RIM beds down with Microsoft for search

Microsoft seems to be on a roll at the moment, this week adding Canadian Blackberry maker Research In Motion to its lengthening list of partners. The deal announced this week makes Microsoft’s Bing the default search engine and mapping tool on Blackberry handsets, but the appearance of Steve Ballmer alongside RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis at the Blackberry World conference in Orlando, set tongues wagging.

During his stage appearance, Ballmer said that Bing would be “deeply integrated” into Blackberry devices, including the Playbook tablet, at an operating system level. The Microsoft chief’s appearance was enough to raise suggestions that if RIM was looking to extend its device platforms beyond its in house developed OS, then Windows might be the way to go.

Yet the Canadian firm is not putting all its eggs in one basket. RIM is not facing the crisis of confidence that has beset Nokia and forced the Finnish vendor’s hand into a marriage with Microsoft. As a result, RIM is free to jump into bed with other partners and at the conference in Orlando, Lazaridis was singing the praises of Adobe and boasting about the Playbook’s ability to handle full blown Flash.

Last month the firm expanded the application ecosystem for its BlackBerry Playbook with a software toolset that will allow users to run Android apps on the tablet, hoping to make up for a lack of apps on the device.

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