The Boy Genius Report: Microsoft is blowing it and RIM could too
The Boy Genius Report: Microsoft is blowing it and RIM could too

View photo

The Boy Genius Report: Microsoft is blowing it and RIM could too

Who would have thought a couple of years ago that Research In Motion (RIMM) would be on the ropes and Microsoft (MSFT) could be getting close? Well, me… but not many others. Microsoft’s latest strategy of trying to make a no compromise tablet has resulted in, you guessed it, compromise. It’s not as polished as an iPad, it’s more limited in almost every possible way, it’s slow, clunky, unresponsive at times, offers a worse display, weighs more, and is thicker. Plus it costs over $100 more when you factor in a Touch Cover or Type Cover keyboard. Plus, you can’t even run Windows applications even though you get the actual Windows desktop.

The best part is the Surface Pro. An even more expensive version of the Surface, an even thicker version of the Surface, and an even heavier version of the Surface, and you get a fan to cool your heating tablet when you’re doing your Excel speadsheets or when Outlook keeps freezing — oh my god why does it freeze so much when you’re typing — and you get half the battery life of the current Surface model.

There’s a very big issue with Microsoft’s strategy of no compromise, because time and time again this company fails to realize that the reason Apple (AAPL) is winning is because Apple choses to compromise.

Apple chooses to throw out the USB port, the DVD drive, the kickstand, the fan, the Intel processor. Apple understands that laptops are still useful but at this point in the game, the only use for a multitouch laptop should be in the trackpad. Microsoft is trying to introduce the Surface Pro as your new laptop, except it doesn’t work well is a variety of situations, especially on your lap. Plus, consumers don’t care, and with enterprises and large companies (and small companies) not rushing out to buy brand new computers or brand new software licenses for their employees and workstations due to cost, and the fact that more and more employees are bringing in their own laptops and also asking for Macs, Microsoft has a tremendous problem.

Compounding Windows 8′s failure is the fact that Microsoft is still not prepared for the consumerization of the enterprise world, Microsoft’s bread and butter, and the reason why Microsoft has $60 billion in cash. As Windows licenses erode and Office sales slow, Microsoft isn’t going to have another hugely profitable business to rely on — that’s why this is so scary.

Switching to RIM, the company is actually doing a lot of things right in my book. I respect that everyone there has been huddled up, focused on a single product and operating system and put all of their time into getting it as right as they can. Whether that means anything at all, we’ll soon see; RIM has probably been one of the worst players in the mobile space as far as execution is concerned but Thorsten Heins seems to have a better grasp on where the company can take advantage in different markets and at what price point, though RIM’s market share is declining so rapidly that not even BrickBreaker can save the company there.

I have two concerns from a very high level (in-depth thoughts at a later date) about BlackBerry 10 and the devices RIM is introducing on the hardware front. First off, going with a touch only phone first sends the wrong message to me. What is RIM’s biggest strength? Some would say email, some would say security, most would say the keyboard. Introducing a brand new operating system, with a brand new smartphone that doesn’t feature RIM’s fantastic keyboard feels like a marketing blunder. If there is one single reason BlackBerry owners (yes! they do still exist) still have a BlackBerry, it’s for the keyboard.

Yes, I know, there is a QWERTY BlackBerry 10 smartphone coming just a couple of weeks or months after the first touchscreen device, but these two should have been joined at the hip at the very minimum.

My other concern is RIM is already showing a break in the company’s focus by introducing two different screen sizes from the gate. The BlackBerry L-series will have a 1280 x 768 screen resolution and the BlackBerry N-series have a 720 x 720-pixel display. In my time playing with an N-series prototype, this square resolution felt incredibly awkward and it’s now two screen sizes that RIM’s developer community has to account for when making apps. Add this to the fact that RIM has enough trouble getting developers on board — of course Microsoft is having trouble there, too — and this feels like it’s not the most optimal scenario.  

Get more from Follow us on Twitter, Facebook

View Comments (95)

Recommended for You

  • Luggage piece found on French island near possible MH370 debris

    Part of a bag was found Thursday on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion not far from plane debris which has fuelled speculation it may be from missing flight MH370. "The piece of luggage was here since yesterday but nobody really paid attention," said Johnny Begue, a member of a local…

  • Chicago man cleared after 17 years in prison shot dead

    CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man who served 17 years in prison for murder before being cleared of the crime has been shot and killed almost three years after being released from prison, police said Wednesday.

    Associated Press
  • Family Pet-Sitter Helps Herself To Homeowner's Possessions

    DEAR ABBY: A trusted and beloved family member who takes care of my cats -- and therefore has a key to my house -- has been stealing things like cleaning supplies, knickknacks, family pictures, etc. Most of them have little monetary value. But imagine my surprise when I spotted some of my missing…

    Dear Abby
  • Play

    Body cam footage from Cincinnati shooting contradicts official story

    A University of Cincinnati police officer has been indicted for murder after body camera footage contradicted his official story outlining the events that led to the shooting death of unarmed Cincinnati driver Samuel Dubose.

    Reuters Videos
  • An American Dentist Killed Zimbabwe’s Famous Lion

    Cecil the lion, a famous black-maned resident of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, died at the hands of an American dentist, conservationists claim. “Mr. Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow but this shot didn't kill him,” Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said in…
  • Eight family members decapitated in north Mexico

    Eight people from the same family, including two minors, were kidnapped by masked gunmen and their decapitated bodies were found days later in northern Mexico, authorities said Wednesday. The bodies were found after a ninth member of the Martinez family escaped Sunday's abduction near Casa Quemada,…

  • Russia reassures Israel over Iran nuclear deal

    Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that the deal on Iran's nuclear program would improve security in the Middle East and guaranteed that Tehran would not acquire nuclear arms. Israel plans to lobby the U.S. Congress not to approve the…

  • Dashcam catches off-duty cop threatening to put 'hole in head' of driver

    Technically Incorrect: A Massachusetts driver makes a wrong turn. What happens next, all filmed on his dashcam, has led to an investigation. And yes, it's now on YouTube.

  • Hidden Security Cameras Are Shocking Surprise For Daughter

    DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old woman in college who still lives with my parents. I found out something several weeks ago that's bothering me, and I need advice badly. Years ago, after a robbery, my parents installed security cameras outside our house. I knew about them because they were visible. But…

    Dear Abby
  • Jon Stewart signing off 'Daily Show' fake newscast for real

    NEW YORK (AP) — After more than 16 years and nearly 2,600 telecasts, Jon Stewart can feel proud of his scads of Emmys and his pair of Peabody Awards, his cultural gravitas (he hung with the Prez, both on and off the air!), even his reprobate status at Fox News.

    Associated Press
  • Four-day week for Georgia public school district: Does it work?

    This is the second consecutive year that the school district is operating with this atypical schedule, and metrics indicate the switch has had a positive effect on the students. “It has increased our discipline, our attendance is good, teacher attendance as well," said Jeff Martin, Chattooga High…

    Christian Science Monitor51 mins ago
  • View

    Creeping vines, abandoned village (20 photos)

    Just a handful of people still live in a village on Shengshan Island east of Shanghai that was once home to more than 2,000 fishermen. Every day hundreds of tourists visit Houtouwan, making their way on narrow footpaths past tumbledown houses overtaken by vegetation. The remote village, on one of…

    Yahoo News
  • Taliban disavows Afghan peace talks after leader declared dead

    By Kay Johnson KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban's official spokesman disavowed peace talks with the Afghan government on Thursday, throwing fledgling efforts to negotiate an end to 14 years of war into disarray. The statement came a day after the Afghan government said that Mullah Omar, the elusive…

  • Trump leads Republicans, but Democrats thump him: poll

    Bombastic US billionaire Donald Trump handily leads all fellow Republicans in the 2016 presidential race, though Hillary Clinton and other Democrats trump him in head-to-head matchups, a poll said Thursday. Trump plunged into the crowded Republican nomination battle last month, and has since…

  • Internet mauls dentist accused of illegal kill of popular lion

    Technically Incorrect: Walter Palmer, a dentist in Minnesota, has his Yelp entry attacked by those not fond of his allegedly illegal killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.

  • Killer deal: Amazon will pay you $10 to buy a $30 Google Chromecast

    Google’s little Chromecast dongle is pretty awesome. The device plugs into the HDMI port on any HDTV or monitor and instantly gives users access to movies, TV shows, videos, music, photos and more that can be streamed from any Android device. Best of all, perhaps, the Chromecast is wonderfully…

    BGR News
  • Factbox: U.S. energy companies slash jobs as oil prices weaken

    Halliburton Co , which is buying Baker Hughes in a $35 billion deal, is slashing 14,000 jobs. Baker Hughes plans to cut about 13,000 jobs worldwide. Halliburton said in April it would cut 9,000 jobs, while Baker Hughes said it planned to reduce 10,500 jobs.