Microsoft's rumored BlackBerry takeover is based on 'market gossip'

And not just Microsoft, either, though that's the one we're most interested in. Is there any truth behind it? Maybe, maybe not.

Our good pal, Bla1ze, over on CrackBerry has a better insight into it than a lot of outlets reporting this news:

"Now, there's still no way to tell whether there's any substance to these rumors but somehow after the post on Betaville about Microsoft looking into taking over BlackBerry it got extended to Xiaomi, Lenovo, and Huawei, which we know from past rumors isn't very likely at all due to the Canadian Government involvement in any foreign acquisitions of BlackBerry. "

Here's the first thing to note. Digitimes was not the original source. Financial blog, Betaville, was first to talk about this. And here's one important part from that post:

"Readers of this article should understand this information is RARE. For readers that don't understand what RARE is, here is the definition:Market gossip that hasn't been tested through all formal journalistic channels (public relations executives, bankers etc). The rumour might be total codswallop but then again there may be something in it, so it's worth airing on Betaville."

So, what is the story, or lack of story as it may turn out to be? Microsoft is rumored to have approached a couple of financial institutions, namely Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, to examine whether or not BlackBerry would be a good acquisition. No offers have been made and while figures like $7 billion have been thrown around, those are purely speculative. Why would Microsoft want BlackBerry at all? Patents? Enterprise? Who knows.

The absolute truth is that BlackBerry is going to be linked with a whole bunch of companies (like the ones Digitimes added to the mix from seemingly nowhere), and right now Microsoft is one of those. It could happen. It could just as easily be nothing. Businesses do business-y type things daily, and who knows which other companies Microsoft may be looking at acquiring to strengthen itself. But since this one is pure market gossip, for now, we'll reserve any kind of judgment.

Source: Betaville via CrackBerry

Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

63 Comments
  • Meh
  • Yeah way to kill the buzz!!!
  • I know I'm sorry. My whole week was ruined when they announced no Mazda 2for US market.
  • You can always get that ugly Scion they announced back in NYIAS ... Its based on the Mazda2 after all
  • I rather kill myself but yes
  • Well makes sense after the Apple/ibm partnership (that isn't really going anywhere re specialist app uptake). MSFT wants WP big in Enterprise and this would offer a leg up, and leveraging the Bes mdm and azure would be a smart move. Legacy bb devices count for a lot more that WP, android has Knox and the Apple and ibm coupling means that WP is the lane duck, even though Microsoft rules the entire rest of the Enterprise back end market. WP is anemic and I'm sure there will be a greater push, when w10 mobile Enterprise comes round, whenever that is, but msft have a real problem with their mobile offerings and this would help. One only need look at the financial sector and see how far android (of all things!!!) has made inroads. IOS and android apps abound for trading platforms, secure coms and the like. Bb10 and WP are no where. I'm old enough to have uses windows mobile and rim devices for years, in finance, and can't believe both companies were so slow to adapt. This may be a rumour, and an unfounded one, but I know several execs personally that would love for this to happen - the the bb share holders, and the Fairfax group on particular, ate going to be unreasonable on price, I have the feeling they'd rather let things burn.
  • Completely agree, but dunno if bb is worthy gain even with all its patents and connections. MS has plenty of ties in business, after all they had a fair share in poker PCs back in the day, with win mobile. Would be great, id love to see MS back in corporate mobile market
  • I think the patents could be sold to account for the purchase, or capitalised in some other way, the hardware side would just be killed off and integrated in. Really, it comes down to embedded security in the os, secusmart, qnx and Bes. The rest is minimal. They accrue service fees from Bes and legacy and qnx is present, though doesn't do much financially. With msft and azure and qnx continuum could really take off. People keep being about the internet of things but frankly bb isn't in a place to do anything about it. MSFT is. And they can do so much better.
  • You make a very strong point there, MS could make it what it all should have been from the start.
  • Well ms could use rims relationship with enstream(think suretap) to at least get native(secure element) tap to pay. Seeing as Canadian banks weren't willing to bend over for apple & remove the secure element provision their isnt applepay here yet
  • Research In Motion disappeared two years ago: http://press.blackberry.com/press/2013/research-in-motion-changes-its-na... It's just Blackberry now. In another 2 years it doesn't matter, though, since some other company will own them, but who knows which company? I agree that Microsoft would benefit a lot from the strong Enterprise service offering, secure cloud server infrastructure, BBM and patent portfolio. However, IBM could go about and buy them as well, as long as they exited the phone hardware business straight away (or else Apple would be angry at them for trying to compete while being a software partner, creating another Apple vs Google fight again). So yes, at this point I think it makes sense for Microsoft to do business with them or buy them. Google could buy them, too, considering Blackberry already taps into the Android app compatibility feature on their phones and such. Google could swap the OS for the real Android experience and make a custom Blackberry skin with full OS update support and everything.
  • Except android is based on open source software and the whole point of blackberry is security in everything.  
  • Don't ever trust dodgytimes
  • Let's say it's true, what would MS do with it?
  • They would sell Hyper Potions and Rare Candies
  • And Master balls
  • "Lumia for Bussiness"... I guess?
  • Qumia 940 XL confirmed!
  • They want to take over the patents
  • BB has a security business which is very good  and patents... that would help msft 
  • Oh please let it be true
  • Why in the world would MSFT want BlackBerry? Makes zero sense.
  • BlackBerry has a lot of patents and stuff going on besides phones. For example: QNX. One of the major in-car operating systems of choice.
  • Somehow I don't feel spending $7 billion is worth an OS that generates like $300 million/year for BB. The only thing I can think of is that Microsoft want the contracts for their own Windows in Cars or something, and their MDM contracts. That's probably why (if true) Microsoft partnered with 3 other companies.
  • This. Hope MSFT really get blackberry and make a good use of it.
  • It would be a great acquisition for MS. Many of the things they are doing now, blackberry was working on years ago.
  • Hear hear, I agree with most of you, what could Microsoft could possibly gain that is so important? Other than patents..
  • Might be worthwhile if the price is right. I don't think they should rely on Blackberry's customers making the jump to WP though... Seems like every former blackberry user I know jumped to iPhone.
  • I don't think they're expecting that at all.
  • Good for Enterprise & Entrepreneur sectors.
    Blackberry still have some share in business area and MS purchasing them is only chance to live for BB(job cuts). Exciting deal. Hope to see W10 on Blackberry handsets and also hope they ditch Android sh*t too. ;)
  • That's giving to much stock into Windows 10. We have no idea if W10 will do what Microsoft hopes for; by bringing developers to the platform. Buying out BlackBerry doesn't seem to go that route. What patents will Microsoft gain from buying BB that they don't already have and make developers want to code for W10?
  • Why not? Microsoft has already gave their services on iOS & Android so why not Blackberry OS too! Considering BB has less share than that of Windows Ecosystem it would be one for two to buy the blackberry for Microsoft
  • Microsoft has been acquiring companies lately hmm...
  • In such a purchase I don't see BlackBerry10 OS surviving at all. MS would probably kill it. BBM would probably get killed too. Phones division altogether also. QNX is also somewhat redundant to Windows (not the same category, but...). And I'm not an expert on BlackBerry business value so I can't even perceive that. Makes little sense for MS to buy BB.
  • QNX is actually 100% redundant to Microsofy Sync (or whatever they're car system is called)... but they're both terrible. 
      I could see MS buying BB for QNX... BUT MS would have to buy HERE as well to make it worth their while. Then they would have the world's leading maps for autonomous cars, and 2 lackluster in-car systems that would be replaced by windows 10 for cars.
  • QNX or a variant would become Windows Embedded Automotive.  The current Windows Embedded Automotive is dying because of the feature set, stability and lightweight of QNX. 
  • Satya's still counting the lost billions on the Nokia purchase. If they do buy for the IP and remaining customers, I'm sure the price will be heavily discounted. It does make sense for them to strengthen their enterprise mobile presence, though.
  • Thanks, Ballmer...not!
  • Lol it was Ballmer.
  • On the tall of Blackberry....it cracks me up that everytime I go look at case or some other new accessory, they make version for the Blackberry and not the Nokia's/Microsoft's. Yet most everyday average people think Blackberry has been out of business and in reality they are trying to give the company away. Yet, those dead devices get ten times the attention from the third party accessory companies. Ugh.
  • Old habits die hard.
  • There is none against acquiring Blackberry to any company. It owns pretty serious patents and mobile data servers which still are the best. End to end encrypted the most safest one.Tell me why not.
  • Makes sense. QNX is well established in Automotive, and methinks BB has also a lot to offer on usability. Just look at BB10, it's really a good OS with many things that are implemented as a open standard. It worsk with many other equipment. Just a little example: Many Headphones have iOS comands. Using such an Headphone (at lest the Sennheisers) work also on BB10, but not on Android, Windows Phone. Very much in the direction Mr. Nadella goes with his Apps....  
  • QNX only generates like $300 million/year. That's not even close to being worth the rumored $7 billion. Also, I'm not sure what you mean by the last part. My Beats headphones work on every phone except my Z10.
  • The reason headphones dont work on android and windows phone is because Apple uses a proprietary headphone jack. Most headphone manufacturers use this jack now because iPhones are the most sold phone on the planet. It is stupid, because every other phone on the planet uses a regular headphone jack.
  • Sennheiser makes an android set of headphones that also works on Lumia's. The MM 30G designed for the Galaxy has inline volume, mic, and a button that lets you answer or end a call and long press to bring up Cortana.
  • Other than Cisco and amazon, it doesn't really make sense for anyone else to buy Blackberry. Cisco presence in enterprise market is something that shall be strengthened by blackberry servers.
    Amazon tried and failed with phone.
    Other than qnx which is a great platform for internet of things. Microsoft might go for that though. Or perhaps john chen (all respect to him for the passport blackberry was dead on his arrival)
  • Rumours of takeovers is a very good way of making money on the stock.  I am always suspicious.
  • Exactly. that's all that is. There have been rumous of Samsung and half a dozen other companies looking at BB over the last few months. They've all been started on share boards to boost the price of BB stock so people can short it and make a quick buck.
  • MS CEO MR. NaDella is a Microsoft Eneprise FIRST Microsoft leader because that is where Microsoft makes it's Money. Windows Mobile with it's smart phones and tablets is a SIDE SHOW. Microsoft will evaluate all companies it buys to see if they will inhance Sales of Microsoft Products especialy Enterprise related products. If microsoft did buy Blackberry they would have to market MS Blackbery smart phones as Microsoft's "Premier" business smart phone line for "Enterprise Customers" since consumers do not buy Black berry smart phones in the numbers they used to buy. it's values to Microsoft would be it's brand name and Blackberry patents and software that might make Windows Mobile products sell better & be more profitable. 
  • Microsoft, please don't purchase BlackBerry its a trap. Nokia acquisition was a smart decision as Microsoft now owns the patents of Pureview camera tech, Nokia camera software, Carl Zeiss sensors and that is why the best smartphone camera on a smartphone today is the one on the Lumia 1020. BlackBerry doesn't have anything to offer to Microsoft.
  • QNX the heart of InfoTainment in the Auto Industry.  Also CarPlay runs on top of QNX. QNX is also the heart of Cisco IOS which is the OS for all there switches and routers.
  • It would be a waste of money. Salesforce would have been a disaster. Buying a 50 billion dollar company that is not profitable, and trying to integrate a completely different company with different products into your own would have been a nightmare. Many large acquisitions don't work. Look at Aquantive, and perhaps even the Nokia division in the future. All Microsoft would be buying with Salesforce is market share, employees, and a huge headache. They need none of the above, especially since their products in this market are growing fast. I know Microsoft is probably looking to get rid of some of their 100+ billion in cash by making acquisitions, and that's fine. However, they need to make smart acquisitions and limit themselves to smaller companies. As for Blackberry, what does buying a dead and dying company gain you, other than perhaps QNX and some market share in cars? Nothing.
  • First Nokia, now BlackBerry.. What do you want MS ? You are like black hole...
  • I would honestly rather see them buy HERE maps if it goes back on sale, or actually on sale in the first place, or whatever the heck happened when it made the news cycle.  Microsoft entire strategy isn't device based, but person based.  So all of their services show up on competing platforms.  I say extend that strategy to maps.  People are inherently mobile after all.   As for BB, maybe if they do the reverse of what they did with Nokia, in which they bought the devices division but not everything.  I say only buy the BB services.  Those seem to be what people still like about BB.  Maybe the devices too, but Microsoft already makes devices.  
  • I think they would be more interested in the services than the devices. The QNX OS had its own benefits, because of being used in cars, and enterprise. Nokia had better devices, and original wanted a cheaper OS replacement for Symbian (Nokia's excuse for deal w/ Microsoft).
  • I wish this would happen!
  • The reason Microsoft approached DB and G/S was to get a feasibility study done, not a loan. BB has posted consecutive quarters with positive cash flow results. This makes them viable as an acquisition. Companies don't go around buying up "dying" brands (Nokia notwithstanding), they get gobbled up after Chapter 7 liquidation. Fairfax Holdings (BB's majority shareholder) already rejected Samsung's offer of $7.5 Billion last year and that was before the earnings reports. You really think they're going to give it up for less now?
  • Do it Microsoft! Buy Blackberry for 4 billion, Once they go bankrupt,  keep the patents, Kill every existing blackberry device within 2 years. and release ONE WIndows 10 based phone, 5 inch, with a slide out qwerty keyboard, and call it the "blackberry" some people still love a manual keyboard, not me, but they do exist. next, buy Adobe and drop the price of Acrobat pro (DC) to $19 per year.   Microsoft will rise from the ashes in 2016, like a phoenix from the flames!!          
  • What if... Say they agree to merge, crossover patent technology thru both platforms and let BB run as an  independent franchise to continue creating one line of phones. Or, MS could reduce a phone model line and offer a BB alternative.     
  • Two words for doing the deal "QNX" and automotive.   CarPlay runs on QNX, Harman uses QNX for it infotainment systems for automobiles - BMW. Mercedes, GM, Honda, Ford, Hyundai, etc.  This alone would help Microsoft reclaim and re-establish its place in the Automotive Industry. PC - Windows, Server - Windows, Mobile Device - Windows Phone, Automotive - Windows Embedded Automotive which has been loosing ground to QNX because of its light weight and stability.
  • It wouldn't surprise me if they make a bid for them, just for their patents, and enterprise. But there are some nice things about Blackberry's current phones, and there QNX OS is pretty good.