Bing to be default search engine for BlackBerry devices

By Tom Warren, on 3rd May 11 1:59 pm with 14 Comments

Bing on BlackBerry

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices will now be set to Bing as the default search engine.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took to the stage at BlackBerry World 2011 on Tuesday to confirm Bing as the default search engine. The partnership is a deep one and involves Bing being integrated at the operating system level according to Ballmer. The integration will include location based services too. Microsoft says Bing will be the preferred search provider in the browser and Bing will be the default search and map application for new BlackBerry devices in future. Bing will also ship as the default search experience and map app for the BlackBerry PlayBook.

“These new experiences highlight how the mobile landscape is changing,” said Microsoft’s Bing Director Matt Dahlin. “Devices are becoming sensors that can provide real-time access to information to help people quickly complete tasks on the go. We’re going to see a convergence of search, commerce, social and location-centric services where Bing will provide the intelligence and the organizing layer in the cloud that connects a user’s intent with action, helping people be more productive.”

Microsoft’s strategic partnership mirrors a deal it made with Nokia earlier this year. Nokia will use Microsoft’s Windows Phone software for its future smartphone devices. The phone giant will also work closely with Microsoft to integrate several key services. Microsoft says its work with Bing goes beyond just the search box. “We are excited to be working with RIM, an early leader in Internet-connected mobile devices, to help people make better decisions with Bing,” said Dahlin. Microsoft’s Bing application for BlackBerry was demonstrated on a BlackBerry Torch 9800 at BlackBerry World 2011 on Tuesday. The interface is based on the company’s Metro UI style as seen in Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 devices.

  • GP007

    Wow, unexpected. What did they use before? Google? This is a big win for Bing and MS and could be the first step in some deeper partnership in the future? Can you say, Nokia part two? If RIM keeps dropping smartphone share while WP7 gains as I expect things to go then they could bite the bullet and start to offer a WP version of blackberry phones at some point.

    • Mark

      How can you decide if it’s a big win for Bing and MS without knowing the financial terms? You realize MS is paying for this, right? You also realize that MS lost more than $720M just last quarter on search, a good chunk of that due to other traffic acquisition deals?

      A RIM placement has potential to be a win, but only if the terms make sense. Otherwise, it’s just more of MS paying $2 to lose $1.

    • Invictus

      That’s because money is really not an issue for Microsoft. They just want to block Google. Even if MS is indeed losing money, as long as they stop Google traffic, they’re fine. And actually, on pure merit terms, I find bing on IE9 really better. So when I’m doing research on anything, I open IE9 and bing it.

    • Mark

      Of course money is an issue for MS. Money lost is money not available to invest elsewhere where it might yield a profit or respond to a more serious threat (i.e. iPad). It’s money that could be used to help with recrutiment and retention. It’s earnings that could help a stock that has been flat for a decade and is being crushed badly again this year. If MS continues losing billions while Google continues to make billions, that’s a contest that Google will be happy to play all day long because it’s ultimately unsustainable.

      I agree there have been improvements. Bing used to be a joke and now in some cases is actually better. But MS has to address their profitability issues asap.

  • John Biancato

    Since when Bing is a browser?

    • Anonymous

      Since when is that stated somewhere in the article?

    • John Biancato

      They changed it. Never mind.

    • Tom W

      Yeah sorry slight error in the article which has since been corrected thus making John look mad :)

  • Manish

    It is one step in the direction of taking RIM over by MS?

  • Anonymous

    This was a smart move by RIM because if you’ve ever tried the Bing app on the iPhone, you’d see how well it was made and how easy it is to navigate.

  • McAkins Online

    Bet that someone from that data-blackhole company will quote the “Two dead turkey…” line again?!

  • Abhimanyu Jamwal

    To everyone who says microsoft is loosing $ 3 from each $1 earned, lets get the facts corrected.

    Microsoft is investing in data centres, maps and improving the presence of the brand. That said, microsoft has been able to eat into googles search share, thay now have cornered almost 12% of the search market in US and with deal in place with yahoo, that have close to 30% of the total share in USA, the picture is not good in the rest of the world but every single digit gain in share means a direct 1% loss of revenue for google and considering that search is the ONLY source of income for them, its huge loss to google, so even if microsoft looses money in search, they keep google putting money only in search, to safegaurd its core business and hence, Microsoft keep its sources of income safe, remember Office alone earns more profit than google’s total business. Office and OS contribute almost 15 billion to revenues for MS. Add to that the fact that the money placed on data centres and creating infrastrucuture is “future betting”, if it comes good, the investors can say good bye to google. My bet, once MS comes out of anti-trust issues, the game will change forever….we will see the full power of Microsoft, the same that was enough to kill large so called “ms killer” be it netscape or IBM…this time it may be google……remember they have build up goof relations with facebook, amazon, ebay, twitter…all are important players in the war with google :P

    • Brent

      Since you’re interested in the facts, MS has less than half the search share it had before it got “serious” about competing with Google five years ago. There has been a modest gain in share over the last year, but losses have increased even faster because much of the share gain is from expensive TAC deals. When you say the picture is not good in the rest of the world, what you mean is that Google enjoys 95% share in many parts of the world including Europe. And of course in the important China market, native companies dominate. Bing’s gains do not equal a 1:1 loss for Google because the market itself is still growing. And in fact Google has been reporting steadily higher revenue and income throughout this past year of Bing’s gains. While MS is protecting Office and OS from Google at the cost of $2 billion a year in annual search losses, perhaps you noticed that the biggest threat to MS is now Apple and iPad? If you’re confused on this, suggest you look up the Windows revenue figures in the recent earnings report, or listen to the conference call where they admit that netbook sales declined 40% and that tablets played a role in that.

      The game isn’t going to change because MS’s DOJ oversight ended. They’re still bound by the same rules of conduct and are still under direct overisight in Europe. More importantly, through Ballmer mistakes and failures, Apple and Google are now extremely well positioned and very well financed. MS has already lost its revenue, profit, and market cap lead to Apple. It is about to be passed in valuation by IBM, which will further hurt the stock. MS is in trouble. They’re still growing. They still have lots of cash and cash flow. But they’re in trouble nevertheless. The stock market sees it. Apparently you don’t.

    • Smiley61

      Overly negative assessment. Yes to an extent MS has to respond to Google. They can’t afford to allow Google a free reign in Search and to use that unhindered strength to poke at Windows and Office. But make no mistake, we are less than 10 years into this highly profitable search market that will grow astronomically over the next 20+ years morphing in many new ways on new platforms so while MS would have been better off beating Google to the punch 10+ years ago that is no reason to consider the existing actions foolhardly when they have so much to both loose and gain.

      Apple is arguably as important a competitor but that is a Windows compete and their strategy is to rally the full force of Windows 8 to be both a tablet and PC operating system. You may poke holes at it but it is a sensible strategy given the strength of Apple’s ecosystem. In order to have a hope of fending them off they will have to bring the full force of the Windows ecosytem rather than thinking you can further build that comback from WP7. An you are correct that they have no choice here, it is do or die.

      Point is that MS has the ability and resources to develop both the next version of Windows and their Search strategy. Pulling back from search isn’t going to delivery Windows 8 faster and the datacentre investments they make are the key to all of their platforms.

      The Windows Ecosystem, Office, Search and all of their corporate offerings will all leverage the datacentre investments they are making. MS are furthest forward in having the all up vision of how to service corporate customers whether on premise, hybrid or in the cloud and they may just make a comeback in consumer land. DOJ oversight may be interesting because the term bundling dissapeared from the vocabulary of MS over the last 10+ years but it can be a powerful tool if they start using it again, even if not directly with their monopoly products.

      The other point is that as they say shit happens and things change. Google and Apple have yet to feel the headwinds of their dominant market positions as MS began to feel 14 years ago. Now wouldn’t they feel pissed if they didn’t invest now and either Google or Apple were kneecapped via antitrust and someone else came and exploited the opportunity and MS missed twice.

      If MS were lying back and admitting defeat that would be something to be more concerned about. I don’t like Apple’s arrogance and I get nervous with the amount of data Google has and how they seem cavalier with their abiliy to collect it. I want MS poking them in the ass if not slapping them in the face.