Blackberry (RIM) facing a Grim future with BES

Blackberry Manufacturer , Research In Motion is facing a tough challenge in the Mobile Device space, with competition from Apple and whole bunch of new Device vendors powered by Android.  And its device fortunes are tightly coupled with Enterprises continuing to use BES for Mobile email.

Though RIM has brought out quite a few new devices in the recent past like the Blackberry Torch, still its Device space is pale in comparison to Apple or Android Ecosystem. Though RIM allowed BES client softwares for other Mobile devices in the past, it ceased this practice in hope of growing its Handset business. But this could backfire in the current scenario.

Most of the big enterprises use Microsoft’s Exchange server or IBM Domino, and there are others  who use simple POP/SMTP, or IMAP service through vendors like Google. And Blackberry devices provide a way of accessing the mails through its BES – Blackberry Enterprise Service and BIS – Blackberry Internet Service. BES is a costly affair , the data plan costing 3 times than an regular basic data plan. For instance ATT charges $15 Minimum data plan for iPhone and other smartphones, whereas a blackberry with BES needs a Minimum data plan of $40.

Cost being one factor, But the device adaptation is another.  With so much fanfare and push for devices running iOS and Android, many enterprises are thinking of allowing the device access through less costlier services like Exchange ActiveSync (from Microsoft), which needs a basic data plan. My employer recently , silently rolled out Active Sync  access to enable  Iphones and iPad’s in particular, a decision pitched by Some Senior Managers who wanted to use iPhones.

With feature set of Microsoft Active Sync increasing rapidly with Active Sync 12 (currently 14), and licensing with Apple and Many Android device Manufacturers,  RIM is facing a bleak future.  If RIM doesnt move fast and introduce new compelling features or reinvent its Device segment  it is going to be very tough  ride.

Larry Page’s not so impressive CEO debut

Google’s new CEO and his team would have definitely wanted to have a better debut than what was happened on the Quarterly  earnings call.  Like a student coming late to class and giving excuses Page’s excuses and statement looked silly and Childish, combine it with increasing expenditure, market got spooked.

After a brief period in 1998-2000 , Google was run by its founder Larry Page , but with insistence of well wishers and pressure from Investors the CEO role was given to a older Gentleman in Eric Schmidt. Who with support from Page and Brin helped grow the company from a small search engine to its current position.

Instead of taking the lead and taking questions, Page was introduced as a special guest, who doesn’t have much time for the call, who in turn gave a written statement and more than a couple of times reiterated that everything was going as per plan in Google. With the way he approached the call made one wonder if Page took the whole thing  very light,  may be similar to how the  his day at Office prior to CEO days.

Many have described how fun it is to work in Googleplex and how Page runs his business in a casual way, but Wall Street doesn’t run like that. Thats where it was expected someone  would step in and correct Page, it appears either no one did or Page didn’t listen. Even when Schmidt was being replaced there were questions about his CEO skills other than 2 years at Google’s helm for a 100 employees company.

If Larry Page has his way, Google will take more risk, invest more in high tech projects  and take more drastic steps. All these might sound exciting, but with a resurgent Microsoft and Facebook to contend, investors may not feel the same.

Microsoft’s new launch ‘Internet Explorer 9’

Microsoft yesterday launched its new browser IE9 at Austin, Texas. The browser has many features like Pinned sites (where you can go to your favorite site’s directly from windows taskbar without opening a new browser page, to do so click the icon on the left of the web address in One box/ tab of the website/ websites icon on the new tab page, and drag it to the taskbar. The pinned site appears to be a separate site from IE9. The pinned site also has a Jump list/ some have thumbnail preview controls similar to play and pause like in a video/ have icon overlays which display informations like status of the website.), new graphic capabilities and improved performance, Extensive HTML 5 support, Hardware accelerated text, graphics and video so that they act like the programs installed in your pc.

The installation of the browser is shorter and streamlined therefore the installation process is faster than its previous versions. Its other features include Snap (where you can view any two sites/ pages at same time by dragging them on opposite edges of your screen, and they appear side-by-side), One Box (for both navigating to a site and to start a search), Smart screen filter with Anti-phishing protection, Application reputation, Anti-malware protection and etc.,