Microsoft tie-up, network sale among RIM options

Written by Reuters | New York | Updated: Jun 30 2012, 07:48am hrs
Research In Motions board is under mounting pressure to consider unpalatable options such as selling its network business or forming an alliance with Microsoft after the Blackberry maker again delayed the release of its next-generation smartphones, said three sources familiar with the situation.

Shares in the Canadian company, which announced a steeper-than-expected quarterly operating loss on Thursday, plunged 18% in extended trading, slashing its market value to $4.1 billion. The stock has fallen about 70% in the past year.

RIM said the launch of BlackBerry 10 mobile devices has been postponed to early 2013 more than a year later than initially promised because the development of its new operating system had proven to be more time-consuming than anticipated.

The latest setback has increased pressure on RIMs board to more seriously explore other options, including measures that would amount to an admission that it cannot survive by sticking to its current strategy, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the information was confidential.

One of these options is for RIM to abandon its own operating system and adopt Microsofts upcoming Windows 8. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had approached RIM in recent months, looking to strike a partnership similar to the one the software giant has with Nokia, the sources said.