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BlackBerry World: Six Ways RIM Messed Up Its Own Party

RIM Let Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Steal The Show

The mixed message didn't stop with Flash. One keynote speaker was Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who was on hand to announce that Bing would be the native search engine on the BlackBerry line of phones.

Now, RIM is kind of in a bad spot. It absolutely doesn't want to make Google, the maker of Android, the preferred search engine on its phones. Yahoo has faded quickly as a search engine and is partnered with Microsoft. After that, there are only bit players left (although Ask.com isn't too shabby). So RIM had no choice.

Bing will be fully integrated into the BlackBerry OS, not just a stand-alone app (which is available already), and will be the default search and map application for new devices sold both in the United States and internationally, phones and PlayBook alike, and it they will feature regular, featured placement and promotion in the BlackBerry App World site.

However, Ballmer, ever the salesman, used his time on stage with RIM to pitch Windows Phone 7 to an audience full of BlackBerry developers. I wish I could have seen the look on Lazaridis's face when that happened. Ballmer took the stage to make an announcement and totally stole the show on RIM and tried to steal a few developers, too.

A lot of people were left laughing, but more than a few journalists were shaking their heads. We're not surprised that Ballmer is so shameless, but it also says he's not in the least bit worried about blowback from RIM for such a breach of protocol. Microsoft has about one-quarter of RIM's marketshare, according to ComScore, and they are not intimidated in the least by RIM.