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Verizon now forcing Bing app on BlackBerry users

updated 06:20 pm EST, Wed December 30, 2009

Bing shortcut on BlackBerries can't be pulled

Verizon has stepped up its tie-in with Microsoft by installing a Bing icon on subscribers' BlackBerries without their consent. While just a shortcut to install an app, the carrier prevents customers from removing the link and so far has only provided help moving the icon as well as a guide to installing alternative apps from Google or bookmarking search pages.

The provider has tried to spin the forced promotion of Bing by claiming that it isn't hurting existing services despite denying the option of using Google, Yahoo or others in the BlackBerry web browser's search bar. Corporate Communications VP Jim Gerace tries to characterize the move in pro-net neutrality terms.

"Verizon isn't blocking or degrading anything; just providing a great option for customers," he argues.

The move to require Bing is likely prompted by previously undisclosed terms of Microsoft's search deal with Verizon and is made possible in part by the centralized nature of the BlackBerry, whose services beyond just e-mail can be partly controlled by server-side code. BlackBerry App World, for example, can have some apps automatically filtered out at the carrier's discretion, such as VoIP or video streaming services that might compete with its own.

Passive updates are not unheard of on rival smartphone platforms such as Android or iPhone, where new features embedded in code have been silently enabled, but changes to their own software are still determined chiefly by user-selected firmware upgrades. [via SAI]

By Electronista Staff


    Comment buried. Show
  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    Even Apple hasn't done this...


  1. chas_m




    to Steve Ballmer's Microsoft, suckers!

  1. FreeRange

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009


    Verizon is pond scummmmm

    I remember having a state of the art Motorola web enabled phone with bluetooth a couple years back and these SOB's at Verizon made Moto disable the ability of the phone to directly download photos to my computer via bluetooth so that I would be forced to buy their data plan to get MY photos off MY phone. And now they are trying to force feed their users with MSFT c***... two wrongs (VRZN and MSFT) don't make a right. I left them then and will never go back.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999



    Stay classy, Verizon. I, for one, will never do business with a company with so much contempt for their customers (the end users, not their advertising customers).

  1. davesmall

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006


    Verizon and Microsoft deserve one another

    Cream rises to the top. c*** sinks to the bottom. Microsoft and Verizon are on the same level. They deserve one another.

  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004


    still luvin' Verizon?

    Just a little present for people that sing the praises of Verizon vis-a-vis AT&T. And let's not forget their weaseling when it comes to those $1.99 inadvertent internet usage charges that David Pogue brought up and the FCC investigated.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    and microsoft fanbois

    wonder why we think they are idiots

  1. lkrupp

    Junior Member

    Joined: May 2001


    still luvin' Verizon? +10

    Amen, brother. The at&t haters ain't seen nuthin' yet. When all the disgruntled at&t haters switch to Verizon boy are they gonna be surprised. Why do people always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? Human nature I guess. So, yeah, all you at&t haters will be glad to cut off your nose to spite your face. Have at it, people.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Bend over and get ready for a Bing...

    I think people are making a big ado about nothing. Verizon is only trying to give you what you need. Wait until Google starts tinkering with Android. Stuff like ads will be popping up all over the place and won't go away until you click on them. There is absolutely nothing like having a captive audience.

  1. JulesLt

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2005



    Lest we forget, you can't easily change the default search provider on the iPhone, or even Safari - not even from to - which is pretty ironic, given that it was Apple's Sherlock that pretty much defined the idea of pluggable search engines, leading to Firefox's Mycroft (Sherlock, Mycroft - obvious).

    (Yes, you can switch between Google and Yahoo).

    The funny thing is that every time I read a bad telco story I am always reminded of the film, The President's Analyst - which just goes to show how long these firms have been 'the bad guys'.

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