With the Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1 update, Microsoft will in some regions eliminate the option to change the default Internet Explorer search engine from Bing to Google or any other search engine.
According to last month's post on the official Windows Phone developer website, the Redmond-based firm will be providing Bing as the only search service by default. "By default, the only search provider included on the phone is Bing. The search provider used in the browser is always the same as the one launched by the hardware search button," stated the post.
In addition, it has been mentioned that the smartphone will auto-detect if Bing is supported based on the browser and search language, which in turn is derived from the default region setting that can be modified by the user. If the detected language is supported by Bing, any other search engines specified by OEMs will be hidden in Internet Explorer's settings, and the handset will use Bing by default for both the browser and the hardware search button.
Also, for certain markets like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, Yandex will become the optional search app, and it is up to the OEM to enable it.
Microsoft on the Windows Phone developer website has also made it clear that in markets where Bing is not supported and a specific search provider is not needed, OEM partners can provide up to two search engine options, both of which will be available under the settings option of the Internet Explorer browser for users to select.
Last month, it was reported that the Lumia 630 and Lumia 930 users in some regions were unable to change the default search option to Google even in the Internet Explorer browser. Both handsets run on Windows Phone 8.1.
The latest move by Microsoft clearly shows the company's desire to introduce Bing in more markets, and also grab a share of Google's massive advertisement revenue.