Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer pitches Windows Phone at BlackBerry World
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage at the BlackBerry World conference in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday and reportedly pitched Windows Phone 7.
Windows Phone 7 is Microsoft's smartphone operating system -- a rival to Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones.
Ballmer was on stage at the BlackBerry event to formally announce that Microsoft's Bing Search and Bing Maps products would be built into the operating system of future mobile devices from RIM and not simply available in the form of an app (as Bing already is), according to a report from InformationWeek magazine.
The move makes Bing BlackBerry's default search and mapping technology, nudging Google out of that spot on RIM products. Time magazine's Techland called the teaming of the two competitors unholy.
The Microsoft chief executive was given the chance to speak about the collaboration between the two companies during the keynote address from RIM co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis, InformationWeek said.
Neither Lazaridis nor Ballmer said when the Bing-equipped BlackBerry gadgets would hit stores, but the Microsoft head "alluded to the fact that it will be part of BlackBerry OS 7, which will first be available on the Bold 9900/9930 this summer as RIM's refreshed user interface," the report said.
After talking up the Bing and BlackBerry relationship, Ballmer went on a bit of a tangent in his company's favor, InformationWeek said.
"This announcement, by Microsoft, was the biggest news to come from the BlackBerry World conference keynote," Eric Zeman of InformationWeek wrote in the report. "But Ballmer didn't stop there. Oh, no. He actually pitched Windows Phone 7 to the audience, albeit briefly. Read that again: Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, took the stage at BlackBerry World and pitched Windows Phone 7, its competing smartphone platform.
"Microsoft just owned RIM at RIM's own event. What was RIM thinking?"
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive, addresses the audience at the Blackberry World conference in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday. Credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack/Bloomberg