updated 11:00 am EDT, Tue May 3, 2011
Bing integration to be at OS level
RIM during its BlackBerry World day two keynote on Tuesday landed a pair of key deals. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer took to the stage in an unusual move and promised that Bing would form the core search engine not just for Bing Maps, as on the BlackBerry PlayBook, but all BlackBerry devices. The feature would reach devices during the holiday season, but it wasn't said if this was for BlackBerry 7 or a future revision of the OS.
Ballmer suggests Bing integration will extend far beyond "just a search box," as the companies work to build the search and location-based features at the "operating system level." The Microsoft chief also took the opportunity to indirectly criticize data logging by Apple and Google, claiming the Bing services will be added in a way that protects users' privacy.
RIM appears to be embracing several technologies that involve products from competitors. An announcement made on the first day of BlackBerry World involves a new tool that will enable enterprise customers to manage BlackBerry handsets alongside Android and iOS devices.
Aside from the Bing news, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis also confirmed that PlayBook users will be able to download the popular game Angry Birds. It remains unclear if the PlayBook version will be different from the iOS or Android releases, while a launch is expected "soon."