Research in Motion (RIM) is reportedly considering a deal with Microsoft to salvage its wilting smartphone business.
Reuters cited company sources in reporting that the embattled firm is considering a number of options, including a deal which could see the company enter into an alliance with Microsoft and adopt Windows Phone 8, or a sale of patents.
The report comes in the wake of another devastating financial report from RIM. The company said that last quarter it lost more than $500m and announced that its much-anticipated BlackBerry 10 release would be delayed until early next year.
The Reuters report noted RIM's board of directors would prefer to stay the course and release BlackBerry 10.
While analysts expressed some doubt as to how interested Microsoft would be in taking up a stake or even an outright purchase of RIM, industry watchers do see some promise for Redmond in making a deal.
Directions on Microsoft analyst Rob Helm noted that, for the right price, some areas of RIM's business could tempt Microsoft.
"The three assets RIM has are patents, the device business and the messaging," Helm told V3.
"I could picture Microsoft leveraging any of them; the patents as a legal playing card, the devices as potential targets for Windows Phone 8 and the messaging network."
Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group, told V3 that while a turnaround isn't out of the question, changes will need to be made at the highest levels of the company.
"They really waited too long to do a turnaround and the board has not stepped up," Enderle said.
"There are plenty of examples of successful turnarounds, such as Apple and IBM, but this board has not been able to do that."
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