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Microsoft and Nokia apparently have flirted with the idea of making a joint bid for Research In Motion in recent months.

It is unclear what the status currently is, but the fact that the discussions took place, even informally, shows what position RIM is in and the opportunity it presents to rivals.

RIM announced dismal third-quarter results last week and shares have hit multi-year lows. Investors and analysts have been calling for a management shake-up or a sale of the company.