RIM and Microsoft partner up to integrate Bing into BlackBerry
Search and maps incoming
It's not in the same league as the firm's broad alliance with Nokia, but Microsoft's decision to further its relationship with rival RIM by serving up Bing for BlackBerry comes at an interesting time.
The announcement was made during BlackBerry World 2011, with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer taking to the stage to detail a deal to bring both Bing search and mapping technology to BlackBerry handsets.
The link-up goes beyond the token, too, with the two parties stating Bing will be deeply integrated into the OS in a manner that appears similar to the functionality served up on Windows Phone 7.
BlackBerry, Bing and Ballmer
"This goes way beyond a search box," said Ballmer.
"Bing will be deeply integrated at the operating system level, going way beyond the application experience that is available today. We're really excited about this partnership."
Set to be delivered this Christmas, the use of Bing maps is, in particular, especially interesting, if only because Microsoft's newfound relationship with Nokia allows the firm to employ its mapping technology.
Whether, almost by default, this will result in the Nokia owned Navteq making its way across to BlackBerry in some shape or form (albeit under the Bing banner) is not yet clear.
Either way, the unveiling of closer ties with BlackBerry comes at a sensitive time for Microsoft, with speculation suggesting WP7 is failing to take off at retail, despite strong projections from industry analysts moving forward.
[source: Financial Post]
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