Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
10/8/2010
09:31 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO: As Apple Soars On iPad, Should Microsoft Acquire BlackBerry?

Apple might sell a mind-bending 45 million iPads next year, while Microsoft's only smartphone salvation is to buy BlackBerry maker RIM.

"RIM's enterprise value is just $23.5 billion dollars," Riddix writes. "This is half of the $47-billion dollar market cap that RIM had in 2007 when Microsoft was rumored to be interested in the Blackberry maker. The company would obviously have to pay a substantial premium to shareholders to acquire Research in Motion but it's worth it. Mobile customers represent the future of technology. Microsoft could either spend billions of dollars competing against RIM or use their cash hoard to acquire RIM."

It's an intriguing idea and one that might give Microsoft the enlightened and highly motivated self-interest to get serious about this intensely important market, one that Microsoft has until now regarded as just one of the many important-but-not-too-important initiatives it should pursue.

Contrast Microsoft's approach—everything from data-center software to the Xbox—to the maniacal focus of Apple on conceiving and creating superb and deeply personal devices that transcend our outmoded silos of consumer device versus professional device: can Microsoft, even if it acquires RIM, really expect to be able to out-innovate Apple in a market that's simply an adjunct business for Microsoft but is Apple's one and only passion?

And heck, then you've got to factor Android and Google into the equation—as we wrote in a recent blog post called Android Surging Past Blackberry And iPhone, "Just when you thought you'd picked which side to back in the smartphone wars—iPhone or BlackBerry?—along comes that darn Google Android to mess up those best-laid plans: Gartner says Android's market share this year will eclipse that of both BlackBerry and Apple."

As I've argued in some other columns about the iPad, its power lies not in its price or its form factor or its name or its very beguiling advertising. Rather, for CIOs in particular, the real magic of the iPad is in its ability to enhance the ability of employees to engage in ideas and exchanges that unlock the full value of your company and its knowledge and its ideas and its potential.

It's not like traditional PCs because, as marvelous as they are, they are in essence merely echoes of a distant past.

Whereas in a business world that's increasingly mobile, increasingly about ideas and experiences and creativity, and increasingly about collaborations and connections, the iPad is the sound and shape of things to come.

RECOMMENDED READING:

Global CIO: The Awesome Transformative Power Of The Apple iPad

Global CIO: Is IBM Or Apple The World's #1 Tech Brand?

Global CIO: An Open Letter To Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Global CIO: Is Steve Jobs Blowing Smoke About Apple TV?

Global CIO: Cutting Google And Apple Down To Size

Global CIO: IBM And Dell Get In Obama's Face With $1-Trillion Challenge

Global CIO: An Open Letter To HP CEO Leo Apotheker

Global CIO: Larry Ellison's Heightened Attacks On HP Doom Alliance

Global CIO: Tibco Surges And CEO Flips Off IBM, Oracle, And SAP

Global CIO: HP's $130-Billion Gamble

Global CIO: Larry Ellison's Acquisition List: Who's #1?

GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at bevans@techweb.com.

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