Larry Ellison acknowledged recently that Oracle considered buying RIM
One of the interesting tidbits to emerge from testimony during Oracle panent infringment trial against Google is that Oracle had considered producing its own smartphone and buying either RIM or Palm. The testimony came from Oracle chief Larry Ellison, who was a close personal friend of Steve Jobs. Ellison is, in fact, quoted as describing their relationship as “best friends” in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs.
The news raises some interesting questions – not the least of which are whether Jobs knew of the plan and what impact Oracle jumping into the smartphone game against the iPhone might have had on their friendship. Jobs was obsessed with the idea that Google and its former CEO Eric Schmidt (also a former Apple board member) had ripped off Apple’s iOS design work in creating Android.
With Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone, Microsoft seems to be copying Apple strategies
Yesterday, Microsoft announced its Windows 8 product lineup. The lineup includes just three editions as opposed to Windows 7 and Vista, which offered twice as many options though some were targeted at developing and niche markets. In addition to streamlining the overall offerings, Microsoft also drew a sharper line between Windows 8 for desktop, notebook, and tablet PCs with x86/64 processors and Windows for ARM-based tablets.
If the dividing line between a full-fledged version of Windows and a version designed for low cost tablets seems vaguely familiar to you, it’s because the strategy is pretty similar to the distinction between Apple’s OS X for Macs and iOS for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.
In fact, the entire desktop and mobile lineup that Microsoft is developing seems to borrow pretty heavily from Apple’s playbook.
Is RIM's relationship with the U.S. government really as strong as the company says? Probably not.
2012 hasn’t been shaping up to be a good year for RIM. The company has already lost some major enterprise customers, developers have publicly announced they’re shuttering BlackBerry support, and the new iPad sales beat the total number of BlackBerry PlayBook shipments three times over in one weekend.
The one bright moment, if you can call it that, came during the company’s recent quarterly financials call when RIM’s newly minted CEO Thorsten Heins told investors that his first action on the job was to seriously evaluate RIM’s business. After months of delusional pep talks, his very sober assessment was like a burst of lucid thinking. Unfortunately, the company’s executives seem to be covering that lucid moment with more of the delusional spin that’s become typical of RIM
The latest bout of RIM denying its situation involve comments by executives on the state of the BlackBerry in government.
RIM expands BlackBerry Mobile Fusion to support iOS and Android management
RIM has launched iOS and Android support in its BlackBerry Mobile Fusion mobile device management (MDM) software. The new feature known as Universal Device Service follows February’s initial launch of BlackBerry Mobile Fusion. The initial launch primarily provided the ability to manage RIM’s PlayBook tablet. The launch of the iOS and Android components of the software have been expected for quite some time.
The release is likely to be welcome news to companies and IT departments that are established customers of RIM products. Beyond those customers, however, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion simply joins a long list of existing MDM services that support iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Even RIM’s own BlackBerry OS.
RIM's new CEO finally acknowledges the company's dire position
After months of denying and downplaying its problems, RIM seems to finally be waking up from its delusional fantasy world and accepting that it’s in extremely dire straights. That was the big take away from the company’s quarterly financial call Thursday evening.
The call was the first headed by the company’s new CEO Thorsten Heins, who took over earlier this year after the resignation of co-CEOS Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. Heins made it clear that he understands the challenges facing RIM (as well as the delusional thinking that created many of them) and that he cannot guarantee the company’s success as it struggles realign itself to the current mobile market.
RIM needs iOS developers for unspecified "advanced" iOS management options
Yesterday’s news that RIM is looking to hire iOS developers with the intention of creating iOS apps unleashed a lot of speculation about what the BlackBerry manufacturer might be planning to release for iPhones and iPads. After initially being tight-lipped and refusing to comment on the job posting, RIM’s PR team revealed that its iOS app development plans center around its BlackBerry Fusion product.
BlackBerry Fusion is RIM’s new mobile device device management solution. The product, which RIM launched earlier this year along with the first major update to its PlayBook tablet’s OS, can manage BlackBerry and PlayBook devices. RIM plans to and support for managing iOS and Android devices as well.
RIM’s statement was pretty vague beyond confirming that it’s new management solution will be the focus of this position, leaving room for speculation as to what additional features an on-device app will enable under RIM’s new management console.
RIM's next new hire may very well be an iOS app creator
RIM has making some interesting choices regarding its future over the past year. The company launched its PlayBook tablet with what was really a beta release of the OS. It expanded its device management platform to include support for managing iOS and Android devices (though many saw that move as too little openness too late in the game). And it introduced support for Android apps in last month’s PlayBook OS update.
In another move that will leave observes scratching their heads, RIM is looking to hire iOS developers. Unlike RIM’s recruitment of Android developers, this doesn’t appear to be in any way aimed at porting existing apps to the PlayBook. The job posting, which lists RIM’s Bellevue, WA location, is for an internal Senior iOS developer that would be creating enterprise-focused iOS apps for the iPhone and iPad.
Apple has continually talked about the number of companies that have been testing or deploying iPads to its workers - and if you look around many workplaces today, you’re likely to see at least one or two iPads.
If you’re craving more than anecdotal evidence that the iPad is a serious business tool, however, a new ChangeWave study offers plenty of solid proof. The study shows that 84% of businesses looking to deploy tablets are planning to buy iPads within the next three months. That follows an earlier study that showed the iPad commands 96% of the business tablet market.
RIM, which is not showing much in the way of new products or technologies at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, sought to dispel the idea that its failures over the past year had created tensions between the itself and BlackBerry developers.
The words, meant to be reassuring to developers and users, had a rather hollow ring to them considering that the company has seen major mobile developers retreating from its existing OS and its new platforms based around QNX. The move comes as RIM is seeking to court developers for its PlayBook tablet and future BlackBerry 10 devices. It also comes following the loss of several high profile enterprise BlackBerry customers, something that is sure to be on the minds of mobile developers when choosing platforms to support.
Let’s face it, RIM has been suffering from a serious personality conflict. The company is trying to cling to its enterprise business while also making its brand more attractive as a consumer alternative to iOS and Android.
Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the company’s PlayBook tablet. RIM initially pitched the PlayBook as being all about consuming content like movies and other media. At the same time, RIM was also trying to sell it as a business device when paired with a BlackBerry even though it lacked core enterprise apps (including email) that could run on the device when it wasn’t tethered to a BlackBerry – a fact that led to RIM hyping the PlayBook’s email app (introduced this week in PlayBook OS 2) as an exciting new feature.
RIM may be caught in this consumer/business identity struggle, but Netflix made it clear today that it doesn’t see RIM as a consumer company – or at least not as a viable one.