One of these options is for RIM to abandon its own operating system and adopt Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had approached RIM in recent months, looking to strike a partnership similar to the one the software giant has with Nokia Oyj, the sources said. Under that partnership, Nokia will use Microsoft's latest Windows operating system on its smartphones.
In such a scenario, RIM could also look for Microsoft to buy a stake in the company and fund marketing and other expenses, the sources said. However, this option is not attractive to RIM because it would mean the end of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company's technology independence, they said.
The RIM board prefers to see through the efforts to develop the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, according to the sources.
Microsoft could also be interested in RIM's wireless patents, the sources said.
World needs a Third Front - Made up of Microsoft, Nokia and RIM - all standardized on Windows Phone Platform.