Microsoft’s CEO has just stepped off the stage at BlackBerry World in Florida having announced a deeper integration of its Bing search engine into the BlackBerry OS.
Steve Ballmer announced that Bing would become the “preferred search” on BlackBerry devices during his keynote speech in Florida today. However he was at pains to point out that this wouldn’t just mean additional search and map apps available in the App World store. The integration will be at an OS level and the two companies are currently working on handsets which will launch with Bing integrated into the OS. Ballmer also said that these new smartphones would be launched before Christmas this year indicating that another iteration of the BlackBerry OS would be launched at that time too. Earlier today we saw the new BlackBerry Bold handsets launched with the new BlackBerry OS 7.
"This goes way beyond a search box. Bing will be integrated into the BlackBerry experience starting this coming holiday season. Bing will be deeply integrated at the operating system level, going way beyond the application experience that is available today," Ballmer said. Microsoft and RIM already have an enterprise-based partnership and this new link-up highlights how the mobile world is shifting: "It really highlights how the mobile landscape is changing; the convergence of search, commerce, social and location-centric services, where Bing will provide intelligence and the organising layer in the cloud," Ballmer added.
The next iteration of BlackBerry OS integrating Bing could finally see a BlackBerry smartphone OS based on the QNX platform seen on the Playbook. We will let you know as soon as we hear anything else from BlackBerry or Microsoft on this new partnership.