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Bing to Be Default Search, Maps for BlackBerrys

With a name like ‘BlackBerry World,’ you’d be forgiven for thinking the event is all about RIM and the various different bits of BlackBerry software the company has been working on. Certainly you’d never expect to see Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the convention, right?

But there he was, and yesterday the reason for his presence was revealed: a partnership that will see BlackBerry devices employ Bing Maps Search applications by default. Speaking to attendees, Steve Ballmer said Bing would be deeply integrated into BlackBerry devices. "We're going to invest uniquely into the BlackBerry platform," he said at the keynote conference.

The announcement represents yet another win for Bing, Microsoft’s 2-year-old search engine. Shortly after Bing went live, Microsoft and web portal Yahoo! announced that they had signed a 10-year deal that would see Bing replace Yahoo!’s own search engine. In February, Microsoft announced a Windows Phone 7 partnership with Nokia, but what you might not know is that that deal will also see Microsoft provide Bing search services across the Nokia device portfolio.

The news follows lacklustre reviews of RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook, a tablet that debuted in April more than six months after it was announced. The company’s decision to ship the device despite the lack of certain personal information manager (PIM) functions (such as native email or calendar applications), was panned by critics.

Finer details of the RIM/Microsoft partnership have not been released, however, Ballmer says we can expect Binged-out BlackBerrys in time for the holiday season.