Four months after Quip launched on iOS, the company delivers on its promise of an Android app for its eponymous word processor. Today's release comes on the heels of a major update to its Web and iOS apps that finally lets you import Microsoft Word files, a feature the Android version lacks for now. Still, with these two updates, Quip edges closer to its ideal of being a collaborative cross-platform word processor.
It's curtains for BlackBerry
Following a miserable three days after reporting a writedown of $1 billion and layoffs of 4,500 employees, BlackBerry said that it has signed a letter of intent to be taken private under an arrangement with a group of investors led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.
This move should cause any businesses that are still heavy BlackBerry users to begin testing and planning alternatives -- now.
Taking a company private can sometimes help a business make bets and form a long term strategy that results in success. The problem for BlackBerry is it’s just too late. The time for bets and new, long-term strategies was three or four years ago. BlackBerry users that have stuck it out this far won’t have the patience to wait long enough for the kinds of changes that might happen now.
However, if the new owners do plan to still try to sell off pieces of the business, there’s hope yet for some of the technology that BlackBerry once pioneered. It’s behind the game in most areas but with some focus it could salvage some businesses.
For instance, its enterprise server has been used by corporations for years. BlackBerry recently began allowing users to manage non-BlackBerry devices from the servers. Last week, BlackBerry said that 25,000 businesses had begun using or trying its new server. With some focus and added investment, the BlackBerry server could continue to be a competitive mobile device management tool -- perhaps under a different owner, like one of the standalone MDM vendors like MobileIron or Airwatch.
Turning around the handset business, however, is a much tougher proposition. Whether BlackBerry keeps it or tries to sell it off, the business has had years to try to catch up with the rest of the smartphone market and has clearly failed. Given the proliferation of MDM products, including BlackBerry’s own enterprise server, that support the major platforms, there’s little reason for businesses to be interested in BlackBerry phones.
Finally, while there was once hope for BlackBerry’s messenger platform, another disaster over the weekend leaves little confidence that the service has a bright future, either under BlackBerry or as a spun off business. The company had planned to roll out versions of the messenger service for Android and iOS over the weekend but had to scuttle the plan after a leaked version of the Android version began circulating online.
Last week BlackBerry announced plans to lay off 4,500 workers and said it plans to write off nearly $1 billion for its second quarter. Questions arose following that announcement about a new corporate jet purchased by the company just a couple months ago.
With news this week that Google Compute Engine cloud is now generally available, the battle in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market has hit a new level. The biggest question is: Can Google give the kingpin of the public IaaS market, Amazon Web Services (AWS), a run for its money?