Blackberry lays off more workers as rumours of a Microsoft acquisition swirl

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It appears Microsoft’s billions are burning a hole in Satya Nadella’s pocket these days, as rumours of acquisitions continue to pop up.

After the rumoured failed attempt at buying Saleforce for $55 billion, today we have another of much smaller value.

Mobileburn reports that Blackberry is up for sale, and that Microsoft may step in and purchase the company for around $7 billion.

After selling only 1.6 million handsets in Q1 2015, Blackberry these days is mostly focussed on their services and manageability business.  Consistent with this and and with their attempts to get that division profitable, the 7,000 person company has just announced new lay-offs in their handset division.

In a statement Blackberry’s CEO John Chen said “.. we have made the decision to consolidate our device software, hardware and applications business, impacting a number of employees around the world”, noting “one of our priorities is making our device business profitable. At the same time, we must grow software and licensing revenues. You will see in the coming months a significant ramping up in our customer-facing activities in sales and marketing. We will also continue to make strategic partnerships and hires to focus on driving sales and delivering new offerings across high growth areas of our business.

It is exactly that service business Microsoft would be interested in and according to the rumours Microsoft has instructed investment companies to evaluate the potential of a deal. $7 billion is of course close to what Microsoft paid for Nokia’s handset division, and it seems in this case Microsoft would be getting a lot less, but with today’s Microsoft strongly focussed on productivity and enterprise (see the Salesforce rumours) such a deal seems quite plausible.

Do our readers think Microsoft should purchase Blackberry? Let us know below.

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