Surprise! Microsoft <3 RIM

By  |  Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I don’t think anyone saw this one coming. This week is the BlackBerry World conference, probably something a lot of us didn’t know (except for Harry maybe?). Well, Steve Ballmer — yes, the CEO of Microsoft — made news at the conference.

The surprise guest of a talk starring president and co-CEO Mike Lazardis, Ballmer was on hand to announce Microsoft has signed a deal with RIM to become the exclusive provider of search and mapping functions on BlackBerry devices. Even more surprising? Bing and Microsoft would find itself deeply integrated into BlackBerry OS 7, coming later this year.

“This  goes way beyond search box,” Ballmer was quoted by ReadWriteWeb as saying to attendees. “It’s about real tools that help real people get things done.” All in all, it really looks like RIM just handed the keys to the services component of the OS right over to the Redmond company.

Why did RIM do this? I think it’s pretty straightforward — putting it in the nicest terms, RIM’s own applications for these various services suck (I owned a Blackberry Pearl for a time way back in the day). Allowing Microsoft to take over the services side for its customers allows RIM to focus on more important things.

As we all know, RIM has got its you-know-what handed to itself in recent months as both Android and iOS take a lion’s share of the smartphone market. The company really needs to start making moves now before its too late, I think everyone can agree on that.

Not everybody thinks this is smart. Take for example Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg, who tweeted this: “‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ is not a great business strategy. Marry someone out of love not because you both hate someone.”

Maybe he has a point?


Read more: , ,

4 Comments For This Post

  1. IcyFog Says:

    Just another reason why I won't go near either company for personal use.

  2. John J Volk Says:

    Microsoft has been pushing an "in your face" campaign with their Bing search engine and Toolbar. ASUS and ACER notebook computers come with Bing as the default search engine set in Internet Explorer and the BING toolbar installed by factory default in Windows 7 systems. I find this very offensive and have changed the default search to Google as well as uninstall the Bing toolbar. I also install Google Chrome and Firefox to give people a choice of internet browsers. To see RIM in bed with Microsoft shows just how desperate the company is getting! RIP RIM? Maybe so!

  3. @hurtle24 Says:

    On a related note, Bing seems to be getting a lot of product placement in TV shows and movies. There is a scene in a recent movie (can't remember the name) with a couple in an art galley, when they need more information on a painting, one says to the other "I'll bing it". No real life person would say this – maybe microsoft employees. . .

  4. Ryan Patterson Says:

    I can back up what @hurtle24 said above. . . the microsoft product placement on the new Hawaii Five-0 ruined the show for me. Macrosoft surface, windows phones, and bing were all over the place. When one of the main characters said the phrase, “Just bing it”, I removed the entire series from my DVR right then and there.

    Grace Park is amazingly HOT (if you’re reading this, call me!). But she alone could not counteract the in your face microsoft product placement.