Verizon makes Bing the default search engine in some BlackBerrys


Verizon Wireless is quietly making Microsoft's Bing the default search engine on some of its BlackBerry smartphones, thereby replacing options that included Wikipedia and Google. The move stems from a search agreement inked between Verizon and Microsoft in January.

"We're a proud supporter of Microsoft's Bing search engine," wrote Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson in response to questions on the topic. "On select smartphones (Storm2 the most prominent), we've changed the VZW-supplied Web menu to make Bing the default search engine."

Added Nelson: "If you prefer another search engine, it's still your choice: Simply type in the URL of the search engine you prefer, mark it as a "favorite" and *SNAP* you're done." Nelson also noted that various search options, including those from Google, are available through RIM's BlackBerry App World storefront.

BlackBerry enthusiast Web site first noted the changes this morning. Users of the site reported Microsoft's Bing as the only available search provider in the browser of their device, replacing a previous list of options that included Google, Wikipedia and A cursory test of a Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Tour however showed Google and other options as still available.

Nelson said the carrier's action covers several BlackBerry models, but was not immediately able to provide specifics. He said the update affects the devices' Web browser.

Verizon Wireless' Bing promotion isn't the first time the carrier has tinkered with the devices of its subscribers. The carrier in July remotely pushed the Slacker Radio application to subscribers toting the BlackBerry Storm.

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