RIM: Microsoft's Windows Phone strategy confusing

RIM: Microsoft's Windows Phone strategy confusing

Summary: RIM CEO Thorsten Heins calling Microsoft's Windows Phone strategy confusing is a pot calling kettle black moment.


Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins took aim at Microsoft and its Windows Phone platform and said the software giant is confusing users.

According to CNET News, Heins said that Microsoft is overwhelming consumers with Windows Phone 7, 7.5 and Windows Phone 8. Roger Cheng quoted Heins: "It's confusing at the moment."


It's obvious Heins (right) has a dog in this No. 3 mobile platform race. It's in RIM's best interest to ding Windows Phone. After all, Microsoft has enterprise chops and could usurp RIM.

But here's the reality check. Heins saying Microsoft's platform strategy is confusing is a pot calling kettle black moment.

To wit:

  • BlackBerry has talked up its BlackBerry 10 OS incessantly as it tries to sell BlackBerry 7 devices.
  • RIM's app strategy---BlackBerry meets Android meets BlackBerry 10---is a bit muddled.
  • And RIM has plenty of BlackBerry OS flavors in the field such as BlackBerry 6, BlackBerry 7 and the so-far-mythical BlackBerry 10, which is delivering an Osborne Effect to the entire device line-up.

My read: RIM's strategy is just as incoherent if not worse than Microsoft's. The sales data seems to indicate that both companies may be confusing the hell out of smartphone buyers.


Topics: Mobility, Mobile OS, Smartphones, Windows

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  • Not Terribly Confusing

    Microsoft is moving towards everything being Windows 8 oriented and that includes phones and Xbox. Windows Phone 7.x is a remnant of the old approach.

    Regardless, if you buy a Windows Phone, iPhone, or Android phone there's a higher chance the manufacturer will be around this time next year.
    Big Sparky
  • RIM: Microsoft's Windows Phone strategy confusing

    I don't find it confusing at all. Most handsets have been upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5, will be upgraded to 7.8 in the near future and all handsets will have Windows Phone 8 when its released. How could anyone possibly think that is confusing? Maybe that's why RIM is in the position its in now.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • You're already confused.

      No existing handsets will get Windows 8. Only the new ones. The 7.8 release will look Windows 8-ish, but won't run any Windows 8 apps. The current Windows 7 Phone hardware was designed to support the old, crusty WinCE kernel, not the NT Kernel plus both APIs (WinRT and Win32, even given that only Microsoft gets to use Win32 on a Windows 8 Phone, it's still in there).
  • If he in anyway finds WP confusing he shouldn't be CEO of anything.

    First there was 7.0, then 7.5 replaced it, and next it will be replaced by 7.8 for existing phones and 8 for new phones. I wonder if he finds ios1/2/3/4/5/6 or android confusing as well. Making up stuff to dis in a competitor means you really really really have nothing to talk about for your own products, which apparently is the case. Clearly MS is the one to beat for RIM as MS is the only serious enterprise play for secure email/messaging so he's going to focus on them for now. But after W8/WP8 ship he's going to have to start singing a different tune. There'll be W8 tablets and WP8 phones out there and a very very few legacy WP from the few who dont upgrade their hw to get WP8. It'll be all WP8/W8 and no confusion for anyone. Secure booting fully encrypted phones and tablets. The only real byod devices any enterprise should allow access to any corporate data/email. The only devices with support for secure coporate app store built in. And he'll still be sitting there telling us that the BB10 delay is a good thing. CIO's are waiting for this. They cant wait to get it and block android/ios from corporate access.
    Johnny Vegas
    • He is only talking bad of the better ones

      Steve Ballmer (MS CEO) said you need a computer degree to use Android and now it has the biggest market share
      • ...because of price

        Data is useless if you don't understand it. Just because the pie is cut bigger in Android's favor does not mean it is the best OS. Virtually all pre-paid customers in the US are using Android phones, and ones carriers probably don't even want to admit exist. At Target yesterday I saw you could buy a phone outright for $99. I don't think anyone that has the means to afford a decent phone would ever want to touch that thing.
      • Well...

        Steve Ballmer was never the sharpest tack in the box. He probably does get confused with Android. Clearly, 62% of the world's smartphone users are having a better time of it.
  • Good tactics

    This is Heins trying desperately to change the subject. Microsoft is on the way up and is about to deliver its new phone OS on time and well integrated with a monster ecosystem. Blackberry is a day late and a dollar short with Blackberry 10. Microsoft is now enough of a threat that Heins has to talk bad about them - a huge victory for Microsoft.
  • LOL

    Pot meet Kettle...
    • RIM is confused by phone srategy

      That's been apparent for some time now.

      RIM's current strategy is to shrink faster than they are losing customers... whilst they throw stuff at the wall to see if anything sticks. Seems RIM is employing the Rubik's Cube strategy of random luck.

      How's that workin out for ya so far?
      • Least informed comment I've read in some time

        Wow. Even the fanboys usually make some sense in some part of their comments.
        Daniel Kinem
  • Why is the writer confused...

    If BB is confused, that means BB doesn't know what to do and is failing. Why is the writer confused? That means the writer thinks like BB. if an OS that has only been around for 2 years and has only a couple of versions (7.0, 7.5, 7.8) and now the next gen 8.0, is confusing to anyone, what would be not confusing, I wonder? Every mobile OS company has multiple versions. That is how they bring in new features. Some can be upgraded some are not.
  • Not confusing at all.

    Skip the Windows Phone $hit and go for an iPhone or Android.

    It's really not that hard as Windows Phone 7/8 brings nothing to the table.
    • Confused Which Android and which IOS

      I mean there are about 4 anroid versions out there many that cant upgrade.
      Apple, even thought they own all their hardware, usually can only upgrade by one OS version.

      At least Windows was able to upgrade from 7 to 7.? to 7.5 and will be upgrading to 7.8
      I think you must be confused.
      • You're confused

        Android, sadly, is at the mercy of the carriers and OEMs. There's no problem in upgrading; Google put Android 4.1 on the two-year-old Nexus S, it works just dandy.

        Apple's been very good about upgrades, and far more than a single version upgrade has been the rule. The third model of the iPhone released (the 3GS) is running the current version of iOS (iOS 5)... this phone is just over four years old.

        Microsoft's releasing service packs. I've had two service packs pushed to my Galaxy Nexus this year already, and expect the full version upgrade (ICS to JellyBean) sometime this year (there's that carrier thing again... Google's delivered this upgrade to every other version of this device. I can download and install it on my own, at least -- an option you don't have on WP or iOS.

        The hardware they specified for Windows 7 Phone simply can't run Windows 8. The main problem is that Windows 7 Phone runs the same WinCE kernel used on Windows Mobile 6.x and all the earlier Windows Mobile and PocketPC devices. It can't handle multiprocessing. So while 2010 phones started getting dual cores, and many 2012 devices are going quad core, folks like Nokia were forced to deliver a single core phone in 2012 that just can't run the NT kernel you'll find in Windows 8. This was entirely Microsoft's fault, but it's Nokia taking the losses for it at the moment.
    • what table are you sitting at?

      If you really believe windows phone brings nothing to the table than I believe you know nothing about windows phone. Ask any CIO worth his weight if WP brings anything to the table and you will get a resounding YES!
    • Really?

      We haven't heard the comsumer features yet. so stop bragging. wait a while
      Daniel Su
    • ...spoken by someone who hasn't used a Windows Phone...

      WP is just beautiful to use and socially-integrated. iOS and Android look old fashioned and 'app silo-y' - no integration. WP7 is great to use, but look what's coming...

      WP8 has already annouce fanastic features for devs/techies and the consumer announcement is still to come....WinPho8 and Win8 will allow apps to be ported at minimal cost, giving devs a two-for-one hit on a huge ecosystem. WP8 will be big.
    • Oh really?

      Please, tell us all the features of Windows 7.8/8.0... including the ones that are not yet announced for Microsoft. Haters gonna hate
  • sigh...

    I really don't understand all this RIM bashing, when, IMHO, the BB 9930 is the best business phone on the market now. I have an iPhone 3G and an Android Galaxy Epic, and they're nice as media phones, but BB still has the best business phones. I would never do online banking and buying on anything but a BB.