In the ongoing tech wars between the IT giants Microsoft, Google, and Apple, strange bedfellows are not unusual. In this case, the enemy of my enemy is my friend with Apple and Microsoft apparently in negotiations to make the Seattle giant’s Bing search engine the default on the iPhone platform.
Both companies have bones to pick with Google, who’s competing against them on several fronts, now including on smart phones with the Nexus One directly competing with the iPhone network-to-network.
Business Week reports that the discussions between Apple and Microsoft have been underway for some time and that an announcement regarding the replacement of Google with Bing as the default search on the iPhone could be imminent.
Dan Nosowitz at CNet News makes it clear where the lines have been drawn, though. While Apple and Microsoft might be competing with operating systems and software, they are definitely not competing in the mobile phone arena. In that regard, Apple’s top competitor is now Google. So the deal makes sense in that way.
In dollars and cents, this effects all concerned and is more than just a gesture to make a statement. Google’s ads appear on searches using the iPhone and that revenue would be largely lost were the default search to change. Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling points out that this is a deal involving about 70 million devices. Shifting from one search to the other as the default would potentially mean hundreds of millions of dollars.
Sterling also points out the problems Verizon Wireless had when they switched the default Blackberry search engine to Bing after penning a deal with Microsoft. Users were extremely upset at the sudden change and forced Verizon to backpedal and give tutorials on how to return Google as their primary search tool on the devices.
It’s definitely an interesting battle in the Tech War that’s been waging between the three corporate giants. For the record, I used a Bing images search to find the photo accompanying this article and Google to find references.