Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was on hand and on stage at RIM's annual Blackberry World event. Microsoft's main man announced what Bing called a "new alliance" between the two companies to help their "joint customers" make better decisions.
Starting with the new BlackBerry Playbook, RIM's products will use Bing products as the preferred search provider, both for the search app and in the browser. Bing will also be the the default map application on all devices shipped domestically and internationally. As part of the deal, Bing apps will also have preferred placement and promotion within the BlackBerry App World carousel.
According to reports, Bing Search and Map products will be integrated at the operating system level. "This goes way beyond a search box," Ballmer said from the stage.
Microsoft promises their entry onto BlackBerry will provide more value that a list of ranked blue links of Web documents. The BlackBerry/Bing experience combines search, social e-commerce and location-based services, with the goal of helping users make better decisions and find real tools to help people get things done.
Ballmer added that Microsoft is "focused on doing this in a way that protects users' privacy."
Microsoft and RIM will join forces on the promotion with the marketing slogan "Making better decisions with Bing on BlackBerry."
What do you think? Is this decision a game-changer, allowing Bing to gain more market share? Will it be enough for BlackBerry to slow down Google's juggernaut Android platform?