They may spin off their devices unit. That is not helping things today. I honestly do not think the public understands the partnership between Microsoft and Nokia. If anyone thinks Microsoft is going to buy Blackberry and drop Nok your crazy.
They have a lot of gov. contracts where I am. I am not saying it is happening. That came from their shareholders or an activist. I am not sure where it is coming from and do not follow that stock. It is out there today though.
A fairly large user base is what BBRY offers to MSFT, and they are typically business users - not interested in Facebook or posting photos of their cats, but people who want email safely, reliably, in a straightforward, easy to learn and use device/software package. There are a fair number of people like that. With many/most BBRY users professional types, MSFT would like that base to cement MSFT's predominant role in enterprise. And BBRY is super-secure, a big plus for enterprise users, in stark and direct contrast to Android.
MSFT could buy BBRY and slowly migrate users to Windows. It would take 2-3-4 years to do that, but purely on a cost per user basis, MSFT might be interested in the purchase for the right price. The patents might also be of some interest, but I'm not familiar with BBRY patent portfolio to comment.
BBRY still has a large installed user base even though it's been slipping badly. 50+ million users, some loyal to the form factor of BlackBerrys with keyboards, others locked in because of corporate considerations. I expect BlackBerry to survive but maybe as a scaled back company with a $5 or $7 stock price. Don't forget - it's not all or nothing with these companies. They can survive without dominating.
I heard an analyst say that he future for Blackberry is software and services and not in devices. The guy said that the BBRY will sell its handset business to the Chinese. I don't know about selling to the Chinese but whether they like it or not their handset business is going away. In my opinion, BBRY needs to forget about pushing Blackberry OS. I see this as a failure similar to Nokia's obsession with Symbian. Symbian almost killed Nokia just like Blackberry OS is killing RIMM. NOK went to MS maybe RIMM should do the same. Their handset business is a joke but they to have some valuable pieces to their business.
I can't see business continuing to use BBRY if bought by the Chinese, and business is a major user of BBRY.
The Chinese have already been into US business hacking systems, and business knows this. There's not a major business in the US who would buy BBRY phones, or allow employees to use BBRY phones for business purposes, if purchased by the Chinese.
They might be a little more humble now. I do like the BBRY hardware and think that maybe NOK and MSFT should give serious consideration to making a bid for the handset business. It would be a quick way for MS to load their OS on another handset and for NOK to get an inroad into the corporate market in the US where they are weak. However that window for RIMM is closing fast. They better move on something.