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Microsoft can learn a crucial lesson from BlackBerry

Microsoft continues to be an industry leader, generating healthy profits from sales of its Windows operating system and productivity software, such as Office. But Microsoft could learn a lesson from BlackBerry’s ongoing problems.

At its recent BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, BlackBerry announced that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) will soon be available as a free app for both iOS and Android smartphones. While the news was arguably one of the highlights of the event, its timing was nonetheless too little, too late. What would have been seen as a brilliant tactical move two or three years ago is viewed today as desperate act with little chance of making a difference.


BBM is coming to iOS and Android, but it’s too late to make a difference.



BBM is a defining feature of the BlackBerry mobile platform. There was a time when it was one of the most coveted features of BlackBerry smartphones. But keeping the software exclusive was not enough of an attraction to keep customers from defecting to iPhone and Android smartphones.

Instead, new messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger exploded on those iOS and Android platforms and now eclipse BBM. At this point, WhatsApp has more than three times as many users as BBM, and Facebook Messenger has nearly 12 times as many users—and those are just two examples from a crowded selection of messaging apps. The ship has sailed when it comes to demand for BBM.

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PCWorld

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