BlackBerry taps Bing to power search and maps

BlackBerry taps Bing to power search and maps

Summary: Microsoft and Research in Motion have signed a deal to make Bing the default search and maps app for BlackBerry devices. They also plan to develop these apps into augmented reality services.


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise appearance at the BlackBerry World 2011 keynote in Orlando on Tuesday and announced a new partnership between Microsoft and Research and Motion that will make Bing the default search engine and maps provider for BlackBerry devices. This will begin to show up on BlackBerry smartphones later this year.

After joining RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis on stage, Ballmer announced, "We're going to invest uniquely in the BlackBerry platform in addition to our own platform."

The two companies are going to extend this search/maps partnership to bring "augmented reality" -- a combination of maps, GPS, photo search, and more -- to the BlackBerry platform. They are also going to integrate this with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), RIM's popular combination between IM and social networking.

Related: Bing to become search default on new Blackberry phones

"We're super committed to innovate with Bing and BlackBerry," said Ballmer. "This goes way beyond a search box. It's about giving real people real tools to help them gets things done."

Photo credit: Jason Hiner

Ballmer said this was his first time at BlackBerry World, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, but as he walked off the stage he said, "We'll be back." That sounds like RIM and Microsoft have signed a long-term partnership.

As my colleague Larry Dignan joked, Microsoft is now the friend to all ailing smartphone makers.

More BlackBerry World coverage:

Topics: Mobile OS, CXO, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, BlackBerry

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  • Yes, funny MS still trying to buy their way in anywhere they can.

    But, it is just the losers taking their money for right now, as Larry noted.
    • But that's money Google's NOT getting

      and you really believe Google's happy about it?

      I think you're the only one laughing. Google's investors and Google themselves aren't!
      Bill Pharaoh
      • Message has been deleted.

      • RE: BlackBerry taps Bing to power search and maps

        @Bill Pharaoh

        Microsoft , even if will buy RIM and Nokia , in the ECOSYSTEM WAR , will be on the 4th place after Apple, Google and HP ...
      • Very True, Mr. Pharaoh

        @Bill Pharaoh
        I believe DonnieBoy did not consider that before speaking, but you are correct.

        Google makes no money from this, and that is not something that they wish to continue repeating.
        Tim Cook
      • RE: BlackBerry taps Bing to power search and maps

        @Bill Pharaoh There's a very slim chance that RIM might offer a WP (sans 7) phone, as this would create trouble inside, having to manage (legacy) BlackBerry OS 6, (upco<a href="">m</a>ing) 7 and (PlayBook) QNX. One more OS would cer<a href="">t</a>ainly wreck havoc.
    • RE: BlackBerry taps Bing to power search and maps

      @DonnieBoy <br>As always, MS is buying / cloning their way into a new technology. The last time I checked, Bing is using Google results as part of their search ranking. If that isn't the lowest in the art of copy cats, I don't know what is....

      It is interesting that two companies on their way out would join forces. I wouldn't be surprised if MS bought out RIM once its stock tanks to $30...
      • You may tell yourself that what you wish

        But that does not make it true. All it does is give you the ability to say incorrect statements.

        Tim Cook
      • RE: BlackBerry taps Bing to power search and maps


        Do you actually believe that Google doesn't buy their way into new technology? Here are a few big ones:

        - AdMob
        - Android
        - DoubleClick
        - Keyhole (Maps/Earth)
        - YouTube

        There are 95 such acquisitions listed on Wikipedia. Unlike you, I don't think this is a sin against humanity. These corporations should be buying their way into new markets or they should be giving the money back to their shareholders.
        Rich Miles
  • I have been surprised by Bing Maps.

    Far more accurate than Google Maps and much more detail. Bing search is so-so against Google but ht eMaps is far superior.
    • RE: BlackBerry taps Bing to power search and maps

      Google maps is easier to use. Bing maps have much better data.

      Personally have found Bing to be a *much* better (not just a little better) search engine. In fact, Google seems to be moving backwards, not so much that Bing is getting better. Did they (Google) significantly change their algorithm about six months ago? Since the fall, Google has been rubbish...
      x I'm tc
  • The Endangered Polar Monkey

    Agreed: this is sad. There was a time when Ballmer wouldn't have answered Lazaridis' phone calls. Now he rows around the Arctic looking for ships with icebergs sticking out of them so he can dance on their decks.
    Robert Hahn
    • If you really believe that then you're as deluded as Donnieboy

      @Robert Hahn
      welcome to the skids. You have fallen far, haven't you Bob?
      Bill Pharaoh
      • The company you keep

        If Microsoft does an actual deal with Apple (putting an app in the App Store isn't a 'deal') or hitches its wagon to a rising star like HTC (instead of pummeling them for patent royalties), I will re-visit what looks an awful lot like the formation of an Army Of The Walking Dead.

        Can't they find someone who is on the way up -- instead of has-beens losing share -- who want to partner with them? If you keep dancing with people who stink, you end up getting the stink on your own clothes.

        It's like the guy who shows up in your office with a resume full of amazing jobs and achievements... except that every company he worked for was an also-ran or a tired old hag. Do you hire those guys? I never did.
        Robert Hahn
  • Wonder if he'll be showing up again soon at apples WWDC

    their getting a huge chunk of mobile share. WP, nokia, rim, droids on verizon. interesting to see if they add apple. bing on iphone/ipad is already huge and 100x better than google. i bet the ipad bing app gets ported to rim playbook soon.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: BlackBerry taps Bing to power search and maps

      @Johnny Vegas
      Apple seems possible. But more likely, they will build their own.
      x I'm tc
  • RIM to be the next Nokia

    Just my guess, but I would bet that by the end of 2012, RIM will be a lot like Nokia is today, an announced (but not yet in production) WP licensee with "benefits."
    x I'm tc
    • Nahh...

      @jdakula : there's an Arab saying:

      <i>The enemy of my enemy is my friend</i>.

      Microsoft is just hedging bets trying to beat Google on their own turf, thus eroding on their cash cow.

      There's a very slim chance that RIM might offer a WP (sans 7) phone, as this would create trouble inside, having to manage (legacy) BlackBerry OS 6, (upcoming) 7 and (PlayBook) QNX. One more OS would certainly wreck havoc.

      With that said, RIM's experiment on Android compatibility could be used by Microsoft to increase their app count using what's basically "open source". Not sure if it would ever happen, but we can't rule it out.
  • &acirc;??We&acirc;??re super committed...,&acirc;?? said Ballmer.

    Well that is very reassuring!
  • Silverlight; that is why Ballmer will be back

    Silverlight is cross-platform because it builds on the CLR/DLR.

    Blackberry is not ready to give up on their own OS, but they would *love* to be able to tap into an app ecosystem.

    And Microsoft would *love* to expand Silverlight to more phones to build an ecosystem with broader appeal to developers.

    Don't be surprised when MS/BB announces Silverlight for BBOS