Verizon Reportedly Forces Smartphone Users To Exclusively Search Via Bing

Readers and news reports say Verizon has pushed out a smartphone update that has made Bing its exclusive search application thanks to a rumored half-billion dollar deal between Microsoft and Verizon.

From the Register’s Dec. 19 post:

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.”

Reader Sean sent us this message:

First off I really do love my Blackberry but on, I believe it was, Saturday my phone all of a sudden had a Bing application, and I have no idea why. I thought that maybe I could have accidentally downloaded it somehow (really really really doubtful but possible), but I looking on the web today I found this and while my internet does still have the option to search wikipedia, google, etc. am I soon to be without these options?. And I’m wondering if other readers woke up to find the bing application themselves sometime last week. Just thought I’d give you guys a headsup on the situation.

If you’re a Verizon smartphone user who has been Binged, please leave your reaction in the comments.

title [The Register, via the New York Times]