft seize of the BlackBerry?! Could it be true? John Jackson of the Yankee Group, for one, believes it could happen. “It’s plausible, just as it has been plausible in the past. RIM should be in the catbird seat in 2008 and 2009,” Jackson says. “They have the obvious asset of a large, near-global enterprise customer base for a high value service that throws off a recurring revenue stream. Microsoft doesn’t have this in the mobile space,” Jackson added. As hardware reviewers, we immediately asked: how would a Microsoft take over of RIM impact our beloved¬† Blackberry smart phones? Would Microsoft insist on increasing the market share of its Window Mobile operating system by porting it over to BlackBerry hardware? Could RIM start manufacturing devices for Windows Mobile operating systems? Either way, between its stock plunge and the Orange network suspending the BlackBerry Bold because of network issues, RIM is having a tough time. Good thing they released one awesome phone this week. Let us know what you think RIM should do in our poll and in the comments.

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