The key question being: if successful, would they put Windows Mobile on BlackBerrys...?!
Ok, this scares me…
Venerable newshound Reuters is reporting that Microsoft will make a formal – and if necessary hostile – takeover bid for BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) after the successful smartphone company’s share price became the latest collateral damage in the current economic crisis.
Just four months ago the Canadian company saw its shares valued at an impressive $148 apiece while this morning they had hit a mere $60 as a result of general stock chaos and fears that the credit crunch will see companies cut back on their employee-wide handset initiatives. So guess who is sniffing around…
Yep, Microsoft is in there digging and according to Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek “RIM is a massive strategic fit” for the software giant and he confirmed “I’m fairly certain they have a standing offer to buy them at $50 (a share).”
This offer would value RIM at approximately $28 billion and such a price would keep RIM safe for now. That said, given the widespread panic around the stock market, the company may need to pray the recent monolithic bank bailout packages mooted around the globe will have an immediate effect.
Billions would also no doubt be thrown at RIM co-owners Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis who would surely otherwise resist such a move but, as is always the case, panicky shareholder pressure could prove decisive.
So why does it scare me – apart from the idea of WM on a BlackBerry? It is because I was speaking with Microsoft Windows Mobile Product Manager David Weeks on Tuesday and I said to him in confidence: “It’s simple. If I were you, I’d just buy RIM. Like TOMORROW.”