Microsoft looking at buying Nokia, RIM, or even Palm?

Fiji Water Company“The new Windows phone software is a big improvement on its predecessor but may not be enough to reverse market share losses, and Microsoft Corp may have to eventually buy a Nokia or BlackBerry maker RIM to get back into the game,” Bill Rigby reports for Reuters.

“Microsoft, used to a near monopoly in the PC market even though it doesn’t make any hardware, has found the same rules do not apply in phones. Its Windows software has not been able to deliver the same consistency of performance across a range of different phones,” Rigby reports. “‘It’s something I know they’ve talked about — buying Research in Motion or even Nokia,’ Toan Tran, an analyst at Morningstar, said of Microsoft. ‘To really compete in this business, Microsoft needs to get into the hardware business, where they are able to control the entire user experience. Apple has shown that’s the model that works. In a consumer device, people just want something that works, they don’t want something as complicated as a PC.'”

MacDailyNews Take: They don’t want PCs, either. Slowly, inexorably that realization is dawning on people.

Rigby continues, “Wall Street has long speculated that Microsoft might make a play for RIM, Nokia or Palm Inc. But such talk is almost always accompanied by skepticism over whether Microsoft would want to get into the hardware business and compete with phones that already use its Windows software.”

“The company’s attempted $47.5 billion takeover of Yahoo in 2008 shows that it is not afraid of large deals, but Chief Executive Steve Ballmer this week poured cold water on the suggestion of a big acquisition in the mobile sector,” Rigby reports. “The word ‘ever’ is a big word, but I certainly don’t feel like that’s the right strategy for us today,'” Ballmer told Reuters at the launch of the new phone software in Barcelona.”

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, who’s surprised that “ever” is a big word for Ballmer T. Clown?

Rigby continues, “The latest smartphone market figures show Microsoft’s share fell to 8.8 percent last year from 13.9 percent the year before, according to tech research firm Canalys. In the same time, Apple’s share jumped to 15.1 percent from 9.6 percent.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We hereby endorse Microsoft buying not just Nokia, or RIM, or Palm, but all three. wink

Three is a much bigger number than one; three times more, as Mr. Ballmer, a business genius, surely knows. Therefore such a bold stroke would be Microsoft’s greatest achievement and cement Mr. Ballmer’s legacy forevermore! (We apologize in advance to Mr. Ballmer for using such a really, really big word; try breaking it down into parts.)

May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft CEO for as long as it takes!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brawndo Drinker” and “Carl H. for the heads up.]


  1. This is a hoot! When has M$ ever really pulled off the hardware/software combination in any remotely successful way? Zune? XBox? OK, maybe keyboards and mice but those are simple basic hardware things that don’t really require the whole software enchilada!


  2. It’s very likely out of the three Nokia is the better option.

    1.RIM : the share holders will be up in arms. They prefer RIM’s OS over Windows mobile 7. And plus, Microsoft needs to showcase to the world WM7… very unlikely going to RIM.
    2. Palm: would devalue the stock of Microsoft. Plus, the No. of infringements in patents means it’ll attract more attention then not from vultures.

    Nokia, unfortunately is currently the more expensive option. However their market share is dwindling, they have a crap Symbian OS which has gone no where. Nokia can manufacture phones easily and have a design team that can produce plastic toys in no-time.

    Nokia is better… however, Microsoft just needs to wait until Nokia share price plumets before scooping them up. September 2010, I would say…

  3. The Canadian government may be reluctant to let foreigners buy one of Canada’s tech crown jewels. (yeah, I know, such as it is.)

    Likewise the Finns with Nokia.

    Buying a Palm, a US company, should present no problems. There are probably no anti-trust issues, as MS currently doesn’t do phones.

  4. I find it really amazing to read the words “consistency of performance” and “Windows” in a positive context within one sentence. That almost made me stop to read on.

  5. One, I’m not sure the EU would allow MSFT to commit harikari by buying Nokia.

    Two, a MSFT spokesman in the Summer of 2008, said they wanted to grow their WinMo marketshare from 20% to 40% by 2010. I wonder what they talk about when the WinMo division does their annual presentation on how they’re doing for Ballmer. How do they explain not meeting their target of 40%?

    Three, if MSFT got into phone hardware, what partners would they be competing with? Samsung has said they plan to drop their WinMo phones from 90% last year to 20% in two years. HTC is shipping tons of Android phones now. Motorola is lowering their WInMo phones. Who exactly does MSFT need to worry about offending?

  6. Microsoft buying any of those companies would be like going to a family reunion to pick up girls. I mean, nothing good can come out of any of those options. Combining MS DNA with any of those options would truly result in some seriously frightening spawn.

  7. @ cptnkirk,

    Well, keyboards and mice are probably the best of any MS-branded hardware. And branded they are, made by Logitech, who actually knows something about hardware ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    If you can’t innovate, then immitate.

    If you can’t immitate, then steal ideas & bancrupt competition in court.

    If all else fails, buy the competition with all of that illegal monopoly money & spend billions in PR claiming your great innovation acheivements!

    MS = epic losers.

  9. Microsoft buying any handset maker just means there will be one less smart phone competitor for Apple.

    If Microsoft brings out its own branded phone, they will just have someone else design and build the hardware, just like Google.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.