Blackberry Ceases Phone Manufacturing

The only thing that I’m wondering, is why it took so long…

BlackBerry logo

Over the past five years, I’ve been very bearish on Blackberry and RIM. I’ve covered this extensively when I was Managing Editor at BYTE, the reincarnation of BYTE Magazine. Here’s a quick sample:

I have also covered this topic somewhat on

  • There was no 3rd Party Developer support
  • No available apps
  • No software store
  • No eco system
  • No way to manage, play or obtain digital content

However, I don’t want to spend the next 300 or so words harping on or reiterating what I’ve been saying for the past four to five years. Instead, I want to talk about what Blackberry has to offer the market now:

A fire sale on used office furniture…

If Blackberry is no longer making phones, their mantra of, “the world wants our devices and services because they love our keyboards,” isn’t true. No one seems to care or give a hoot about their keyboards. If they did, then they would have flocked to those devices and the iPhone or the latest Android device wouldn’t be as popular as those devices are.

The truth is no one gives a rat’s patootie about a physical keyboard in 2016. It’s all about apps and a functioning ecosystem, and Blackberry doesn’t have one. So what do they have..??

Messaging services.

Messaging services… which are no longer driving the industry. Messaging services… which now have a number of non-proprietary alternatives which don’t cost an arm and a leg. Messaging services… which now don’t require dedicated hardware or a certified, dedicated IT resource to manage. Messaging services… which now have other encrypted alternatives like Apple’s iMessage or Facebook’s WhatsApp. Messaging services… which at last examination, still ran through a centralized hub in Toronto, and were subject to outages if the messaging network were compromised or was negatively impacted by some kind of hardware failure or internet service interruption.

So yeah… if some, part or all of the above is true, just WHAT does Blackberry have to offer the world..?? As I said – a fire sale on used office furniture.

In truth, Blackberry has very little to offer anyone at this point. Now that their hardware is gone, the only thing they have left is their messaging services and software products, and I have NO idea who would really be interested in those.

While thinking about that point, I immediately went to folks like a state government or the Federal Government; but they can make use of existing mail server platforms like Exchange for email and use, for example, WhatsApp, to send and receive secure messages (though I doubt that the FBI, CIA or NSA will actually USE WhatsApp…). Some may argue, that there isn’t even a need for secure messaging in Washington DC; but I digress… My point is there are cheap, affordable alternatives to Blackberry’s software offerings, on platforms with hardware people actually want to use.

Blackberry’s business plan options now are bleak. According to an article by Roger Cheng, of C|NET and published on MSN Money,

“Even BlackBerry’s final Hail Mary, its embrace of the Android operating system, was the brainchild of veteran phone executive Ron Louks. He assumed that wider access to Android apps, combined with its reputation for security, would turn some heads in the corporate world. It did not. The first Android-powered phone, the BlackBerry Priv, was a high-end premium device that landed with a thud… Louks left BlackBerry in May.

…[Blackberry’s CEO, John] Chen believes BlackBerry will live on, but focused solely on software.”

Software that no one is really going to want…

The world has moved on from Blackberry. Blackberry is a messaging dinosaur that had is day and was driven out to extinction by the meteor that is the both the iPhone and is every Android device…ever. The enterprise has moved on to messaging alternatives that more easily allowed IT mail administrators to manage any device that every Tom, Dick and Harry brought to the office via their company’s BYOD initiative.

The big problem here is that Blackberry is dead. The world – including me – has been predicting and foretelling the world of its demise over the past four to five years. It really seems as though John Chen is the ONLY person in the world that either didn’t get the news or completely ignored it.

It just seems a little silly, really.

If you have Blackberry stock, now is the time to dump it before the fire sale begins; because when that starts… it will already be too late. I don’t know what kind of real value Blackberry intellectual property really has right now, or whom would want to purchase it.

As of this writing, Blackberry’s stock (NASDAQ: BBRY) was at 8.29, down 0.04. Its high over the past year was 9.42, back near the beginning of 2016. It’s all time high was 138.87 near December of 2008. Looking at those graphs, the stock seems to be on life support at best.

The party is clearly over. It’s just the host that doesn’t seem to know…

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Blackberry is Dead

Blackberry has killed the Blackberry Classic

blackberryI’ve been decrying this the 2011-2012 timeframe, I think. Honestly, I’m really very surprised the company has held out as long as it has, but based on what’s just happened, the company is over and it needs to hang up its mobile devices (read; cleats).

In recent news, Blackberry has discontinued its Blackberry classic – the last current handset in the world running Blackberry OS. Instead, the firm has decided on the following strategy, according to their COO and GM for mobile devices, Ralph Pini,

We are committed to the success of both BlackBerry 10 and Android devices. To keep innovating and advancing…we are updating our smartphone lineup with state of the art devices… The Classic has long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone… We are ready for this change so we can give our customers something better — entrenched in our legacy in security and pedigree in making the most productive smartphones.

What this translates to is that Blackberry is releasing one Android phone every quarter, for the next three quarters.

  • Q3-2016: Neon
    This budget based phone should hit the streets in July-August 2016
  • Q4-2016: Argon
    This mid-range phone should be available in October 2016
  • Q1-2017: Mercury
    This upper mid-range phone should be available at the start of 2017 and is rumored to have a physical keyboard

While Blackberry – SAYS – it’s still committed to the success of both Blackberry 10 and Android devices, its immediate strategy doesn’t appear to include any native phones. In other words, I wouldn’t expect any, any time soon. This really makes Blackberry nothing more than yet another mediocre Android phone OEM, and with the devices they show above… I don’t expect them to do very well in the coming three quarters, regardless of price. Mid-range to low end Android devices don’t a lot of business in the enterprise. Those folks want flagship class phones. The market that does want affordable Android devices – emerging and “third world” markets – don’t want enterprise messaging services.

Back in the day, RIM – now called Blackberry – ruled the roost as the mobile device king, fighting off both Microsoft and Palm. Now, 12 – 14 years after their hay day, they’re just another company hanging on, trying to find a way to stay alive and remain relevant while continuing to rely on to IP and paradigms that just don’t resonate with today’s markets.

Are you or your company still using Blackberries? If not now, and you did previously, when did you stop? Do you feel that Blackberry has a chance at continued survival, or are they in an unstoppable death spiral? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Why don’t you meet me in the Discussion area below, and give me your thoughts?

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2014 Predictions Scorecard

I made some predictions back in early January 2014. Let’s see how well I did…

Predictions

The end of any year always has us taking a quick look back to see where we’ve been to help us figure out where and how far we want to look ahead. 2014 was no different; and in fact, after I assess my awesome skills of prior, predictive, prestidigitation, I plan to make additional predictions for the new year. Stay tuned to Soft32 for my technology predictions for 2015.

So, I found my predictions for 2014… and again, you have to understand that many of these are nothing more than a SWAG – a silly, wild, <beep!> guess. Technology is like water – it flows where it wants, and predicting just where and what gets wet is more of an art than a science. You’ll need to have a couple different browser windows open for this, for everything to make sense. To get the best idea of how I did, you might want to have this column in one window, and last year’s predictions open in another.

I’m going to run down how I did on a scale of 1-5, 1 being low, 5 being high. The best score I can get is 20, as I only made four predictions for 2014. Let’s take a quick look at how I did.

1.   Wearable Computing Still Doesn’t Take Off

Yep. This WAS an easy one; and I’m going to give myself 5 points here. While the Pebble Steel finally did make its appearance in 2014, it was 3-4 months behind schedule; and while it may be timeless, I’m certain many will agree that it didn’t hang the moon. The Apple Watch won’t be released until sometime in 2015; and with a $350 entry point, I’m not certain how many people will jump at the opportunity to own one. Other smartwatches like the Galaxy Gear and the Galaxy Gear S, again while nice, are also expensive and a bit too restrictive – you have to have a specific kind of Galaxy S smartphone for these to work. The Moto 360 also hasn’t sold well. Most everyone , I think, will agree that wearables are still, unfortunately, confusing.

2.  Blackberry Totally Folds – Sells off its Assets

Ok, I blew this one and take no points at all for it. Blackberry did fade, but didn’t fold. I haven’t heard or seen anything on it in the news in quite a while, and that may be their plan for right now – lay low. Regroup. Come back with a better strategy. I still think they should be looking for a buyer. Microsoft might be a good home for them; but I’ve also been saying that for a while, too.

3.  Apple and Samsung Still Can’t Get it Together

This is the love-hate relationship that everyone hates to love and loves to hate. These two still haven’t gotten it together, but tensions have at least cooled if not quieted down some. The trial isn’t over, the appeal is still up in the air; and while they may be resigned to working together, given the opportunity I think that there’d still be blood on the playground if left to their own devices. I’m going to take 4 points here, as I think I was really close, but not quite dead on.

4.  Microsoft’s Next CEO is

I had a bit more than half of this right. I had it down to either Allan Mulallay or Satya Nadella. I’m going to take 3 points here, as I couldn’t quite dope it all out, though I did pick Nadella as a finalist for the right reasons.

My final score is 12/20 or 60%. It’s not a great score… but it’s not a bad score either. The Blackberry thing totally did me in. Instead of dying, they kinda faded into the background. We’ll have to see where CEO Jon Chen takes them in the future. I still think the best thing for him to do is look for a buyer, and to look to Microsoft for that purchase. That might be a huge pill for Blackberry to swallow, however, as Microsoft and their Exchange ActiveSync has always been a huge competitor for Blackberry, and selling to a competitor may be seen as admitting defeat… I don’t know; but Microsoft’s money is just as green as everyone else’s.

Did you make any predictions for 2014? If so, how did you do? Did you bet on the wearables market taking off; or were you in a wait and see mode? Did you think Satya Nadella would be named Microsoft’s third CEO, or did you pick another candidate to take the helm? Did you think that Apple would not only release a larger iPhone, but release a complete phablet as well in the iPhone 6 Plus? There was a bit to choose from, and not everything came to light near the end of 2013 in time to actually make a prediction for the entire year.

How did you do on your predictions though? Were you close? Were you totally off; or were you dead on? I’d love to hear how you did with your 2014 predictions. Why don’t you meet me in the discussion area below and tell me how you fared?

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BB10 Gives Enterprise Customers a Sour Taste in their Mouths

BB CEO, John Chen admits that BB10 and the Blackberry Z10 left enterprise customers feeling confused

Having a mobile OS that’s intuitive is key to keeping your users engaged. Its key to attracting more users. In short, its key to continued success, in what has become the hottest computing market this side of anywhere in the known universe. Mobile computing… it’s what buys dinner.

Unfortunately, for RIM/Blackberry, despite their best efforts over the past six years or so, their distraction with the consumer market, BYOD and CoIT has damaged them in the eyes of their enterprise customers. According to Chen, previous BB CEO Thorsten Heins’ focus on the consumer market damaged the organization’s reputation.

BB10

“It is not about us leaving the enterprise customers before my time, but I think it is about us spreading ourselves a little too thin,” he said. “We spread ourselves too thin and we were so preoccupied with launching that phone [the Z10] in that market, that we have done some damage, in my mind, to our enterprise focus. That is not going to be any more. That has been done.”

Chen also called BB10, “very good, but too complex for the user.”

I’m not too certain how to take that. I mean, I agree; but how do you recover from that? What do you do? In Blackberry’s case, they are going to focus on their strengths – the enterprise. BES 12 was announced at Mobile World Congress this past week, and should be released before the end of calendar 2014. BES 12 will support all popular mobile OS – iOS, Android, and now, Windows Phone, besides its own OS. Users of rival mobile enterprise servers will be able to trade in their licenses and get the remaining time on that license on BES 12 for a free. Current users can upgrade to BES 12 for free, too. An enterprise version of BBM, Blackberry’s messaging platform, will also be available, “before the summer.”

From a device perspective, Blackberry is staying in the hardware business. Its latest handset, the QWERTY enabled Q20, is said to contain the best classic features most loved by its veteran users. It’s also due for release before the end of calendar 2014.

I’ve been a Blackberry watcher for quite some time, as RIM was THE name in mobile enterprise messaging for a long time before smartphones really became smartphones, leaving the PDA days behind them. They were rugged, high quality devices that allowed mobile employees and busy executives to stay in touch with the office and their teams while traveling or away from their desks. Their Push notification system became the defacto standard that everyone wanted and need to copy in order to be competitive not only in the enterprise space, but in the consumer space as well. The notifications you get on your smartphone of choice today can be traced in some way back to Blackberry’s push notification system.

For me, they are the company you love to hate. I never liked their devices. They were always a bit too rugged, clunky, and just plain ugly for me. Early versions of the device OS was too text-based for me when consumer-based devices like the Treo or any Windows Mobile device had a bright, colorful and inviting GUI. Described to me as an olive-drab army Jeep that just got the job done, Blackberries were the device that nearly every Exchange admin loved to work with; and I just couldn’t stand.

Looking at the information here, I can see a structured, concentrated effort to turn the company back down the road of core competency. This is an excellent strategy; but I’m a bit skeptical. I am wondering after so long, if Chen can turn Blackberry around and get it to be [somewhat] the enterprise darling it was back in the day.

The road back will be long and very tough, in my opinion. I do not see Blackberry making any money with native hardware. I think that ship has long sailed, and think that the Q20 and other devices will be nothing more than a money losing distraction. I think Blackberry would be much better off just concentrating on its enterprise software products. If it must be involved in the hardware business, it could partner with HTC or other hardware vendor and have them foot the bill for making and marketing the hardware. Blackberry has had such a hard time with the Storm, Storm 2, and its more recent Z10 and Q10 devices that it must just be a better idea to leave hardware to a trusted partner that has better experience with it.

My biggest concern with this particular tactic is obviously… partial failure. BES has always been a huge money maker for Blackberry and I think they should be fine there. The added support in their MDM for Windows Phone is going to make that offering much more attractive – BES will then support all the major mobile device operating systems and should offer support to everyone. That should bring a lot of comfort to current enterprise customers and may actually attract new ones.

However, I see Blackberry’s continued dalliance with handsets as a huge risk. Since 2007 – and the introduction of the iPhone – they have not been able to get it right. Their Storm and Storm 2 devices were abysmal, and BB10 was too confusing in an iPhone like body (with no physical keyboard) to attract and retain any customers. While they’re going to give it another go with the Q20, unless the world has some unforeseen epiphany when the device is released, BYOD and CoIT based enterprises aren’t going to bother much with it. I don’t see the Q20 making any kind of impact on the Blackberry world at all. I see it being yet ANOTHER money losing disappointment for an organization that is desperately trying to maintain its relevance in a world that left it behind long ago.

What do you think? Am I totally off my nut, or does this story have legs? Will BES 12 attract new customers? Will its free upgrade cost to existing enterprise users make them want to extend their service contracts? Will the Q20 be a money maker or a money loser? I’d love to have your thoughts in the discussion area below. Please give me your ideas and thoughts and lets hash it out a bit more…

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Predictions for 2014

Here are my tech predictions for the coming year…

predictionsGazing into a crystal ball isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially in the tech world.   So much can change so quickly, that guessing what may or may not happen is, at times, nothing more than a SWAG – a Silly Wild <BEEP!> Guess.   Figuring out what is and isn’t possible vs. what is or isn’t probable, I try not to get into. It simply doesn’t make for good journalism in many cases, because so much can and usually does change so quickly in the tech world. In most cases you either end up with a, “well THAT was way off,” a “close but not quite,” or “keep trying… you’ll get it eventually.”   If some journalists DO get things right, it’s usually not because they made the right level of analysis, it’s usually because they were fed or had access to inside information, or the guess was so totally obvious that most anyone who follows the news could have guessed it and been right.

Well, I’m going to try to hit on all of those and I’m going to give it a go anyway. I figure that I haven’t got anything to lose. As I said, I’m either going to be way off, or I’m going to hit the no brainers.   Be that as it may, here are my tech predictions for 2014 in no particular order.

1.    Wearable Computing Still Doesn’t Take Off
This is really an easy one. The Samsung Galaxy Watch isn’t selling well. Having a wearable that does nothing more than pair with your phone and mimic some of its functionality when the device is in range of its Bluetooth 4.x radio hasn’t been received very well. In fact, the watch isn’t selling well at all.   Samsung may have gotten to market first on this, but despite being heavily anticipated, the watch hasn’t delivered much to its users except a high price tag.

Apple has hung back on this, and hasn’t released its highly anticipated wearable, popularity thought to be called the iWatch.   If it does nothing more than what Samsung’s wearable does, you can pretty much expect it to be a dud too.   I think this, more than anything else is why you haven’t seen Apple release this device yet.   If you remember, Apple released the iPhone in 2007, after it had been rumored to be in development for at least 4 years.   At the time, Steve Jobs KNEW that he had one shot at this. If he didn’t get it right, then the iPhone would have been an iDud, and the tech world would be very different today, indeed.   I think Apple is doing the same thing with the iWatch.

The iWatch needs to be innovative. It needs to be elegant. Most importantly, it needs to be affordable.   Having an additional $300-$500 iDevice accessory added on to your already expensive iDevice isn’t going to do your checking account any favors. Not only will it need to do everything that the Samsung Galaxy Watch does, but it will have to do much, much more.   While it might be nice to have fitness, activity and sleep monitoring built into it, it’s going to have to do much more than that as well. It may be that figuring out exactly WHAT else it needs to do is the key holdup in the device’s release – no one really knows exactly what else it SHOULD DO, especially since the Samsung product hit the market with a clear and solid thud.

It’s for this reason that I don’t think wearables take off in 2014.   In fact, it may be the end of the concept as well.   If Apple can’t figure this one out, then the whole device concept may just fade and –uh hem… – wear itself out.

2.    Blackberry Totally Folds – Sells off its Assets
I’ve been pretty bearish on Blackberry, formerly RIM, for quite a while.   I had a good feeling that the one serious buyout offer it had wouldn’t fly, and that its (former) CEO, Thorsten Heins, would end up on the outside looking in.   Like most of what its known for, the actions that the company took were too little, too late to garner any serious buyout candidates.   Blackberry’s new CEO, John Chen really has one chance to get it right, and if he’s on top of things, then he will act on the TRUE best interests of the company and forget the restructuring and rebuilding of the business and just sell the company’s assets off to the highest bidder(s) he can find.

The organization’s time is over; and while farming out the manufacturing of their handsets to FoxConn may have been a good idea, like the rest of what the company has done, it is also a development that is very late in coming to reality. If John Chen is smart, he’ll realize the company is too far gone to breathe serious life back into and will just sell off what he can to retrieve shareholder value back before the company has to declare bankruptcy and then its assets are worth just a fraction of their worth.   The biggest problem the company has is that it can’t afford another loss like its last quarter.   It doesn’t have another $4.0B to lose.

3.    Apple & Samsung Still Can’t Get it Together
I’ve seen a number of articles that point to the fact that Samsung and Apple are headed back to the arbitration table in 2014 before their trial is set to restart in 2015.   The two organizations don’t have a track record for cooperation or doing things on the cheap. Given this, and the fact that Samsung is totally on the hook for a HUGE wad of cash, I don’t think they’re going to agree to disagree, let alone agree on an appropriate settlement between them. Given all this, I think it’s a decent bet that Apple and Samsung will drag out negotiations up until the trial date and then put the bulk of the matter back in Judge Lucy Koh’s lap…and she’s prolly gonna have a cow.

To put it bluntly, this is going to extend well into 2015, and then it still won’t end well for Samsung. They’re going to have to come up with a great deal of cash to resolve the issue; and they aren’t going to be happy about that.   With extra scrutiny on them and their design processes, I think that many new devices that come out of Samsung will be viewed as Apple iPhone copies for many, many years. I also think they will likely have trouble coming up with new, innovative designs, as they haven’t really done anything original since just before the release of the iPhone in 2007.

4.    Microsoft’s Next CEO is…
Satchin Mulally.   I mean Alan Nadella.   Yeah… this one isn’t any easy call.

However, I believe it’s going to come down to one of these two candidates. Nadella has the history and familiarity with Microsoft and its products; and probably has enough juice within the organization and familiarity with the Board to get the level of support he would need to be successful. He also has YEARS of tech experience. The one thing he doesn’t have – experience turning a large company around…

Which Mulally has…   Ford was in an awful mess.   It took a lot not only to turn public opinion of the brand around, but a lot to get the company back on track.   Windows in and of itself isn’t a bad brand. Neither is Microsoft, for that matter.   They’ve got brand management issues to be sure, but with the right CEO, I still think Microsoft can turn it all around.   That’s what Mulally can do for the company.   Not only do I think he’s up to the challenge, I think it would be interesting for him to take on the role and see what he could do with it.   If he could do the same thing for Microsoft that he did with Ford, then the remainder of his career would be set. He could go where he wants or stay at MS and retire a very happy, VERY rich man.

Unfortunately for Mulally, he has absolutely NO tech experience what so ever, and would have to rely on his executive staff to provide him with the support he would need to drive the company.   This could also be a good move for Nadella, as his level of autonomy could grow and he could basically have his way with his divisions, providing ample evidence that he can run the entire organization once Mulally does decide to retire, marking him as the heir apparent. For Nadella, this could be a win-win.

What do you think will happen with these four issues?   Am I off my nut, or did I hit some of these on the head, or merely come close? Do you have any other predictions that you think might or might not come true? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the discussion below.   Why not join us there and give us your thoughts on these and other tech predictions for 2014?

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Fairfax Deal Falls Through – Blackberry on the Skids?

Sometimes I really hate it when I’m right…

The clock has been ticking for Blackberry for quite some time, and today, the alarm went off. You know, I really feel bad. I really do. I hate it when I’m right, but some things really just can’t be helped.

I’ve been down on RIM/Blackberry for quite some time. I’ve been calling for them to see the writing on the wall since late 2011. Its seems now, they actually do know “for whom the bell tolls.” This time, it tolls for Thorsten Heins as Blackberry ousts not only him, but many of its senior directors as well in a last ditch effort to salvage some value out of the organization before it’s too late.

The buy-out by Fairfax Financial isn’t going to take place, and that’s really too bad. It was, in my opinion, Blackberry’s last, real chance to maintain any of its identity. Instead of the buyout, which would have been a nearly $5.0B deal, Fairfax is going to try to raise about $1.0B by selling convertible notes in a bid to stabilize the organizations shrinking operating capital. Recently, the company reported a quarterly loss of about $1.0B and burned through an additional $500M in cash.

Sybase’s former chairman and chief executive of its enterprise technology firm, John Chen, will take over as CEO and as chairman of its board. Fairfax’s CEO, Prem Watsa will act as lead director and the chair of Blackberry’s compensation committee. There are specific, unspecified conditions that must also be met for the deal to close, which also includes approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Trading of Blackberry shares was briefly halted, prior to the Nasdaq actually opening, as they lost nearly 21% in premarket trading. As of 2 PM EST, BBRY shares were still down 1.28 to 6.49.

wake up blackberry

After the operating capital is secured, I’m not certain what Blackberry’s Plan B moves are. However, if they’re smart, those moves should include finding some kind of buyer for their IP before it becomes completely irrelevant. Blackberry’s security technology is great for mobile email, but many of its current customers are moving to other solutions as they weren’t able to make their latest OS gain any traction with the consumer market and have only had mild success in the enterprise market. Divesting the organization’s assets seems the only real alternative for them to get any return on their investor’s money… before the world completely moves on.

 

I’ll be following this in the coming days and weeks to see if and what John Chen decides to do with the organization. Please watch Soft32.com for updates.

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Microsoft needs a new CEO and Blackberry is for sale…

So, is Apple happy-happy-joy-joy? Not sure yet, but they might now get a small leap forward…

Business Leaders Gather In Detroit For The National Business SummitBallmer’s closing speech was a bit emotional, exiting the stage on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, Time of my life. That’s how he would describe it’s time spent as CEO at Microsoft. And of course, he added that this song best describes his experience there and the promising future of the company.

Well, about the future.  It’s a thing that I have to admit, made me curious. It’s well known that Microsoft, and Blackberry are fairly well behind Apple and Samsung, and that, I think might be caused by the need of humans to get mobile with most, or quite with all of their devices. What they have forgotten about, is human nature. The human nature is always oriented to follow the easy path and the eye-candy is just not enough sometimes. We will choose, at a moment, the things we can afford, and of course those things that will make our lives easier. That’s why most of us have in their pockets or in their bags a device that is replacing many, many old devices, into a single device.

I’m guessing that Microsoft thought that what they’ve build will last forever, because where there’s a computer, there must be a Windows. And that was so…once upon a time. Let’s face it, Windows 8 and the Surface tablets didn’t caught the public’s attention. First of all, may be the price, but also the new UI in Windows 8. So, there it goes.

About Blackberry, as you can read here, it’s for sale, and it seems that they already have a buyer. I really hope that they will change the strategy. Holding on an OS that is quite obsolete, doesn’t seem to be a good plan. I know, they were focused on the business department, but that department embraced for already a long time ago the iOS and Android platforms. Simply because the human nature wanted to have easier ways to complete the daily tasks….on the bus.

GBU

In my opinion, the same happened with Nokia… They hold on very much on their Symbian OS, until it was almost too late.

I can’t wait to see who will be the next Microsoft’s CEO, and what company will invest their money to save Blackberry. And of course, we all can’t wait to spend our money on their new high-tech devices in the future.  And a good step, besides eye-candy design, cool features and hardware, it would be to develop many applications for their OS, no matter what OS they choose.  An OS without many applications and games is simply…boring. Let’s hope we’ll see all the Blackberry devices with Android, and Windows devices with a decent OS, where you can install anything you would have in your Windows Desktop PC, at a good price! Let us be…human.

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Developing – Canadian Investment Firm Offers to Purchase Blackberry

The consortium has offered $4.7B dollars for the once dominant smartphone manufacturer

blackberry_logoTo be honest with everyone, this one took me by surprise. If you didn’t know Blackberry was looking for a buyer, you were likely living under a rock. I thought this might come eventually, but not as quickly as it did.

This story is developing, so you should watch Soft32 for updates to this over the next few days. I’ll try to have something on this as developments occur. In short, though, a consortium, led by Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings, has offered $4.7B in cash for the once dominant smartphone manufacturer. The deal is supported by Blackberry’s Board of Directors. (honestly, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t).

Fairfax is said to currently own 10% of Blackberry now. Their all cash offer would acquire the remaining 90% of outstanding shares at $9 per share. When the offer was announced, BBRY was trading at about 8.25. The company’s stock closed at 8.76, after peaking at 9.01.

The deal, outlined in a letter of intent, gives Fairfax and Blackberry until 2013-11-04 to complete Due Diligence. During this time, Blackberry can continue to shop the company for a better offer.

Blackberry has decided to abandon their pursuit of the consumer market and will instead concentrate on the enterprise. However, this won’t save the currently 4500 employees worldwide that are currently targeted in a downsizing. In foregoing the consumer market and concentrating on the enterprise, its thought that Blackberry can retain what value it currently has, despite its $1B charge against unsold Z10 smartphones and a drop to number 4, behind Windows Phone, in the smartphone market.

We’ll have to wait and see.

This story is currently developing and I’ll have more on this as the facts come to light. I’ll also have some personal insight after I have a chance to digest all of the facts. As it stands, there’s a lot going on here, and the entire tale has yet to be told.

Stay tuned to Soft32 for more.

I have a concern about this, as it seems like a little too late to make much of a difference…

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