Todd Wood, SVP Industrial Design, Research in Motion:
Giving us a glimpse at what is to come, Wood tells us where the latest design workshop for 2012s models was held. This time, rather than the classic scenery of Italy, the design workshop session was in Malmo, Sweden. The latest words for the experience? “Charming, whimsical, and fun” according to Wood suggesting a very different direction from the company.
In a piece about RIM’s upcoming BBX phones, something tells me Sascha Segan and RIM hadn’t really done their homework regarding Qt development roadmap.
Qt was Nokia’s preferred developer framework before the company switched to Windows Phone, and there’s a population of disgruntled Symbian developers with Qt skills watching their potential market decline as Nokia switches over to Windows. RIM isn’t targeting Symbian developers specifically, but the company is reaching into Nokia’s traditional home turf.
Speaking of the basket breaking,
Apple and Google are the dominant smartphone platforms and there is really only room for one more, said Veritas’s Monga. When Nokia was reorganizing, RIM had its chance to establish itself as the third. It may have lost the opportunity, he said.
Eighteen months ago, RIM was fighting but had a fighting chance,” he said. “Now, the problems RIM has on its software platform seem to be insurmountable.
Microsoft and RIM are relying on a single basket
A few weeks ago I gave this interview with Media Indonesia, a local newspaper who wanted to put up a profile of me for some reason and in it was a question about Microsoft. This is a small part of what I had to say about the company:
The Surface table and the Microsoft Courier tablet were breakthrough devices between 2009-2010 which also could not get off the ground thanks to the company prioritizing the team on Windows and Office.
By coincidence, C|net produced this article yesterday about how Bill Gates practically killed the Courier tablet even when he was no longer running Microsoft. This part here explained what happened to the Courier:
Courier users wouldn’t want or need a feature-rich e-mail application such as Microsoft’s Outlook that lets them switch to conversation views in their inbox or support offline e-mail reading and writing. The key to Courier, Allard’s team argued, was its focus on content creation. Courier was for the creative set, a gadget on which architects might begin to sketch building plans, or writers might begin to draft documents.
“This is where Bill had an allergic reaction,” said one Courier worker who talked with an attendee of the meeting. As is his style in product reviews, Gates pressed Allard, challenging the logic of the approach.
It’s not hard to understand Gates’ response. Microsoft makes billions of dollars every year on its Exchange e-mail server software and its Outlook e-mail application. While heated debates are common in Microsoft’s development process, Gates’ concerns didn’t bode well for Courier. He conveyed his opinions to Ballmer, who was gathering data from others at the company as well.
Within a few weeks, Courier was cancelled because the product didn’t clearly align with the company’s Windows and Office franchises, according to sources.
Instead of seeking and taking a risk on a possible new revenue stream, Gates and Microsoft held on to its existing and proven source or revenue. This is similar to the approach that RIM took by requiring the PlayBook to be not much more than a BlackBerry accessory.
Both companies are holding on to a core component which heavily relies on the success of a single product, essentially putting everything into a single basket. This is why they keep failing to innovate. RIMs basket is breaking as we speak although it’s probably going to be a long while before Microsoft’s Windows/Office basket breaks.
“While Quanta last week acknowledged that it had laid off a significant number of production workers from a factory focused on producing the PlayBook, our research indicates that the ODM has essentially halted production of the tablet.Additionally, our due diligence indicates that RIMM has canceled development of additional tablet projects.”
Colin Stewart analyst John Vinh
Research In Motion Says Talk That Its Playbook Tablet Is Being Discontinued Is “Pure Fiction: $RIMM @BlackBerry - DJ
That was fast
The second time today TechCrunch broke the news. This time it’s the beleaguered Research In Motion whose smartphone business is under serious threat from Apple and Google. The Canadian company is letting 2000 of its employees go, that’s just over 10 percent of its workforce. It also pushes out one COO, and shuffles the others. Balsillie and Lazaridis remain.