Microsoft and RIM announced today that they have struck a deal that will see all BlackBerry smartphones running Microsoft Live Search.
The deal’s specifics weren’t released, but Microsoft’s ability to bring Live Search to the BlackBerry is a major development in the mobile space and is a direct challenge to Google, which is currently providing the iPhone with its search and will feature Google Search in upcoming Android-based devices.
The next battleground for search will be mobile, and Microsoft can gain a foothold by striking presumably lucrative deals with device manufacturers to feature its search over others. (Much like Internet Explorer comes as the default browser on many PCs). Even though the iPhone is selling extremely well, it’s still trailing the BlackBerry and if Windows Mobile devices are added to the equation, Microsoft now has significant mobile search market share to use as a platform for its mobile advertising endeavors.
Live Search will be rolled out in BlackBerry phones by the end of this year.