RIM-Microsoft deal not all doom and gloom, blogs say

The jokes immediately began to flood Twitter.

“The dodo bird teams with the dinosaur,” tweeted one user, while others called it the “beginning of the end” and “the nail in the coffin” for a once-dominant Canadian smart phone icon. Mainstream tech blogs also got involved in the party, as a Wall Street Journal blog post declared “Tech Laggards Unite!”

The comments, which were all in reaction to RIM’s decision on Tuesday to integrate Microsoft’s Bing search and maps apps into its next BlackBerry 7 OS, represented most of the buzz on the tech blogs.

But it wasn’t all negative on the blogosphere.

GigaOm blogger Kevin Tofel said that the “BingBerry” partnership is part of a consolidation phase in the mobile industry, which is seeing less popular platforms such as QNX, WebOS and Windows Phone 7 partner with each other to attract consumers and businesses. With this deal, Bing fends off RIM’s need for Google-based search and map capabilities, while the Redmond, Wash.-based giant boosts the exposure of its mobile Bing technology.

“By banding together, these companies stand to gain quite a bit,” Tofel wrote. “Leveraging Bing, for example, means RIM doesn’t have to devote resources to search efforts and can instead leverage a solid service from Microsoft. That could lead to more R&D dollars for RIM to improve its devices and software, or perhaps even speed up the transition from BlackBerry OS to QNX on handsets.”

He added that if RIM used Google for search, the revenue would provide the search giant the ability to invest even more into Android.

“Besides, RIM is already leaning on Android to make up for a shortfall of apps for its PlayBook tablet,” Tofel wrote.

Mari Silbey, a blogger with Zatz Not Funny, said that while the move may appear to be bizarre, it’s a very calculated one for Microsoft.

“Microsoft was late to the mobile game, and now it’s aligning left, right, and center in order to combat Google and Apple in the space,” she wrote. “You can place your bets now on whether Microsoft’s mobile strategies will work. Certainly the company is taking a scatter-shot approach to the market, but that doesn’t mean one of those shots won’t hit.”

Geek System blogger Max Eddy wrote that the deal could be a classic case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

“What’s motivating the deal likely has more to do with Microsoft’s standing in the corporate world not for their mobile devices, but their desktop and e-mail software,” he wrote. “Microsoft understands that despite loosing some ground, RIM is not going anywhere; not as long as entrenched CEOs and security-minded government clients are already comfortable with RIM devices.”

With Windows already owning up most of the corporate world’s desktop, Eddy added, partnering with RIM is the best way to get a slice of the corporate mobile market.

“Though they seem like strange bedfellows, RIM and Microsoft could be rallying to hold their stop spots and possible pave the way for continued growth for the two companies,” he wrote. “We won’t know for some time, but it’s clear that BlackBerry isn’t going to be the same.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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