Even if a company like Microsoft decides to play white knight and save it, BlackBerry maker RIM will likely never be the same.

The company is in, for lack of a better word, chaos and many observers believe the end may be near.

Despite the fact that the company’s ability to survive as an independent entity is increasingly under question, RIM is trying to put on an optimistic face. But that looks like a difficult path and the latest bad news suggests that it may be all but impossible.

According to a survey conducted by Baird Equity Research, despite some promising features that are coming with BlackBerry 10, developers are losing interest in RIM’s upcoming OS — the OS that is supposed to help save the company.

Of the 200 developers Baird polled, the average outlook for BlackBerry 10 was just 3.8 out of 10. That’s down from 6.1 a year ago. The two most prominent mobile platforms, iOS and Android, received 9.3 and 8.7 marks, respectively.

RIM, not surprisingly, disagrees with the notion that developers are not on its side. “The developer community for BlackBerry 10 is not only thriving, it is engaged and enthusiastic. Developers have been providing feedback to us very regularly on the tools, the investment and commitment we’ve made in developers and most importantly, the opportunities they see on BlackBerry 10,” the company stated.

To be fair, Baird’s survey consisted of a small sample size, so it may not reflect broader developer sentiment. At the same time, RIM’s claim that the BlackBerry 10 developer community is “thriving” is a curious one, if for one reason: BlackBerry 10 isn’t publicly available yet. After numerous delays, it is expected to be released in 2013. With just 4% of new smartphones purchased in the United States in Q2 2012 being BlackBerries, it’s unclear just how big the market will be for BlackBerry then.

Are developers really excited about sticking around to find out? BlackBerry may think so, but one would have to believe that the company knows better.