March 11, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
Motorola has announced a new partnership with Microsoft to make Bing the default search engine and map provider on all Android devices released in China. Motorola’s soon-to-release Android phones will use Bing for the Android search widget and browser, as well as Bing Maps for directions in China.
The Bing-Motorola partnership is the second instance of Android search being de-Googlefied. The first case was a peculiar occurrence, but Bing being put on Android is an early sign of trouble for Google. Android was supposed to be a way for Google to increase its pole position in the mobile search race and encourage more consumers to use their other services like GCal, Gmail, or Maps. However, Android’s open source nature has left room for carriers and manufacturers to side step those intentions and form more lucrative deals of their own.
Should Google be nervous? Not quite. Google is still top dog by a large margin, but they surely recognize that they’ll have to encourage more companies to not tinker with search. This particular instance is complicated by Google’s trepid relationship with China – maybe Moto opted for Microsoft in case Google makes good on threats to leave China – but there’s precedent for others to make side deals with Google competitors. Google better search for a solution.