Verizon forces Microsoft’s Bing on ‘smartphone’ users

Holiday Apple Blowout IV“Verizon has unilaterally updated user Storm 2 BlackBerries and other smartphones so that their browser search boxes can only be used with Microsoft Bing,” Cade Metz reports for The Register. “The move is part of the five-year search and advertising deal Verizon signed with Microsoft in January for a rumored $500m.”

MacDailyNews Take: Geez, for $500 million they could’ve bought a U.S. senator.

Metz continues, “Verizon pushed the search change over its network two days ago, the company has confirmed with The Reg. ‘We’re a proud supporter of Microsoft’s Bing search engine,’ a company spokesman tells us. ‘On a couple of select smartphones (Storm 2 the most prominent), we’ve changed the [Verizon Wireless]-supplied web menu to make Bing the default search engine.'”

“Previously, the search box – baked into the top of Verizon’s browser, above the url address bar – could be set to search Google, Wikipedia, and other sites,” Metz reports.

“Naturally, such sites can still be queried via the browser proper. But countless users are up-in-arms over the switch,” Metz reports. “A discussion thread dedicated to the change at CrackBerry, a popular BlackBerry user site, is now 36 pages long.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Oh, BTW, Apple’s Safari for iPhone and iPod touch offers users a choice: Settings>Safari>Search Engine and choose “Google” or “Yahoo.”

62 Comments

  1. Sweet!

    What we need a groundbreaking product to come out which breaks the telco stranglehold over the phones and put the user back in control. Oh, wait…

    I’m not even a big fan of ATT, but this is why I was on Cingular/ATT before the iPhone came out. This is typical Verizon.

  2. Undeniable Truth #25:

    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

    Undeniable Truth #56:

    The best cell phone provider in the US is the one we don’t currently have.

    P.S. My family used to subscribe to one of the “others” (the V one), and there were only three places in our house we could make and receive phone calls. With the evil ATT and the iPhone we can call–and be called–anywhere. Anecdotal, yes. But almost all experience IS.

  3. I’m not usually a complainer about “customer choice” and such… but taking away choice when it was previously offered is just insane! Especially when the only reason for it is because Microsoft threw half a billion dollars in Verizon’s direction! Ugh. Say what you want about their service, but at least AT&T;leaves their customers’ devices alone. They don’t force this stuff on iPhone users.

  4. @Randian

    I counter your anecdotal evidence with my own! ATnT on my iPhone has had far better reception than when I had a Verizon flip phone. Almost always 5 bars.

    BTW, how many “anecdotals” do you need to quote before something is true? In other words, how many people need to believe the earth is flat before the entire planet flattens out?

    /rhetorical questions are rhetorical.

  5. MDN
    I appreciate the wry humor in your take but please, please, please, don’t YOU be a hit whore by stirring up more political rancor.

    This site devolves enough that way…

    Left or Right, I don’t really care…as long as it’s a Mac I’m on board.
    I somehow doubt that over on Politico.com they are seeing a raging Mac vs. PC war.

  6. “The move is part of the five-year search and advertising deal Verizon signed with Microsoft in January for a rumored $500m”

    SEE THAT APPLE? watch and learn, why spend $500 million improving products if you can force them to use it for the same amount of money.

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