Research In Motion and Microsoft have announced a ‘strategic mobile partnership’ that will see Bing become the ‘preferred’ search engine and mapping solution on future BlackBerry products.
News of the development came as BlackBerry co-CEO Mike Lazaridis and Microsoft head honcho Steve Ballmer took the stage at the BlackBerry World 2011 expo in Florida to make the announcement.
Ballmer revealed: "Effective today, Bing will become the preferred maps application for BlackBerry. BlackBerry devices will use Bing as the default search in browser."
“Bing will be integrated into the BlackBerry experience by this holiday season.
“We see opportunities in that integration to create unique experience for consumer and enterprise customers. We will market and promote the strength of our joint offerings."
The partnership essentially means that the likelihood of seeing any system-level integration of Google search or Google Maps on BlackBerry devices is now slim to none. It would also mean that Bing would supersede the existing BlackBerry Maps and search features - which to be frank - aren’t exactly much to write home about.
That said, reaction to the announcement has been mixed amongst BlackBerry fans that are less than pleased at not being offered a choice. It’s not clear whether there would still be way to install Google as the default search engine or mapping application but we wouldn't count on it being anything more than a standalone app.
What surprised us is not that BlackBerry chose Microsoft, but chose it after going through all the effort to make Android apps available to the BlackBerry PlayBook.
Are you happy or angry about Bing coming to BlackBerry? Let us know in the comments section below.