Are you shocked? OK, before you skip a heart-beat, it is better to clarify that this is NOT a confirmed news. It is just a rumor that is slowly building up and doing rounds in the international news.
Since 10 years Microsoft has been developing and innovating “WindowsMobile” as its predominant mobile operating system for smartphones and other mobiles but it has not gained enough popularity and market to live upto its reputation and brand name.
As of 2010, it commanded only 5% in the worldwide market share (against 18% of Blackberry OS and 43.5% of Nokia-Symbian OS). Hence the fact remains that it has not been able to catch-up in the race of mobile operating system platform.
With Microsoft’s latest OS “Windows Phone 7” launched just few weeks back, it has finally been able to impress many critics around the globe or at least that’s what Microsoft believes. If there is something that is missing for them in their goal to dominate the mobile market then it would be the “hardware” issue.
Microsoft might have to think about getting into the hardware foray (that is to manufacture/develop their own line of phones) to stay in the game and control the entire user experience because Blackberry develops its own phones, so does Nokia-Symbian and so does Apple.
Who could Microsoft buy out!
The best possible option that Microsoft has got : is to go for buy-out because starting from scratch would not only be tedious job but also would consume lot of their resources. Talking of buy-out there are two possible contenders :
I may have raised quite a few eyebrows by citing these two giants name because I know what you are thinking : whether Microsoft can afford to buy any of two companies ? No one can substantiate this answer but it is worth noting that as of quarter ending December 2010, Microsoft had a cash surplus and cash equivalent of $39.98 Billion, whereas RIM-Blackberry’s Market Cap was $32 Billion and Nokia’s Market Cap was around $42 Billion.
Advantages for Nokia and RIM
Though any open offer made by Microsoft to any of these companies would have to be at a considerable high premium but one cannot rule out the whole bold incident of “attempted Yahoo buy-out” by Microsoft @ $47.5 Billion.
Techcrunch’s article few days back states that Nokia on the other hand was considering moving its office from Finland to Silicon Valley, US. Does that add to our speculation?
As far as RIM is concerned even though its popularity it is way behind the well-liked apple and android backed phones but together, RIM and Microsoft may stand a chance.
To end I would say that Windows Phone 7 has been receiving good response but by the time it reaches pinnacle, Apple and Google might come up with something new, fancy and innovative as always.
Hence in nut-shell Microsoft is few years behind them and buying-out is the only option to propel its way to the top. Let us wait and watch whether this rumor becomes reality or Microsoft has something new in its kitty !