I've always had a problem with Research In Motion
No, the problem has always been the answer to this question: What does RIM have that can't or won't be offered by bigger, richer competitors, such as Microsoft
Not much, I'd argue, and today's Microsoft news has made that suspicion a bit more substantial. Reports out of a phone show, the 3GSM World Congress, in Barcelona offer just a hint of the challenge that RIM will need to face if it hopes to avoid the dustbin of history. The word is that Mr. Softy's licensees, including Hewlett-Packard
Of course, people have been predicting this situation for years now. But now, finally, it looks as though the time of reckoning has arrived. The Redmond dinosaur may have been late to the game, but as usual, once it catches up, the nimble first movers, like RIM, have to worry about getting squashed.
The trouble is, Microsoft isn't RIM's only worry. RIM's juicy, multifaceted business is in everyone's sights, from hardware makers to service providers. Deals between Mr. Softy and wireless providers such as AT&T's
What'll be left for RIM investors when this all shakes out over the next few years? Can RIM win a fight against half a dozen of the worlds hungriest businesses? I doubt it. And I sure wouldn't bet real money on it.
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Seth Jayson is looking forward to his next smartphone. At the time of publication, he had shares of Microsoft but no positions in any other company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.