One of the best ways for Microsoft to jump-start its lagging mobile business is to buy struggling BlackBerry. Why buy a mobile company quickly going south? There are plenty of reasons — here are the top six why Microsoft should pay up and take over BlackBerry.
Reason 1: Microsoft’s enterprise focus
Microsoft’s core business is in the enterprise — Windows, Office, servers and tools, Exchange, and more. BlackBerry’s core business is in the enterprise as well. But Microsoft has been hurt by the BYOD movement, because it allows iOS and Android devices to make their way into enterprises. BlackBerry is valued by enterprises for its secure networks and servers. The New York Times reports that “In its most recent quarterly report, BlackBerry reported having roughly 72 million users worldwide, most of whom were still generating monthly services fees by sending data over the company’s special closed network.” There’s clearly great synergy here for Microsoft.
Reason 2: increase market share
The latest figures from IDC show Windows Phone with a 3.7% worldwide market share, up from 3.1% a year ago. BlackBerry has 2.9% market share. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a 6.6% market share. Given that it took Windows Phone a year to grow by only .6%, this would be a big increase. Over time, Microsoft would switch users from the BlackBerry to the Windows Phone platform, and grow Windows Phone that way, especially in enterprises.
Reason 3: hardware engineers
Steve Ballmer’s vision for Microsoft is to turn it into a devices-and-services company. Microsoft has not primarily been a hardware company up until now, and so it is not rich in hardware engineers. It takes a long time to recruit and hire them. Buying BlackBerry would immediately bring to Microsoft a sizable core of experienced mobile engineers and designers, who could work not just on smartphones but on other Microsoft devices.
Reason 4: increase intellectual property
The Times notes that “Analysts generally suggested that BlackBerry’s most attractive asset is its intellectual property, including some of its software and its various cellphone patents.” In today’s litigious tech world, patents can be used to harm competitors and get very serious licensing revenue from them. Microsoft uses its patent to extract licensing fees from many Android device makers. It’s not clear that BlackBerry has any patents that could be used in this way. But it’s certainly possible, and growing your patent war chest is always a good thing.
Reason 5: Smartcar strategy
One massive mobile market is currently up for grabs: Automobiles. There’s no doubt that all cars will soon become rolling networks and smart devices. No one dominates that market yet. Buying BlackBerry would give Microsoft a headstart on owning it. BlackBerry owns QNX Software Systems, which built the operating system that powers the BlackBerry 10. More important, though, is that the same operating system is being used by GE, Cisco, and notably General Motors. General Motors uses it for its OnStar service, as well as for its Audi and BMW lines.
The Times says that BlackBerry has plans to “use QNX’s automotive ties and its unique global data network to allow car companies to update vehicle software through wireless networks and to monitor vehicles’ mechanical state.” Microsoft could do that and go beyond it, looking to make Windows Phone or Windows the smartcar operating system.
Reason 6: cheapest cost
It’s clear that by itself, BlackBerry has no future. So the company can likely be bought at a bargain price, rather than at a premium. Microsoft is cash rich. It’s time to put that cash to good use, and BlackBerry would be a very good mobile investment at a reasonable cost.
- Six reasons Microsoft should buy BlackBerry (blogs.computerworld.com)
- Speed is the key: How Windows Phone jumped ahead of BlackBerry (zdnet.com)
- Report: BlackBerry Advisers Eyeing Microsoft (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Where Will BlackBerry’s American Tale End? (fool.com)
- BlackBerry’s biggest strength (news.yahoo.com)
- Verizon pushing Bing app to BlackBerry Storm (reviews.cnet.com)
- The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Should Microsoft buy Blackberry? (mayo615.com)
Canada ranks 13th in countries benchmarked
Despite the presence of companies such as BlackBerry, OpenText, Mitel Network, Sierra Wireless and newcomers such as Hootsuite, Canada received in 2013 an extremely poor grade when it comes to innovation.
Canada ranks second-to-last among its peers in venture capital investment and business R&D spending, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s ranking of innovation among the world’s leading economies. And the rest of the report card doesn’t get much better, as Canada ranks 13th in the 16-country How Canada Performs benchmarking.
Gaps remain in innovation investment
Daniel Muzyka, president and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada, said despite a decade or so of innovation agendas and prosperity reports, Canada remains near the bottom of the pack among its peers on innovation. Governments and other organizations, along with many individuals, have done their best, but gaps remain in innovation investment and activities that have created serious consequences for the economy and society.
More importantly, Canada may have reached a point where it impacts the wealth and opportunities for following generations. “It may seem counter-intuitive due to our low overall ranking, but Canada actually gets above-average grades on the quality of its scientific research and the creation of new businesses. But these signs of promise are not being turned into commercially viable products and services, and successful, globally competitive companies are not emerging from our creative ideas,” he said.
Switzerland, Sweden & United States: “A”
According to the rankings, Switzerland, Sweden and the United States earn overall “A” grades. Canada is weak at all three categories of the innovation process – creation, diffusion, and transformation — and performs poorly on most of the 21 indicators.
Indicators of 2013 benchmark
Canada is above the 16-country average on six indicators: top-cited papers, ease of entrepreneurship, government online services, new firm density, scientific articles, and aerospace exports. It is about average on public R&D spending.
Canada performs poorly on most of the 21 indicators in this year’s revamped Innovation report card. By grade, Canada gets 13 “D”s, two “C”s, six “B”s, and no “A”s.
Eleven new indicators were added this year:
- New firm density – “B”, 2nd of 15
- Ease of entrepreneurship index – “B”, 4th of 16
- Government online services index – “B”, 4th of 16
- Top-cited papers index – “B”, 5th of 10
- Public R&D spending – “B”, 8th of 16
- ICT investment – “D”, 8th of 15
- Connectivity – “D”, 14th of 16
- Patenting firms less than 5 years old – “D”, 13th of 15
- Patents index – “D”, 14th of 16
- Venture capital – “D”, 14th of 15
- Business R&D spending – “D”, 15th of 16
Canada gets a “D” grade on venture capital investment. The rate of venture capital investment in Canada amounts to less than half of that of the “A” performers – the United States, Sweden, and Switzerland. Canada needs a larger and more dynamic equity and venture capital industry that is ready to invest in and provide guidance to Canadian seed, start-up, and early-stage companies.
Tools & metrics to attract investors
The Conference Board report, Financing Innovation by Established Businesses in Canada, discusses the tools and metrics innovators need to use to attract investors. Canadian companies are also poor spenders on R&D —regardless of the business they’re in, the report found. Canada has been a “D” performer on business expenditures on research and development (BERD) since the 1980s, and spending in Canada fell from 1.29 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2001 cent to only 0.89 per cent in 2011.
The United States spends twice as much as Canada on BERD, and Canadian businesses spend only a third (as a percentage of GDP) of what businesses in Finland spend on R&D. Canadian business leaders must recognize that the cost and risk of not spending on research and innovation are outweighing the cost and risk of spending and innovating.
- Canada gets a poor grade in it innovation (computerdealernews.com)
- Canada at the back of the pack in innovation (business.financialpost.com)
- Canada’s venture capital landscape is still a long way from recovery, though rays of sunshine are visible (business.financialpost.com)
- Three ways to bridge Canada’s innovation gap (thestar.com)
TOP4 Internet Browsers on Laptops
For last 5 years, main evolutions are Internet Explorer (IE) position divided by 2 from 68% to 32%, Chrome started from nothing to the first position with 38%, low reduction from Firefox from 28% to 24% and low progress for Safari from 4% to 8%.
TOP3 browsers in 1st pos. by country
It is very interesting to see that the first Internet Browser is very different from a country to another. In USA, Canada, Australia, China and all south African countries, IE remains the TOP1 Internet Browser.
Chrome is the first Internet Browser in Central America and South of America, in all European countries expect Germany, Poland and Finland, in Russia and all old Russian satellites, in India, in Pakistan, in Morocco, in Egypt.
And finally, Firefox is in the first position in most of North and central African countries, in Germany, in Poland, in Finland, in Iran, in Indonesia & in Madagascar.
Future tendencies for the next 5 years?
Positions of browsers of mobile devices are probably the most important indicator for the tendency of browsers position for the next 5 years, if we take as valuable hypothesis that the future of computers are mobile devices.
Chrome is also at the first position (Android) with 30%. Opera has reduced from 28% to 15% in 5 years, Safari (iPhone) from 22% to 24% has slowly progressed.
Firefox & IE don’t have any position on mobile devices currently. But it could change in the next 5 years, with high progress of Windows Phone with Nokia, and the launch next summer 2013 of Firefox OS, the mobile OS of Firefox.
We have finally to notice important progress of UC Browser from 0% to 10%, a very fast Browser working with all mobile OS. Is it the future main browser for all mobile devices?
See more statistics
- http://gs.statcounter.com/ (statcounter.com)
- Safari boosts mobile browser market share, retains top spot (itproportal.com)
- Browser Trends April 2013: is Chrome Unstoppable? (sitepoint.com)
- Web browser war: The early 2013 report (zdnet.com)
- Internet Explorer mobile browser: Sleek, but weak? (reviews.cnet.com)
The previous photo shows the TOP5 SmartPhone on Feb 2013: Samsung Galaxy S3, Nokia Lumia, iPhone 5, Google Nexus 4 and Motorola Droid.
1 main winner if we compare Feb 2012 & Feb 2013: Android with Samsung phones over 50% everywhere.
In American countries, the progress of Windows is not significant. Black Berry OS and Symbian are not representing anythink in 2013. In Mexico, the progress of Android in incredible from 25,9 to 55,8 in one year.
In Europe, there is 2 main winners. Of course Android with Samsung phones over 70% in Germany! But also Windows with Nokia phones more that 5% everywhere and more than 6,5% in GB and Germany. In Italy Windows is over than 10% with 13,1%. Symbian is nothing in Europe now. RIM is over 5% in GB and Germany.
- Android continues to grow as iOS and BlackBerry shrink (androidcommunity.com)
- Android And Windows Phone Gain, BlackBerry Loses In Smartphone OS Share According To Kantar (techcrunch.com)
- New Quad Core Android Smartphone from China Challenges Leaders Supremacy (prweb.com)
- Windows Phone Increases US Market Share Ahead Of BlackBerry (techweekeurope.co.uk)