updated 03:50 pm EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
Not all Verizon Android phones to use Bing engine
Microsoft today partly confirmed and downplayed its deal for Bing on Verizon's Android phones. It told SAI that there would be multiple Android phones on the carrier that would use Bing by default, but that the deal was "not exclusive" and that some of them would still use Google as a matter of course. The representative gave no clues as to which companies or devices would get the treatment.
Microsoft also didn't mention how much control it demanded over the exclusivity. Early Samsung Fascinate adopters have claimed that Google search is not only missing from a stock configuration but actively blocked, since it appears impossible to install the components after the fact.
Verizon hasn't weighed in on the subject but is currently negotiating a delicate balance between Microsoft and Google. The carrier signed a five-year search deal with Microsoft in 2009 and is obligated to funnel at least some of its mobile searches to Bing. As Google's single largest base of Android sales, however, it can't afford to cut off Google search altogether.
The debate has had a spillover effect on users, who despite promises of an open platform with Android are finding it more closed than competitors. Apple still offers a choice of all three major search engines and only partially plays favorites in Japan, where phones have a removable shortcut to SoftBank's Yahoo web portal.