No Bing Default for the iPhone, but Microsoft Cheers Anyway
Microsoft said it is thrilled to have its Bing search engine included for the first time as an option on Apple's Safari Web browser on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and within the Safari browser on the Mac and PC.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs made his brief endorsement that Bing would join the default engines Google and Yahoo at the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) June 7.
"Microsoft has done a real nice job on this," Jobs said during his keynote address, in which he also announced launch dates for iPhone 4 and iAd. See Bing listed No. 3 on this Safari slide here on Search Engine Land by way of gdgt.
The news ends speculation dating back to January that Bing would replace Google as the default search engine on the iPhone, a move Jobs denied last week at the D8 conference.
The thought was that growing competition between Apple and Google would lead Apple to drop Google for Bing.
Jobs applauded Bing, but recognizes that 65 percent of U.S. users, the iPhone's largest user base, use Google for search on desktops and want to continue to do so on their mobile phones.
Even so, Microsoft was excited about the news.
Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president, of the Online Audience Business Group at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post June 7: "Needless to say, we are excited that Bing will be included as an option in Safari because it will make it easier for you to search and get the benefits of Bing."
Mehdi also claimed the Bing team is doing some "awesome HTML5 work for Safari on iPhone," and is already incorporating HTML 5 into its mobile browser product at m.bing.com.
Bing is also boosting its Bing mobile application for iPhone, which will soon get an upgrade.
Understand, Apple's Safari endorsement is nice for Bing, but nowhere near as momentous as if the search engine were named the default search engine, making Bing the first gateway to the Web for iPhone users.
Moreover, the news is blunted by Mehdi's June 4 announcement of the impending abandonment of Bing Cashback, a program the company hoped would propel the search engine to gain even more share from Google.
Bing has grown to 13 percent market share, but has hardly dinged Google in the process.