RIM find itself in a downward spiral -

RIM is facing pressure to sell its network business or form an alliance with Microsoft after having to delay the release of its next-generation smartphones.

RIM's future is entirely dependant on the success of its new BlackBerry 10 which is already late and now appears to be delayed until next year.

But it seems that while the company drags out the release, its profits are suffering chronically. Yesterday the company announced a steeper-than-expected quarterly operating loss and plunged 18 percent in extended trading.

The company is now worth $4.1 billion and the stock has fallen about 70 percent in just a year.

RIM claims that most of its woes are caused by the fact that its new operating system is taking longer to develop than anticipated.

According to Reuters, the setback is forcing RIM's board to look at "other options" to pull its nadgers out of the fire.

This effectively admits that its current plan of praying and rolling the dice with Blackberry 10 is not working.

One of its ideas is for RIM to abandon its own operating system and adopt Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8.

Apparently the shy and retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been seen wining and dining the company lately looking to strike a similar deal to one the software giant has with Nokia.

Vole would buy a stake in RIM and fund marketing and other expenses.

RIM seems to think that this a bad idea. After look what is happening to Nokia and besides it would lose its technology independence.

But another area where Vole has been snuffling around is RIM's wireless patents.

RIM could flog off its proprietary network to a private equity firm or a technology company.

The new owner would open up RIM's network operating centers to other smartphone providers, allowing them to also provide highly secured emails and other services to companies and government agencies.

But that is selling the most lucrative part of the company to prop up its chocolate teapot handset business.

RIM has in the past considered opening up its network to rivals, but has hoped that it would not have too.