back to article Verizon snuffs Google for Microsoft search

Verizon has unilaterally updated user Storm 2 BlackBerries and other smartphones so that their browser search boxes can only be used with Microsoft Bing. The move is part of the five-year search and advertising deal Verizon signed with Microsoft in January for a rumored $500m. Verizon pushed the search change over its network …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Ok...

    I am a Verizon customer (slave) and have used them because of the phone call quality BUT if they are going to do this, I guess AT&T and an iPhone might not be THAT bad. (My contract is up so...)

  2. IT specialist
    Pirate

    Network providers too powerful

    Don't you think things have gone too far when a telephone network provider can dictate which search engine you use? It's time for government intervention to reign in mobile telcos who have gone too far, trying to control what content you use, rather than giving you the choice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Network providers too powerful

      You signed the contract.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once is unfortunate, twice is careless...

    Isn't this the third such Google/Bing story within a week?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Headmaster

      So three times must be ...

      ... a coincidence?

      If that seems like it doesn't make sense, you're right. That's a badly-mangled version of the original quotation you have there. Now go back and do your homework again, you naughty boy!

  4. JasonW
    Coat

    Who uses provider-supplied homepages etc anyway?

    I've never used the default landing page provided by any mobile telco - they're full of celebutard news and the like and get in the way of (a) real news and (b) why I opened the browser in the first place - both whilst eating some of my bandwidth (that of course we get to pay for ex-nose here)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      This isn't the home/landing-page

      This is a local page on the Blackberry itself, containing a search box, bookmarks, and direct go-to-url field. Think of it as the top-right search box in a "proper" browser.

      Forewarning - If VodaUK try this to my Bold, there shall be shoutiness.

    2. Paul Maddox

      @JasonW

      On a BlackBerry you have a dedicated search box just like your browser does. I'm guessing this is what they locked down.

  5. adnim

    Which rings the more true?

    "We're a proud supporter of Microsoft's Bing search engine,"

    "We're a proud supporter of money, it means far more to us than customer satisfaction or choice"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Advertising, for me? I'll buy two!

    "... provide targeted, relevant mobile advertising to enhance the overall mobile computing experience."

    How come you never see that boast in ads for mobiles? "Like this advert? Then you'll love this 'phone - it's full of them!"

  7. webster phreaky ate my iphone
    Happy

    So...

    Microsoft are forcing users to use Bing? Quelle surprise!

  8. raving angry loony
    Big Brother

    S.O.P.

    I can see making Bing the default, but to completely remove anything else seems... short sighted on Verizon's part. Still, it's in keeping with how Microsoft likes to push their stuff. Pay money, force the change, then claim a "huge uptake in the product" without saying that they had to pay oodles to force people to use it.

    So here we go again. Lack of choice foisted on people by Microsoft, using money gained from its continuing monopoly on the desktop. It's how they've pushed into new markets for years. Pretty much Standard Operating Procedure for them really.

  9. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    Evil gets its mojo back

    Considering rumors about the next US iPhone carrier, the fight between Microsoft versus Apple is back and the battleground is Verizon. Hopefully the loot from the Bing deal pays for the damage caused by being a battleground.

  10. Tim Bates
    Thumb Down

    Cause Bing does so well... Not!

    I'd be pissed if I was one of their users... Bing couldn't find itself if there was a big neon sign saying "I'm here" with an arrow pointing the way.

    Seriously, I've been pushed off into a Bing search by MS website 404's, and the result is that it finds nothing. Off to Google, and there I have the answer at the top of the list (using the same query).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Works both ways

    I have a T-Mobile Blackberry, and I can choose from Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia or Dictionary.com.

    As far as I know, there isn't any way for me to add Bing to that list.

    I've been using Bing and Google in recent months on my PC - Google still has the edge, but Bing is less likely to return shopping sites when I'm looking for reviews.

  12. Inachu

    Hack or not.

    I am sure there will be a hack to disable remote settings change in the near future.

    That would be like verzion changing all my mp3 on my phone I bought with verizon mp3 commericals.

    STAY AWAY FROM MY USER EXPERIENCE VERIZON OR I WILL HACK MY OWN PHONE

    BING SUCKS BIG BALLS FOR SURE!

  13. Doug Bostrom
    Thumb Up

    Excellent timing

    Just as the FCC is finally taking a serious look at dictatorial, anti-choice practices by wireless providers, Verizon puts the boot in the face of Blackberry users, including countless congressional staffers.

    Smooth move, Verizon!

    1. Brian 62
      Thumb Up

      Yes!

      Yes, this move is excellent! I'm sure someone can now easily make a case for more regulation/oversight with the telcos, and I bet this comes close to overstepping the common carrier provisions.

      This is going to blow up in Verizon's face just like comments from AT&T cause Net Neutrality to become a real issue. They will wish they had left well enough alone.

  14. amigabill

    get out of contract free?

    Is this change something that unhappy users can get out of contracts without paying terminations fees for? If the phone was advertized or shown by salesman to have search choice capability and then that goes away, is it a bait and switch thing to use against their fees?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    So send a message to RIM/M$

    So what, cancel your contract pay the ETF if you have to, send verizon a message,

    If 5 or 10million customers leave paying $30+/mo just for that data package that will send a strong message... 30x10,000,000 customers would be $300,000,000 a MONTH they would lose...

    in what two months more than the 500mil for the deal... this way u dont even have to cancel the service just switch to a regular feature phone razr like or what not...

    If you can't live without your bb/pda then go buy the Moto Droid or Droid Eris HTC phone with GOOGLE and have whatever services/apps you want!!!

    If you pick a locked down Blackberry or WINDOWS MOBILE!!! phone what do you expect?

  16. MJ73
    Megaphone

    Sell your BB/Winmo

    Or do what I did a month ago, SELL YOUR blackberry/PDA and buy a Droid... duh!!!

  17. Al S Cook

    Use Opera

    Didn't notice the change on my Curve, since I don't use the awful RIM browser. I use Opera, which is faster, better and uses Google as the default.

  18. Big-nosed Pengie
    FAIL

    WTF kind of operating system

    locks you down to one browser?

    Time for a change.

  19. mhenriday

    Where's Cade Metz

    to tell us how bad Google is and how wonderful this new move on the part of Microsoft/Verizon is for all consumers ?...

    Henri

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Am I the only one....

    ...that doesn't see the HUUUUGGGGEEE life threatening, end of the universe issue?

    1 can you go to

    www.google.com?

    Yes.

    2. Can you add favourites (no Idea as i have no need to receive emails at 3am whilst on holiday, but I would really hope so) ? So add www.google.com to favourites.

    IT'S NOT F*****G HARD!

    Oh crap my home page is the company intranet, how will I find stuff on the outside world. I'm going to vent my fury in a tweet. That will show them.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    US$ 500,000,000 buys

    really great search results for somebody.

    The word (recently censored) is that a Bing search from a Verizon cell for say ringtones or a song title returns the Verizon media store as the number one result. I don't have a BB so I can't verify.

  22. RCharles

    Dear FCC Commissioners

    Chairman Julius Genachowski,

    Commissioner Michael J. Copps,

    Commissioner Robert McDowell,

    Commissioner Mignon Clyburn,

    Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker

    RE: Verizon snuffs Google for Microsoft search

    (link to article included in original email)

    Verizon has unilaterally blocked a Blackberry user's choice of which search service to use on that device by blocking Google's search engine and forcing users to the Microsoft Bing search engine. From the above web link: "The move is part of the five-year search and advertising deal Verizon signed with Microsoft in January for a rumored $500m."

    This is a clear example of a service provider, Microsoft, paying for improved access to broadband customers. Not only improved, but exclusive access to Verizon Blackberry customers. Instead of the user's search results covering the entire web, they are forced to accept only what MS/Bing chooses to give them. Microsoft paid $500 Million for this exclusivity; one can only assume that Microsoft will now market it's exclusive search function to advertisers, who will pay Microsoft to be prominently displayed to the captive audience. Moreover, to make this pay off Microsoft will likely suppress advertisers who don't pay. Please remember that Microsoft is a convicted monopolist, as is Verizon in it's former life as part of the old ATT.

    As part of the FCC study of Net Neutrality, please consider this a major violation. Verizon is using public frequencies and must provide full internet service to all cell devices without interference; they must allow the end users to select any web service of choice. If this Verizon action is allowed to stand, the next step will be Verizon putting similar restrictions on ALL smart phones on their network. After that it will spread to other cell networks.

    Sincerely

    RCharles

    PS: anyone can send a message to the FCC Commissioners - just Google the FCC and look through the main FCC page or find a link called "How to Contact the Federal Communications", which displays the names and email addresses. This is open government!! (You won't get that level of access to other branches of the federal government.)

  23. jdriel
    Flame

    Shame on you, Verizon Wireless!

    Hey everyone! I've set up a website and petition to help get Verizon's attention concerning this issue. It's still a work in progress, but I'd love to have you check it out and let me know what you think...

    If you'd like to help get Google (and the other search engine options) back on Verizon, please visit:

    http://www.shameonyouverizonwireless.com/

    Again, feel free to give me feedback and suggestions! We can do this!

    You can also follow the cause at http://twitter.com/shameonyouvzw

    Spread the word!

    -Jeffrey

    __________________

    www.jdriel.com

    twitter.com/jdriel

    facebook.com/jdriel

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