RIM, Microsoft ally: BlackBerry gets Bing

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise appearance at the BlackBerry World 2011 keynote in Orlando, Florida, and announced a new partnership between Microsoft and Research In Motion (RIM) that will make Bing the default search engine and maps provider for BlackBerry devices.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a surprise appearance at the BlackBerry World 2011 keynote in Orlando, Florida, and announced a new partnership between Microsoft and Research In Motion (RIM) that will make Bing the default search engine and maps provider for BlackBerry devices.

(Credit: Jason Hiner/ZDNet US)

The change will begin to show up on BlackBerry smartphones later this year.

After joining RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis on the 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 of IM and social networking.

"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 get things done."

Ballmer said that 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.

Via ZDNet US