Microsoft and Research in Motion - The Battle for Third

Ash is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS and Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android have asserted their dominance in the mobile game, but there are two more companies who are vying for their right to be among the top players: Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY). I think that only one of these two will manage to find their place atop the vast mobile landscape, but which one will it be?

Windows Phone 8

Microsoft isn’t making their own handsets; instead, the company licenses out copies of Windows Phone 8 to handset makers. So far, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is the main company to pick up the software, using it in the creation of the Lumia line, which is on sale now.

Microsoft currently holds third place in the smartphone market, and they’ll be hoping that features and new cell phones coming with Windows Phone 8 will help them keep their spot, or increase it, without letting RIMM take hold.

So, just what does Windows Phone 8 bring to the table in this battle?

  • It’s a Windows product; it will be able to interact with the apps that are on our computers such as Microsoft Office and other Windows 8 apps. This will be a big plus in the enterprise game
  • The Live Tiles are nice and they give smartphone carriers something new and fresh to play with
  • Interaction with Xbox Live may bring about many gamers
  • Have you seen all of the advertising for these devices?! I feel like buying one just to stop the ads. Microsoft has lots of cash in reserve and they will probably spend a fair chunk to get their devices adopted.

BlackBerry 10

BlackBerry 10 will launch around the world on Jan. 30. The software brings a lot of new features to the phones of a company I would have called ‘dead’ some months back. BlackBerry 10 will bring with it lots of redesign and some very innovative features. The devices will come with a new swipe-based virtual keyboard and the OS is now designed to work with touchscreens.

RIMM and BlackBerry will be hoping that their new features can bring them back into the game after quite a period of downtime. Let’s see what they’ll be bringing to the game:

  • Improved design features – tnnovative and new, looks good, and performs well.
  • Lots of legacy users and old users that would love to get back to the phone that they have always used
  • Businesses love the BlackBerry (hopefully for RIMM they will continue to)
  • Over 100,000 apps promised at launch


We have the competitors and I have made my decision based on everything I have read about the two OS’. A little disclaimer should be that I have played with Windows Phone 8, but I have yet to have the chance to try BlackBerry 10 for myself.

My final verdict for third place is Windows Phone 8. I think that the advertising campaigns, the ability to license the software to numerous manufacturers, and the fact that Office can now tie in fully between the PC, laptop, tablet, and cell phone is what makes it a real winner for me.

I honestly don’t see RIMM making a comeback in the United States. I know I’m going to get some pretty harsh feedback for this, but it’s definitely a valid opinion. If you think that RIMM will make a comeback then I’d love a take on why or how, because as I see it, the company is essentially buying time in the US.

While I don’t think the new phone will do good stateside, I do believe it has potential in Canada and some portions of Europe.


Ash1402 has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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