its slumping smartphone business, Microsoft is reaching out to
competitors to try to salvage the key assets of its mobile platform,
namely mobile version of its Bing search engine. Microsoft is
reportedly in advanced
talks with iPhone maker and longtime rival Apple to make
Microsoft's Bing the default search engine for the iPhone.
talks have reportedly been ongoing for two weeks now. The pair
would make strange bedfellows, surely, but they could form a
formidable alliance to stand against Google's ever
expanding legion of Android handsets. And since Apple has
no major search business unit of its own, the move makes sense from a
purely financial standpoint for both parties.
One of the
sources who leaked the news comments, "Apple and Google know the
other is their primary enemy. Microsoft is now a pawn in that
The deal would reportedly switch the iPhone's
default search from Google to Bing and would involve a partnerships
to serve ads to iPhone users. Currently, only Yahoo and Google
are offered as choices for the default search.
reportedly pays Apple a flat annual fee to make its search engine the
default. Microsoft may be offering a larger bid, or perhaps a
cut of advertising revenue to sweeten the deal. Microsoft needs
the business -- currently Bing sits at a mere 11 percent of
November's smartphone search traffic, with Google controlling 86
percent. As Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey states,
"If you have to do a deal with the devil, you might as well deal
with the devil that needs you most."