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Rivalry of the Week: Microsoft versus RIM

Is RIM spreading FUD about the mobility space? Somebody at Microsoft thinks so.

Waiting on line at the ATandT store this weekend, making a purchase but waiting for the slow POS system to complete the transaction, it was hard not to notice the woman who burst into the store, Blackberry to ear, and asking, to nobody in particular: "Do you have the Pearl? I need to buy a Pearl."

A store sales representative walked over, led her to the rack where the latest Blackberry Pearl was displayed, and began to talk to her about the features and price. Thirty seconds into the conversation, the customer blurted out, "You mean it's not the new one? I want the new one. What is it?" It's the Curve, 8310, the representative informed her.

Wrap it up, the customer said.

Now, that's success in branding.

Which leads us to to this: RIM's latest marketing effort designed to keep it front and center when it comes to business and enterprise mind share. The advertisement urges readers to "Get The Facts On Blackberry and Alternative Wireless Solutions for Business." It touts Blackberry's security, application support, infrastructure, flexibility and more. And it prompted a response from Microsoft Mobile marketing's Gerardo Dado:

So, in other words, the enterprise IT executive isn't exactly the same demographic as the woman bursting in to the store demanding the Pearl, or whatever is the latest Blackberry.

Dado, who stresses his blog includes only his personal opinions, counters Blackberry's remarks on features and functions almost line for line and adds, "RIM is a company we don't underestimate, they provide a good service and have pretty good devices. But when I look at the trends I can't help but think of Netware versus NT or Word Perfect versus MS Word for Windows. We will see in a few years. . ."

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