Verizon to make Bing default search on all Android phones?

Verizon Wireless logo
Verizon Wireless logo

Quite a zinger has been given to Google today for their Android mobile operating system, by none other than Verizon Wireless. Verizon will apparently be shifting to Bing as the default search provider for all upcoming Android phones from now on.

The whispers that Verizon will be using Microsoft’s Bing search engine exclusively on all upcoming Android phones is a bit surprising (although, given previous partnership announcements, we really shouldn’t be that surprised) given the relationship Verizon has had with the search giant for some time now – the original Motorola Droid was a close collaboration between Verizon, Motorola, and Google. We have to wonder how this will effect the relationship between Google and Big Red going forward? Furthermore, how much money did Microsoft pay the nation’s largest mobile carrier to get this done, eh? As it stands, we do know that the default search engine on the upcoming Samsung Fascinate is Bing, and who knows how much more we’ll see of Bing on Android?

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this, as the Motorola Backflip had Google removed as the default search provider in favor of Yahoo!, so we can really just blame Android being open-sourced. It’s not all bad though, you can always just search Google from Bing and make big G make your home page, but at the same time, people will likely just want to hit that dedicated search button and do their thing no matter what search engine is used. I wouldn’t be too worried if I were Google, Verizon is but one carrier to jump ship, and nothing is ever set in stone. That said, Verizon is also the largest wireless carrier in the US (by subscriber count), and if one carrier could possibly affect Google’s share, it’ll likely be Verizon.

So, what’s up with Bing on Android? Well, remember how Microsoft beat out Google in 2009 to become the default search engine for the Verizon’s feature phones and smartphones? The deal was signed in 2009 and was intended to be valid for five years, starting in the first half of 2009. We doubt that it will hit the upcoming Motorola Stingray tablet, but the HTC Merge may ship with Bing search pre-installed.

So does this development really matter to you all that much? I personally can’t say that I would really be swayed on way or the other by a smartphone’s default search engine, as Google is my default home page on my internet browser anyway. But, there are probably die-hard Google fans out there that won’t pick up an Android phone with Bing as the default out pure principle alone. That said, it’s almost as easy to hit the browser button as it is to hit the search button, so who cares? And, don’t forget that when Google Instant hits Android phones, who’s going to use Bing anyway?

Wait, does anyone use Bing now?

[Via: TheDroidGuy]

  • When I do voice searches will the results be bing? Or when I voice search for directions will the results be in bing?

  • symbolset

    Did you ever wonder why Acer doesn’t let Dell build desktop apps for their default Windows install? Why Firefox doesn’t ship with some custom plugins from Microsoft? Why Cisco UCS servers don’t use HP server power supplies?

    It’s because a natural assumption is that if you give a competitor access to the core of your platform, they will use it to ruin the platform. Microsoft is a vicious competitor. They compete with Android. And Verizon is making their app a non-removable core system feature on a phone OS the compete directly with. If you remember your computer history here, the outcome is obvious:

    “Windows isn’t done until Lotus won’t run.”

    I wondered how Microsoft could build any internal hope of getting anywhere with WP7. Now I see. They have complete contempt for the carriers, and phone vendors and the public and this is why.

  • Larry

    My Blackberry Storm 2 (Verizon only) was a Bing only phone also. I was offended when Verizon made the switch then and I’m offended that Verizon is continuing this practice. But, as the writer says, I simple went to the browser and used Google that way. BUT, now, I understand that Verizon is replacing Google Maps on the Fascinate with MSFT Maps, and the list of MSFT crap added goes on. I bought an Android phone for the tight integration of Google apps. If Verizon is going to control everything and not give you a choice, I might as well go to the iPhone. As much as I detest AT&T, I’m starting to like them better and better. Keep it up Verizon, keep dictating to us how we are to live. Someday AT&T will get their act together, get their networks complete, and you will no longer be the biggest and best.

  • Joshai

    I dont see how this is possible. I love google, and dont want Android without Google search. I would switch carriers.

  • D B Cooper

    What is Bing? Never heard of it.

  • Joe

    You could install Google search from the market and set it as the default.

    For future reference, affect is a verb and effect is a noun.

    • vzwagent

      actually you cant download google search. i just activated the samsung fascinate and when you go into the market there is no option for the google search bar… took me about 4 minutes to figure out im not keeping this phone

  • YeomanDroid

    What a joke. Seriously what idiot uses Bing? I am not the least bit surprised that some moron at Verizon thought it would be a great idea to make the inferior search engine the default one. Anybody remember the BlackBerry Storm debacle when Verizon made Bing the default search engine? Apparently Verizon kept the buffoons employed to bring back haunting nightmares of crappy products. RIM please die on the vine! Your touchscreen smartphones plain out suck. Microsoft really needs to go back to basics and stop trying to fail. Then again it needs to fail to get rid of the same pompous ass attitude as Apple’s leadership. Next thing you know Verizon will offer us iPads and really I don’t want one. Please… No Bing!

  • Jordan M

    If I wanted a company to have complete control over my phone, I’d go with the iPhone.
    If they keep this up, I might just have to do that.
    It’s a Google phone, why on Earth would I want to use Bing? Windows Phone 7 is right around the corner.
    If I wanted Bing, I’d wait it out for that.

  • Marin Perez

    I have no problem with them preloading and making Bing the default but to completely remove the option to change it is bullplop. Power users – most of our readers – will just avoid these devices entirely and mainstream users probably wouldn’t have cared about it anyways, so this just winds up pissing off potential advocates. Sigh.

  • Zac

    I use Bing everyday. It’s great 😀

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