Enterprise Mobility: BlackBerry PlayBook, Bold 9900, Microsoft Alliance Top Lazaridis Keynote
ORLANDO, Fla.RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis May 3 showed off the Blackberry PlayBook here at BlackBerry World, one day after the executive defended the 7-inch tablet's tardiness to the market. The PlayBook launched April 19 to largely negative reviews. Experts were put off by the lack of a native e-mail application. Undaunted, Lazaridis boasted about the PlayBook's integration with Adobe's Flash multimedia technology as well its smooth Web browsing and multitasking, which lets users run videos and access other applications at the same time. To show unity, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen joined Lazaridis on stage to talk up Flash on the PlayBook. But the real kicker came when Lazaridis trotted out Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who appeared at the show for the first time in its 10-year history. RIM and Microsoft are fresh off an expansion of their mobile enterprise alliance the two companies announced in March. At BlackBerry World, Ballmer confirmed that Microsoft Bing would become the default search and maps applications for BlackBerry devices. Moreover, Bing search will be integrated with BlackBerry OS at the operating system level. Ballmer riffed on Android talking about its growing volume but frustrating developers and Apple, which he described as inflexible and offering limited choices. Ballmer captured the keynote crown until Lazaridis stole it back by announcing that BlackBerry World's 6,000 attendees would all receive a free, 16GB PlayBook. In this slide show, eWEEK captures the opening keynote images.