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Summary:

Maybe I am too set in my ways, but I never even really tried using Bing all that much when it was released. I also found it too busy. Sure, I’m all for beautiful sweeping nature photography, but not on my search page. So I stuck […]

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Maybe I am too set in my ways, but I never even really tried using Bing all that much when it was released. I also found it too busy. Sure, I’m all for beautiful sweeping nature photography, but not on my search page. So I stuck with Google, without even really looking into the real working differences between the two.

According to a new report by BusinessWeek, though, I might have another chance to become more familiar with Microsoft’s search engine offering thanks to a deal between the Windows-maker and Apple. The two companies are said to be in negotiations to arrange the replacement of Google with Bing as the default search engine on the iPhone platform.

The New Mobile Landscape

Discussions are said to have been going on for weeks now, though BusinessWeek’s sources remain anonymous because the discussions have yet to be made public. They also maintain that talks could break down at any time, and there is no timeline for a decision, so it could be a while before we see any action as a result of these talks.

It’s a move that makes sense for both Apple and Microsoft. Once bitter rivals, the two are now both facing a major threat from Google in the lucrative growing mobile space. Microsoft basically looks dead in the water thanks to the incredibly stale Windows Mobile 6.5 and always just-over-the-horizon Windows Mobile 7, and while Apple is still a leader in the mobile industry, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing in the near future, Google has begun to take steps that could lead to mobile market domination.

Google’s Rise

First, Google created Android, an iPhone OS competitor that’s completely open and quickly gaining ground due to favorable licensing deals. And handset makers can spin their own UI, so that it still looks and feels like a branded, proprietary OS. Then, it bought up AdMob, which makes it the force to be reckoned with in mobile advertising. Seems Google took it right out from under Apple, too. Finally, it partnered with HTC to create the Nexus One, and set up its own mobile store that could change the way cell phones are bought the world over, if things progress according to plan.

When Apple first created the iPhone, a partnership with Google made sense. Both were challenging the might of established players in the field, like Microsoft, which at that time hadn’t descended into irrelevance, and BlackBerry, which continues to be a force to be reckoned with, although it does seem to be falling off, especially with its nascent efforts at the consumer market.

What Comes Next

Times have changed. Google now gets far more out of its partnership with Apple than does the Mac-maker. Revoking platform access is the smart move for Apple from a business perspective. But what about us lowly end users? What effect would the dissolution of the Google/Apple relationship have on consumers?

First of all, don’t worry. Apple won’t pull the plug on anything until it’s confident there won’t be any adverse effects on the user experience side of things. If the Bing default switch is coming, it’ll be an opening salvo, a way to taste consumer tolerance for change, not the first step in an inevitable overhaul.

If small changes don’t generate the kind of waves that turn over boats, then we could see other, more drastic shifts. The next most obvious place to make a change will be with the built-in Maps app. We’ve seen rumors that Apple is working on its own in-house solution, and that could well take over duties. If Apple does go this way, expect to see them up the game by rolling things like point-of-interest and navigation into the app itself, so that it comes off as improvement instead of just a business-based replacement decision.

  1. I’ll be mad if Google is changed/removed from the iPhone OS. I like Google waaayyy more than Bing. At least if Apple gives users the choice between search engines, it will be palatable. I really hope that this will be the case. I’m always one for more choices.

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  2. I vote for no Bing, I find it clunky, and a total crap. It isn’t even anything new imo its just Live Search with a little face lift.

    Im with iBrain I’d rather have an option for choice. And choose no Bing!

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  3. I also vote against Bing. Let’s keep Google, or if Apple comes up with its own in-house search option, I will try that.

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  4. Two of my favorite brands in battle. I just hope Apple do not disable the integration in Contacts, Ical and Mail with Google’s Calendar, Contacts and Gmail.

    I always use the search bar in Safari (MAc & iPhone) because is powered by google.

    But if is switched to Bing and it can’t be switch back to Google by the user I will just have to go directly to Google.com

    This will be better for Google because they won’t have to share the profits with Google.

    But we all know that some people will just use what they are offered like they don’t have any other choice.

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  5. There’s no way I’d switch to Bing. No way.

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  6. I wouldent mind at all. Bing offers a way better image search than Google + the Bing maps is just plain awesome and makes google maps look dated.

    I vote for google the day they can make something that is not beta…….like never.

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  7. Not on my computer. I’ll just syop using Safari. If google is banned from the OS there’ always Linux

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  8. I *have* tried both. If my iPod Touch starts defaulting to Bing, I’ll be looking for a Google Search app to install–and I’d pay for it. Plus, has MS ever *not* stabbed a partner in the back once they got enough leverage to carry on without the partner? Has MS ever given consumer wants any real concern except when they were losing? I’m disinclined to do anything to give Microsoft inroads in, well, anything, because of how they’ll likely behave once they’ve got a significant market share.

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  9. No one’s talking about Google being banned from the Mac or the iPhone. The thrust of the BusinessWeek piece is about the DEFAULT search engine in Safari. The option to change defaults will still be there.

    There’s lots of money at stake, and it’s good Apple has someone else to deal with to keep Google honest (well, as honest as Google can be).

    I expect all that’ll happen is Bing will be made an option in Safari, along with Google (default) and Yahoo!. For me, that means I may no longer need Glims, since that’s what I’m using to make Bing my Safari default right now.

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  10. B….ut I…t’s N…ot G……..oogle

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  11. I’ve googled it but I’ve never binged it. I am not about to start any time soon either. I’m an icrazee Apple fan. How about Apple create it’s own iSearch? Yes, again, i’m icrazee. iHing

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