Google Watches Out for Microsoft and RIM

“The battle for mobile search is on,” says Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg. In one corner is heavyweight Google. In the other, a new alliance formed between Microsoft and Research In Motion, or RIM. Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, broke the news recently tha Bing would soon be the default search provider for Blackberry’s browsers and maps. What will this mean for users?

The news from Ballmer was greeted by surprise initially. Microsoft’s CEO made a surprise appearance at BlackBerry World in Orlando, Florida, where he said, “We’re going to invest uniquely into the BlackBerry platform. Bing will become the default search provider in the browser and maps. I’ve never been more excited about where our future is going.”

Gartenberg wrote, “Ballmer’s presence at BlackBerry World is a great example of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ Google indeed is the enemy in this case.” Together, Microsoft and RIM will take on Google right in time for the holiday season.

According to a Microsoft spokesperson, Bing would be the default search and maps provider but users could change the default setting to allow for another search provider to handle their queries. However, RIM’s emphasis will be on Bing in its phones and devices, which, they say, “works better” and will provide users with a more convenient and efficient search experience.

Now that a partnership is in the works, many in the industry are wondering if Microsoft will buy RIM, which has been somewhat behind the smartphone curve in terms of sales and competition with Apple. Microsoft is increasingly focusing on mobile, as this alliance with RIM demonstrates. RIM, while underperforming relative to Apple, still has a loyal following and exciting technology to offer.

Should we be expecting an acquisition in the near future? In any case, Bing is coming to a BlackBerry near you by the end of the year.

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