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All posts tagged "rim"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Reflection: RIM's Malaise A WP7 Opportunity?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 10:30 AM

"Here's the thing about BlackBerry users: We're people who, at least when it comes to our phones, appreciate function over form. We've stuck with our little, not terribly stylish bricks because they worked. They didn't drop calls at bad moments. The e-mail came in and was easy to access. The point was simplicity, lack of worry. It just worked. Can I really say that now?"

CNET's Jim Kerstetter has written an editorial suggesting his days of being a dedicated BlackBerry user might be over. If I read his editorial correctly, I think the reason can be summed up as: his perceived benefit of the BlackBerry platform has been pushed to the brink with yet another service outage, leaving the other platforms much more attractive than perhaps they were before.

I was a BlackBerry user for six years before switching about a year ago. I haven't looked back. I prefer the physical models of the other platforms, their user-interfaces and availability of apps. I am not aware of a service outage in the last year on my platform. I think I would have a hard time to go back to the BlackBerry platform. Are there others out there like me? I bet there are a lot.

So, is this an opportunity for Microsoft and Windows Phone 7? I think it is. For one reason, anyone who might have been teetering on the edge of switching from the BlackBerry platform (assuming they have control over that decision) might just have had that little nudge they needed. We have become so dependent on multiple forms of communication through our smartphones (e-mail, text/instant messaging, voice, video, broadcasting (tweeting)), that even an hour without service can be annoying. Another reason is that the timing might just be perfect - Microsoft's new Mango version of the WP7 operating system is hitting mainstream and garnering attention the platform needs. Combine that with the BlackBerry users' drifting eyes and there might just be an interesting intersection point being formed.

It could be an opportunistic period of time for Microsoft and WP7 in the lead up to the holiday season. Your opinion please: is this a realistic opportunity for Microsoft, or just a speed bump for RIM?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Are BlackBerry Users Really Going To Abandon Ship?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 09:00 AM

"Around a third say this week's outage will force them to look at alternative mobile services. Nearly 20% of BlackBerry users are in the process of moving away from the platform, while a further 34% believe they should consider switching to an alternative mobile platform following this week's massive service outage, a CBR survey has revealed."

It has been a tough week on both sides of the equation: BlackBerry users who rely on consistent, predictable service, and all those stakeholders involved with production and delivery of the BlackBerry service. This is not the first BlackBerry outage, but I'm not sure people are as forgiving this time as they were for previous outages. There are definitely many users enamored with the platform, and IT organizations dedicated to providing it for them, but the survey results from CBR will surely get the attention of a lot of stakeholders, including RIM. So, readers, will this be a potential windfall for Windows Phone 7?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Mobility Market Crystal Ball

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 06:00 PM

"In two years, we'll mark the thirtieth anniversary of the first commercially available cellphone -- built by Motorola, incidentally. Given this week's big news from Google, and other big events that we can only presume are yet to come, those two years may also prove to be some of the most interesting yet for the mobile industry."

If you read this site regularly then you likely enjoy tracking the mobility market and smartphone industry. In all of technology could there be more interesting and as fast changing sectors as these? We all tend to speculate these days on RIM's future, Google's moves, and Microsoft's challenges, not to mention the plethora of Android devices that are continually released. The folks over at Engadget must feel much the same. Donald Melanson posted an editorial today, citing statistics from such stalwarts as Gartner and Nielsen regarding the smartphone market. He speculates on what changes we might see in the future. What do you think of Microsoft buying HTC? What about HP getting out of the smartphone business? Where will Dell settle it's focus in the future? There are some juicy statistics and interesting ideas proposed in the editorial, not to mention in the comments from readers. It's a fun piece to peruse, and will stimulate debate for, well, at least another 24 hours or the next major market development, whichever comes first.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's Wrong With RIM

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Articles & Resources" @ 07:00 AM


"In my opinion, RIM's real problems center around two big issues: its market is saturating, and it seems to have lost the ability to create great products. This is a classic problem that eventually faces most successful computer platforms. The danger is not that RIM is about to collapse, but that it'll drift into in a situation where it can't afford the investments needed to succeed in the future. It's very easy for a company to accidentally cross that line, and very hard to get back across it. There's a lesson in RIM's situation for every tech company, so it's worthwhile to spend some time understanding what's happening."

Michael Mace is a smart guy; I've even had the pleasure of exchanging jabs with him right here in our forums back when he was the Chief Competitive Officer and VP of Product Planning at Palm. I've always respected him, and if RIM knows what's good for them, they'll spend a week slowly parsing his analysis of their future - then hire him to help them avoid it. There's some connection here to Windows Mobile as well; Microsoft saw the writing on the wall as Windows Mobile declined, and made the hard step to start over.

Short term, it alienates some of the customer base, and is missing key features, but long term, Windows Phone 7 is a platform that Microsoft can ride for many years to come. RIM hasn't learned that lesson yet; every Blackberry I see is, under the surface of the glossy menu, still a glorified pager. RIM does some things very well, but will that be enough to allow them to keep growing two years from now? I think the answer is probably not...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

RIM to Bid Farewell to Enterprise Dominance in the Face of Windows Phone 7?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 04:00 PM

"Last week I stated 'After Getting a Glimpse of the New Windows Phone 7 Functionality, RIMM is Looking More Like a Short Play'. I meant it, for the Windows Mobile offering looks to be quite compelling from a usability and capability perspective. This is an optimal time to be a smart phone consumer/user, for the competition in this field is red hot and the technology is available to make the competition into something that increases the productivity of the enterprise and consumer alike, not to mention transforming the entertainment and media landscapes, yet again."

It's never a good start to an article when the headline ("Windows Mobile 7 Spells The End Of The BlackBerry's Enterprise Dominance") doesn't even get the product name right - It's "Windows Phone 7." But, let's give author Reggie Middleton the benefit of the doubt. Microsoft has changed mobile brand names more than a few times over the past decade, and it can get confusing.

What I find a bit harder to believe, though, are some of his concepts; while it's true that Windows Phone 7 has some interesting advantages with SharePointe integration, and I believe still the best Exchange ActiveSync solution today, its unique user interface and highly consumer-centric approach don't really tend to lend themselves to the business world. And let's not forget that Microsoft has its own enterprise-specific slant on Windows Phone that will take shape over the next year. I also tend to think that the author discounts RIM's consumer appeal; I know people who I'd never guess would own a Blackberry, but because of aggressive wireless carrier advertising and discounts, bought one. Sometimes it's less about the phone and more about how it's promoted and positioned.

What do you think? Will Windows Phone 7 eat into RIM's market in the Enterprise?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ownership of Windows Phones Holding Steady

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone News" @ 05:00 PM

WM Experts is reporting that, according to a Nielson survey, ownership of Windows Phone is holding steady. Blackberry is leading with 35% of the smartphone market, Apple is in second place at 28%, and Windows Phone ownership is at 19%. Android, the platform with all the thunder right now, only has 9% of the market - but I'd say it has about 60% of the mindshare. Given the number of Android devices shipping though, I expect that 9% to climb and climb over the rest of this year. The question is, who will bleed market share? I remember hearing a Microsoft person say that they expected market share numbers to get worse before they got better leading up to the Windows Phone 7 launch - I think he was prognosticating about this very scenario.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Phone Shipments In Q1 2010 - Motorola Drops Off

Posted by Ed Hansberry in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 03:00 PM

The::Unwired recently reported on the latest marketshare numbers for phone manufacturers, and while not surprising, it does give pause. Motorola is no longer listed. It is just lumped in with "Other." Microsoft partner Samsung is ranked number 2, but they recently said they are focusing on Bada and Android, giving much less attention to Windows Mobile/Phone.

Keep in mind this list looks like phone shipments, not just smartphone shipments, so competing with Apple's iPhone or T-Mobile's HTC HD2 are the freebies from the likes of Nokia.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Windows Mobile Losing Market Share

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone News" @ 01:00 PM

"If our kindergarten skills haven't failed us, then this data shows iPhone usage surpassing the once mighty Windows Mobile OS for the very first time. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Google's Android OS is set to accelerate significantly by the time the February 2010 data rolls in as is WebOS just as soon as Palm can bring its fledgling OS to Verizon's subscriber base."

Well, it was on the cards and had to happen sooner or later - Windows Mobile is now third in terms of actual handsets in consumer hands in the US, with just 7.1 million units compared to Apple's 8.9 million and RIM's 14.9 million. I'll forbear to comment on the obvious implications for Microsoft. Read the original FierceDeveloper scoop here and the press release from comScore here (incidentally, comScore's actual tagline focused more on Android's gains rather than Apple's). The real kickers are some of the supplementary survey questions that were published in the press release - out of the thirteen specifically mentioned handsets most users were planning to purchase, only one was a Windows Mobile device (AT&T Tilt), at just 2% of respondents. The media consumption results are also pretty damning. Where, oh where, is WM7?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yet Another RIM Outage

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Windows Phone Competition" @ 09:55 PM

"BlackBerry users in North America are experiencing email outages after an unspecified problem from maker Research in Motion. Service has been down from some customers since about 3:15 a.m. Thursday."

Tell me again why people place so much trust in a device that's tied to a service that goes down at least once a year? The centralized "One Server Cluster to Rule Them All" approach to email is the most idiotic approach to delivering email I've ever heard of. What baffles me the most though is that customer pressures over repeated failures haven't forced RIM to deploy an alternate approach to delivering email. How much failure are you going to take RIM customers?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

RIM Acquires Torch Mobile; Torches Windows Mobile Versions

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Software" @ 10:30 AM

"Word dropped this morning that Torch Mobile, makers of the Iris Browser, had been purchased by Research in Motion. That's great news for BlackBerry fans, who have been in dire need of a browser for, well, ever. However, this is bad news for Windows Mobile. We just heard back from Torch Mobile spokesman George Staikos, and the response is unequivocal: 'The company will no longer continue developing for Windows Mobile or Windows-CE.'"

I just can't help but think that if another large company in the mobile market, such as one that may also be chronically dogged as anti-competition, were to do this, people would be outraged. But since it's RIM, I suspect no one will make much of a fuss. Pity to see a WM browser alternative bite the dust over purely financial reasons.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tellme It's Not True: Microsoft's Voice Search on Blackberry Before Windows Mobile

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Smartphone Talk" @ 01:17 PM

"Windows Mobile does have and support voice-enabled functions, but this is an interesting twist. Due to better support for Java, Microsoft's Tellme subsidiary is offering its voice search for Blackberry devices before it goes live on Windows Mobile handsets. Tellme keeps track of where you are through your phone's GPS radio so your search results are local to where you are... Device owners can tap a button and speak their search query; in return, Tellme will offer local results using the Microsoft Live Search engine."

You know what? I'm not really too broken up about this. Don't get me wrong, I think the idea is pretty cool in theory but to quote Lawrence Peter Berra - "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not". As amazing as Microsoft's Voice Command service is on our handsets the one major drawback I have always encountered is that it just does not work very well at all if you are not in a quiet room. Same thing goes for voice enable telecom services! Every time I try to use anything voice enabled and there is any noise in the background whatsoever then the service flat out fails... unless I yell my command into the microphone but then you just end up looking insane. This is the exact reason why I have stopped demoing the Voice Command feature for people who are interested in learning more about my phone.

Who knows, maybe this is a Trojan horse for Microsoft to make all Blackberry users look crazy while they shout into their handsets - aggravating them to the point where they switch over to Windows Mobile devices.

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