Armageddon Nears as BlackBerry, Microsoft Embrace Google

So far, the week's big news from Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) annual developer conference, Google I/O, is coming from elsewhere. Both BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) are granting access to more of the search king's services in their own products.

At BlackBerry's annual user conference, CEO Thorsten Heins said BlackBerry Messenger, which was recently enhanced to allow for free Wi-Fi calls, will no longer be proprietary to the company's own handsets. Android and iOS versions will arrive sometime this summer.

"We are confident that the time is right for BlackBerry Messenger to become an independent, multiplatform service," Heins told the audience gathered for its annual user conference.

Whether having a more open BBM service means anything for BlackBerry's profit picture is a question that remains unanswerable for the time being.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has added support for the chat app Google Talk to Outlook.com. Users connect their Google account to Outlook and then start text chatting in a sidebar:

Source: Microsoft.

Support for audio and video chat could come later if users demand it, Microsoft senior director Dharmesh Mehta said in an interview with The Verge.

For his part, Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page called Mr. Softy's move "sad" because in a Q&A at I/O, he noted how Microsoft has choked off access to its own products for enhancing Google services.

"This is really sad, and not the way to make progress," CNET News.com reports Page as saying. "You can't have people milking off of just one company for their own benefit."

Microsoft obviously disagrees. Either way, Google doesn't have much to complain about. A broad shift to cloud computing has even its sworn enemies embracing its services. In a week that's sure to be filled with "big news," that's the biggest news of all.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 8:23 AM, TIMNPAWC wrote:

    Just to clarify, BBM has always been free but just to BlackBerry users. Now it is available to Android and IOS users.

    Secondly, one of the reasons BBM is being made available to Android and IOS is that BES10.1, Blackberry's Mobilde Device Management system is also being made available to Android and IOS users, but not for free.

    Next, BBM will be available in the 60% of car's infotainment systems run by Blackberry QNX which, get ready for it, will be made available to Androind, Apple, Blackberry and Windows devices.

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 8:32 AM, HelpIsHere wrote:

    You need to read some great articles about how incredible BlackBerry's decision was for the future of the company. Up to 500 million on their BBM system and a threat to Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and so on, you missed the whole point.

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 9:40 AM, cbglobal wrote:

    Just amazing how all other social networks and media; some with hardly any revenue or customers of any kind are all worth mega-billions of dollars; but Blackberry's proven social network and media is somehow worthless.

    If you go outside the USA, especially Asia, Africa and the Middle East where Blackberry has large market shares of people using BBM; it is likely a lot of people in those markets with other (cheaper) phones will switch to BBM to keep in touch with their friends who have Blackberrys.

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 9:49 AM, etgh wrote:

    I love the "Armageddon Nears" title....

    I guess it gets page hits.

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 9:50 AM, Rasawood wrote:

    Blackberry Internet services are too expensive in my country (Uganda "East Africa") unlike the Android phones. Bought a Blackberry set from the US (9630) but the service providers here could not even support internet on the phone.

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 9:50 AM, octomusangel wrote:

    I think it's a great idea because companies like A&F, Netflix, and Apple all are realizing that exclusivity doesn't work. The net was created to be inclusive. One of the reasons I never got an iPhone or Android was because my bf and I both have BlackBerry's which we love but didn't want to lose BBM capabality and speed. He wants an iPhone and I want to get the new z10 so now the choice doesn't seem so hard. It just makes sense. Why not go cross-platform?

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 9:56 AM, 1945ivac wrote:

    A lot of companies want to use Google in one form or another I personally find Google a good business and do use some of their services and some time Google like other net providers will have to charge a monthly service usage and understandable as

    advertising alone will not be enough for them to make a profit to give back to the shareholders

    thank you respectfully Michael Eldridge

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 10:11 AM, walterraleigh555 wrote:

    Motely Fool only wants to sell it's "secret" articles. None of this stuff it writes is worth any credit.

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 10:34 AM, GuyWithGuitars wrote:

    "You can't have people milking off of just one company for their own benefit."

    Lol- Microsoft has been milking off of any company it can milk off of for decades. Why is using a Google app on it's phone so different?

  • Report this Comment On May 16, 2013, at 10:59 AM, magnaman1969 wrote:

    BBM has text,voice,video,screen sharing,BBM money,BBM channels,BBM group chats.

    Smart move going cross platform.

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