Quoting people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal has reported that in recent months, Microsoft and Nokia "flirted" with the idea of making a joint bid for RIM.
"The status of the talks remains unclear. But the fact that the discussions took place, even informally, underscores the severity of the challenges facing RIM and the opportunity it presents to rivals," the publication said.
RIM has been grappling with tough times, especially dismal quarterly financial performance due to service outages in October. In recent weeks, investors have sought bold steps including management rejig to revive the fortunes of the Canadian entity.
According to the report, Co-Chief Executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis last week acknowledged investor anger and said they would explore a wide range of operational shifts.
"So far, no bids have emerged, and Balsillie has indicated he wants to wait until the launch of RIM's new BlackBerry next year before deciding whether to engage seriously with potential buyers," the daily said quoting people familiar with the matter.
"It is far from certain that either Nokia or Microsoft would want to do a deal, given the complexities involved," the report noted.
As per the daily, senior executives from all three companies frequently meet to discuss ways to enhance their partnerships and talk about their industry.
"It is unclear how extensively RIM has been involved in any takeover discussions with Microsoft and Nokia," it added.
Spokespeople for Microsoft and Nokia declined to comment, while a RIM spokeswoman said the company doesn't comment on rumours and speculation.
Microsoft and RIM already have a partnership for cloud service initiative that allows corporate customers to move back-office infrastructure to off-site data centres.
Microsoft also has a partnership with Nokia that enables the latter to install Microsoft's mobile phone software on its devices.