Steve Ballmer put in a surprise appearance during today's BlackBerry World keynote speech, announcing Google has been kicked off its pedestal and Bing is to become the default search engine and maps provider for new BlackBerry devices in the future.
"Bing will be integrated into the BlackBerry experience from this holiday season," said Ballmer.
"This goes way beyond a search box. It’s about finding real tools to help people get things done."
Bing Search and Maps will replace Google on all new BlackBerry OS 7-toting handsets and will be rolling out onto the newly announced Bold 9900, announced yesterday.
The Bing search bar has even been integrated into the devices lock screen, so you won't have to unlock the device to start a search. This is a great example of what was reiterated on stage regarding this partnership, which according to Ballmer, is more than just a series of applications, it's going to be fully integrated into the operating system, rather than existing as an optional search or application buried in the user interface.
This announcement, not only gives the finger to Google, but means Google is no longer the default search and maps app for BlackBerry handsets.
With Microsoft's strategic partnership with Nokia, it would appear Microsoft is intent on making as many friends as it can in its bid for world domination.