As Blackberry Continues to Lose Enterprise Significance, Now is the Time for Microsoft to Strike

Windows Phone 8 might not yet be a major force in the enterprise world, but if ever there was a good time to jump forward: Now is it. Why do I say that? Because Blackberry is losing headway in the enterprise world, and fast.

I’m not saying that Blackberry is doomed, it has a loyal group of supporters and can certainly remain as a niche, but even after knowing Blackberry 10 was on its way, many major businesses including companies like Home Depot have announced they are trading in their Blackberry handsets for iPhones.

Another sign of “hard times ahead” comes today as former Blackberry co-CEO Jim Balsillie has dumped his massive 26.8 million shares for around $362 million. Now, does this mean Blackberry is dying? Not really.

Google’s own Eric Schmidt also is selling quite a bit of his company’s stock and yet Google is clearly not in trouble. Additionally, Balisillie has had plenty of issues with both the current Blackberry CEO and the direction of the company. That said, even if he hated Blackberry, you think he would hold on to such a huge amount of stocks for at least a bit longer. The writing seems to be on the wall, I’d say.

Blackberry 10 isn’t bad, but it doesn’t seem to be good enough.

As a bit of disclosure, this is my opinion and I will admit to not yet playing with BB10 and instead only having experience with BB7 and the Playbook. That said, I’ve also done a lot of research about new features of BB10 and read quite a few reviews.

The bottom-line seems to be that BB10 is a good OS, but nothing revolutionary. There is no major reason to stick with Blackberry unless you are a solid Blackberry fan. Businesses go with platforms they feel will be the easiest and most secure to manage, and will have the best possible long-term support and Blackberry might not fill that roll as well as it once did.

Now is Microsoft’s Chance

Personally, I’d rather stick with Blackberry over iPhone for the business, but that tends to be the platform that is currently getting most of the customers jumping ship. Microsoft needs to start marketing heavily and offering special deals to businesses now.

With its heavy integration with Windows and Office, Windows Phone 8 plays very nicely into existing Windows PC infrastructures and could make phone transition headaches minimal for the IT techs responsible for rolling these changes out. Even more importantly, it could save big money in the long-term.

What do you think, does the selling of Balisillie’s stock say anything about the future of Blackberry or not? Additionally, do you think that if Microsoft increased its enterprise marketing efforts it could effectively ‘steal’ away companies using Blackberry over to Windows Phone 8? Share your thoughts below.

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