BlackBerry, the floundering Canadian communications device company formerly called Research In Motion (RIM), has apparently been scrambling to spin off its messaging service into a subsidiary that could more easily be valued as an asset in a sale. All of which makes sense (see BlackBerry could still be made into a software company). But what has come to light in the midst of this transition is mind boggling.
Apparently, a working cross-platform BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has been ready in the labs there for as long as three years, as well as a desktop version. But the half wits running the show then — the co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazardis — were so drunk on their closed system koolaid that they scotched the plan to bring those products to market. They believed that they could slow the future by delaying their company’s acceptance of it. But, like Ballmer at Microsoft, they found that just doesn’t work.
Thorstein Heins announced in May that iOS and Android versions of BBM would be available this summer, which technically means before 22 September, but generally is assumed to mean before Labor Day. And they haven’t been released.
As I stated in the earlier post, they is still a market for BBM, but only if it’s on iOS and Android, and only if it’s actually released. And if they are shopping BBM, I think the obvious buyer should be Microsoft, but it must be hard to get anyone’s attention there these days, I’d bet.