Is WorldDesk the future for BlackBerry & Microsoft?

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Season Greetings!

For me, this time of year is about taking stock, closing out the last of the year’s business, (including some nasty little loose ends!) and then leaving the next few weeks to get grounded and start planning for the year ahead. At Lough Shore we’ve chomped through a ton of business in December. 

Speaking of companies having a busy December, one very interesting topic that has bubbled up recently in our daily reviews is the chatter about Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), the company behind the ubiquitous BlackBerry. The share price has collapsed from a high above $70 earlier in the year, to a meagre $12.45 earlier this week. Rumours now abound that a Microsoft lead consortium will acquire the company. 

Any approach based on the financials leaves RIMM looking very cheap - indeed at under $20 per share, or even $30 per share. They have minimal debt, and world class medium term statistics for growth, margin and return on equity. On the face of it their products and services seem very sticky, and deeply engrained in just about every enterprise on the planet. However, of late all this has been overshadowed by concerns with the future direction of their products and in particular their ability to compete with Apple and in the tablet market at large. 

Our view is that this concern is over-hyped, so we bought RIMM yesterday at under $14 per share. 

The core question was whether we thought the BlackBerry will be around in five years. The answer was a resounding yes - in fact we think that a prototype built by Belfast’s WorldDesk illustrates just how versatile the BlackBerry is and how it can leverage its deep penetration of the enterprise to quickly propel the market away from Apple and Android back towards Microsoft. 

SoftPC BlackBerry Demo from Stevie Morrow on Vimeo.

In layman’s terms, in the not too distant future anyone with a BlackBerry could carry a secure mobile PC with them and plug it into any available PC to get full access to their personal desktop anywhere in the world - meanwhile data never leaves the extended business network, plus it’s backed up in the cloud. 

We think this type of solution has even greater potential in the Indian and Asian markets, where large numbers of users don’t have access to a personal physical computer today.

With that, I’m going to sign-off for the year. Have a great Holiday season and we’ll see you all in 2012!

- Danny

Tags: virtualization | virtualisation | startups | start-up | Belfast | WorldDesk | Angel Investing | VC | Danny Moore | Lough Shore Investments |

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