Has Microsoft got its eye on BlackBerry?

it_portal_pic_107046 Microsoft could be preparing a bid for BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion, according to analysts.

RIM's shares have practically fallen off a cliff in recent months, plunging from a 52-week high of $150 to today's price of around $68.

With the credit crunch likely to slow corporate IT spending, RIM could become even more vulnerable if the financial crisis doesn't dissipate quickly.

That leaves the company vulnerable to a takeover from a cash-rich suitor such as Microsoft, according to analysts. "RIM is a massive strategic fit [for Microsoft]," claims Canaccord Adams analyst Peter Misek, in an interview with Reuters. "I'm fairly certain they have a standing offer to buy them at $50 [a share]."

Microsoft has around $23 billion of cash on its balance sheet, with RIM currently valued at around $34 billion. Such a move will position MS aggressively in the mobile space competing directly against Nokia, Sonu-Ericsson and Apple.

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