RIM's 7 days in January


Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) kicked off its BlackBerry 10 launch with the unveiling of the BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 on Wednesday. It will culminate in the long awaited launch of BlackBerry 10 operating system and handsets on Jan. 30.

The Canadian firm is betting that BlackBerry 10 can help it regain its strong position in the mobile enterprise, a position that has been eroded by the flood of personal devices in the workplace.

Analysts that I consulted with last year for a feature article said that RIM has made some nifty improvements with its BlackBerry 10 OS and BES 10 server that will make IT administrators happy.

But unfortunately for RIM, employees are driving enterprise mobility developments through BYOD. Employees, as consumers, have flocked to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Android devices, and are bringing those devices to work.

To challenge the popularity of these devices among consumers, RIM has a tall marketing task in front of it, a task made more difficult by Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) launch of Windows 8-based tablets and smartphones. RIM is competing with Microsoft for the third spot in the enterprise.

And Microsoft has deep pockets for marketing. It seems you can't turn on the TV without seeing ads for Windows 8 products.

RIM's task is monumental. The next seven days will be crucial for the group's future. - Fred