MicroStrategy CEO - We don't develop for BlackBerry because it's 'a lost cause'

By Danny Palmer
08 Jul 2014 View Comments

Enterprise software platform provider MicroStrategy has developed various analytics and security solutions for mobile devices – including Usher, its biometric identity tool – but it has chosen not to build them for BlackBerry because the Canadian smartphone manufacturer represents a "lost cause" that "isn't coming back".

That's what Michael Saylor, CEO and chairman of MicroStrategy, told the gathered media at the company's MicroStrategy World 2014 conference in Barcelona, Spain.

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Speaking during his keynote earlier in the day, Saylor suggested that mobile choice for enterprise and consumers has come down to a decision between iPhone or Android and this is positive for mobile solution vendors.

"I think this is a really exciting time because we see a consolidation of the mobile market to just two players: to Apple and to Google," he said.

"And there's a general view that most mobile applications will be built on iOS or Android from this point forward. That's incredibly helpful to everybody's mobile aspirations, including ours."

Later, during a press conference, Computing asked if MicroStrategy saw BlackBerry – or indeed Microsoft Windows Mobile – as part of its future mobile plans and Saylor made it very certain that he didn't believe it made sense for his company to invest in creating solutions tailored to BlackBerry.

"We could build and deploy this stuff into BlackBerry because it could go back to becoming successful and we'd really like them to do that," he explained.

"As a practical matter right now, most enterprise applications are on iOS or Android but there's nothing against the other ones, it's just a pragmatic observation on what it looks like. Google and Apple have won – as much as everyone wouldn't like that to be the case. I don't think in the next 12 months we'll see a reversal of that," said Saylor, who painted a grim future for BlackBerry.

"Over the course of three or four years anything could happen, but I don't think BlackBerry is coming back. I wouldn't write off Microsoft, but I don't think BlackBerry is coming back, no matter what. That's a lost cause, I would not suggest you invest in their architecture," he said.

The MicroStrategy CEO also suggested that Microsoft may have already accepted that it will not challenge Google or Apple in the mobile OS space, but that the firm is positioning itself to make the best out of the situation that it can.

"Microsoft has even tipped their hat to iOS and Android by shipping Office on iPad and I think their CEO [Satya Nadella] realises that the best they can hope for is to be number three," he said.

"The real question in the marketplace is will they be the number three or will there just be two. But in the next 36 months it's pretty obvious you'll still have iOS and Android," Saylor added.

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