Bing to become search default on new BlackBerry phones

Bing to become search default on new BlackBerry phones

Summary: Research in Motion (RIM) has announced it will make Bing the default search engine on BlackBerry phones starting this holiday season.


Research in Motion (RIM) has announced it will make Bing the default search engine on BlackBerry phones starting this holiday season.

The announcement at the BlackBerry World 2011 conference on May 3 was big enough to merit Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's appearance on stage.

Details so far are scarce, but supposedly, Bing doesn't become an option on BlackBerry phones. According to reports, "the (Bing) search will apparently be integrated at an OS (operating system) level." There's no word so far as to which models will include Bing and which won't.

Microsoft has struck some similar deals in the past, with Bing becoming the default search engine on some (but not all) Verizon Android phones. There were rumors that Microsoft was negotiating with Apple to make Bing the default on iPhones, but that never came to be.

Today's deal also includes Bing Maps becoming the default on coming BlackBerry phones. Microsoft is currently working with Nokia to integrate Bing Maps with Nokia's Navteq/Ovi Maps technology. When I asked Microsoft officials recently as to whether Bing Maps technology ultimately would be supplanted by Ovi Maps, I was told by a spokesperson:

“Bing Maps has utilized Nokia content for road data, geo-coding and routing services for several years, through Nokia’s Navteq vector data business, relying on the quality of its data for core location services. The Nokia/MS partnership will enable deeper collaboration in the future.”

I've asked Microsoft for more particulars on the BlackBerry deal. No word back so far. Stay tuned.

Update: Microsoft has more details in a new Bing Community blog post.

Bing search and maps become the default on new BlackBerry phones coming as of this holiday season, both in the U.S. and internationally. Bing search will be an option on existing phones. Bing search and maps also becomes the default search engine on the BlackBerry Playbook tablet.

A Microsoft spokesperson elaborated with a few more specifics:

"Today, Bing and Research In Motion (RIM) announced a partnership to make Bing the preferred search and maps provider on all new BlackBerry devices. Bing will be the search default for the Blackberry browser, and the default search and maps provider on new RIM devices presented to mobile operators in the U.S. and select international markets. The Bing for Mobile BlackBerry App is also available for download in the BlackBerry App World store, and is a preferred app."

Update No. 2: Microsoft and RIM aren't talking about the terms of the deal, according to a Microsoft spokesperson. (I asked how much Microsoft paid to get this placement.) The deal seemingly includes other technologies, going forward, as Tech Republic's Jason Hiner noted in his coverage. From Hiner:

"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."

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Nokia, BlackBerry, Telcos


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • So unnecessary

    This is why I think that it would be a huge mistake for Amazon to enter the tablet market with a hardware offering. If Google were the world's favorite search engine, and they would stay there, we would not be seeing Bing making much headway. Instead Google has become The Enemy at Apple, at RIM, and soon at HP.<br><br>Amazon has a window of time in which to take advantage of its huge content-delivery ecosystem, complete with bizillions of one-click credit card accounts, to become the video store, the music store, and the app store for the whole Android universe.

    Why would they send Samsung, Motorola, Acer, and everybody else running for the exits -- and into the arms of the nearly-dead Barnes and Noble -- to get a slice of a low-margin, commodity hardware business? Why not become everybody's app store instead? There is much more money in that.
    Robert Hahn
    • Amazon will enter the tablet market so that they are not at the mercy of

      the rest promoting Amazon content and services. Face it, the tablet market will be comodity, with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and others selling at cost.
      • RE: Bing to become search default on new Blackberry phones

        <a href="">public administration degree</a>
        <a href="">Online Psychology School</a>
    • RE: Bing to become search default on new Blackberry phones

      @Robert Hahn
      Microsoft , even if will buy RIM and Nokia , in the ECOSYSTEM WAR , will be on the 4th place after Apple, Google and HP ...
  • RE: Bing to become search default on new Blackberry phones

    Why stop there. Why not also use the WP7 os. Hence M$ will pay them more than Nokia.
    • RIM is not THAT stupid!!!

      • re:RIM is not THAT stupid!!!

        @DonnieBoy <br><br>Yes they are!!! Wasn't that the same thing you said about Nokia?<br><br>PS. Can you show me a successfully M$ partner in anything. I'll wait. The first step is to embrace, then it's down hill from there.
  • Yes, funny, MS flush with cash, but, the only ones taking it are the losers

    • Its a smart move. first their own WP, then nokia, then rim.

      Expect to see apple next. perhaps as soon as WWDC. the iphone/ipad versions of bing are alread a 1000X better than the google versions. and expect to see the bing on verizon droids thing go further with bing becoming the search on many more android phones. They are slowly but steadily cutting off googles oxygen supply like a bulldog fight. search is the only thing google makes lots of money on and is largely shifting to mobile. mobile is the paradigm shift that allows ms to crack googles search share. i expect to see the fantasic ipad bing app on RIM playbooks soon to.
      Johnny Vegas
      • Will never happen.

        Apple and Microsoft hate each other... Both Nokia and RIM were in trouble and needed cash hence they accepted Microsoft's offer... last time I checked, there wasn't anyone with more cash than Apple..
    • RE: Bing to become search default on new Blackberry phones

      @DonnieBoy They are the only ones MS is offing it to you mean . . .
  • RE: Bing to become search default on new Blackberry phones

    Lost so much respect for MS with the Y2K Zune debacle. RIM should focus on providing a better default browser for their devices.
    • Maybe they just did. IE9 is the best browser available today for desktop

      Its about 100x faster than the next fastet which is chrome. IE9 for mobile is coming this fall and again about 100X faster than the next. I wouldnt be surprised if RIM also adds IE9 soon.
      Johnny Vegas
      • RE: Bing to become search default on new Blackberry phones

        @Johnny Vegas
        I sense hyperbole...
    • RE: Bing to become search default on new Blackberry phones

      Zune y2k debacle ?,
  • MS needs to by them

    Microsoft needs to just buy RIM and get it over with... that is the smartest move in my view.They'l get:
    1. the BBM Platform that is 2nd to none
    2. large customer base (especially canada and the caribbean)
    3. a ready to go platform for the tablet form factor
    5. BB OS7 that's already in the wings.
    • Nope that'd be stupid. Like with yahoo all they need is the search/ads

      they dont need anything else from them. this is only about cutting off googles oxygen supply. Nokia, RIM, maybe Apple next. If Larry is as smart as he would like everyone to think then he's sh*tting a brick right now...
      Johnny Vegas
      • But Android is your friend

        "Sir, the scouts are reporting that Superman is not pleased that we tugged on his cape."
        <ul>He's not? The Department of Unicorns and Rainbows assured us that he would turn and smile.</ul>
        "Yeah, well, he didn't."
        Robert Hahn
    • RE: Bing to become search default on new Blackberry phones

      @vhaakmat - holy cow that's a bad comment. Are you talking about the BES and BAS? Yes, it has some nice enterprise features but has become a relic.

      Yes, large customer base but dwindling by the day. BB7 (a.k.a 6.1) will be nice but come' on. It's still archaic. Do you still have to code in Java. Ugg

      I've used the Playbook and it is super smooth, but it doesn't have an EMAIL CLIENT. If RIM is anything, they are email. What genius let the Playbook out the door without an email client??
  • No choice...No way

    Whether RIM uses Bing as the default search engine or not is not the problem. The only problem is whether the user has the option to change the search engine setting to one they like.

    If the setting is fixed for Bing only, (or any other search engine for that matter), then RIM is not a choice at all. I despise the take or leave it mentality that companies like RIM have.
    linux for me