Should Microsoft buy Research In Motion?

A Reuters analysis makes the case that a deal could make sense, thanks to the drop in RIM's shares. CNET News' Ina Fried doesn't buy it.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried

With shares of Research In Motion among those that have seen a massive drop in recent months, Reuters on Friday made the case that the company could make a juicy acquisition target for Microsoft.

There are several reasons that could lead one to that conclusion. RIM is strong in the corporate phone arena, the area of most interest for Microsoft. Microsoft's OS has had trouble keeping pace feature-wise and its next version, Windows Mobile 7, is running quite late. And, of course, the RIM shares that were trading near $150 a few months ago are now at around $53.

That said, I'm not seeing it. The company already has too many mobile operating systems. Microsoft has already scooped up Danger, which uses its own operating system for the T-Mobile Sidekick.

As longtime analyst Michael Gartenberg notes, Microsoft already has a strong product for taking corporate mail onto phones and buying RIM would put the company further in the device-making business.

Plus, even with the recent drop in RIM's shares, the company is still valued at north of $30 billion. For that price, Microsoft could afford to offer Yahoo nearly twice its current value. And Microsoft's online business is hurting for market share way more than the mobile unit.

Anyway, that's my take. What do you think? Sound off in the comments section or drop me a note.