Blackberry World 2011 had a surprise keynote presentation this week; Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. No, there's need to check the URL. You're still at WPCentral.
The connection between Blackberry and Windows Phone is the growing partnership between Microsoft and RIM. Ballmer was present to announce that this holiday season, Bing will become the default search engine for Blackberry's browser and the default search and mapping engine for new Blackberry devices.
Microsoft already offers online services to Blackberry customers and hopes to broaden that to include a RIM enterprise service for Office 365. The Bing for Blackberry project should strengthen Microsoft's software presence in the mobile market.
Ballmer did have one interesting comment early on in his presentation. He said,
"Microsoft will support the top phone platforms with our cloud services, we're going to invest uniquely in the Blackberry platform in addition to our own Windows Phone platform."
Not sure how to take that one. Would it be too far of a long shot to think Microsoft may be looking to acquire RIM (see earlier rebuttal against such an idea by Ballmer)? Or is this just Microsoft keeping to its roots and making gobs of money selling software?