Yandex announced on Friday that it has become the default search engine on Windows Phone devices in Russia.
Yandex has a lead over rival search engines in Russia and controls over 50% of the market. The Yandex search engine has replaced Microsoft’s Bing search engine on Nokia’s Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 devices in Russia. The company has also partnered with Samsung to provide Yandex on the Omnia W device. HTC will also distribute an update for their TITAN, Mozart and Radar Windows Phones to make Yandex the default search engine on its devices.
“Launching Windows Phone in Russia, our goal was to provide our customers in this country with the latest version of a mobile operating system integrated with the most popular local web services and social networks. Now we are pleased to announce that the services of our strategic partner Yandex will appear on a wide range of smartphones supporting Windows Phone,” says Anna Kulashova, Director of Mobile Carriers and Service Providers Development at Microsoft.
Microsoft choice to partner with regionalised search providers is not a surprising move. The software giant announced a deal with Chinese search engine Baidu earlier this year. Microsoft is planning to launch Chinese Windows Phone devices in 2012 and is rumored to be planning a launch with Suning, a large retailer in China. It’s not yet clear whether Microsoft plans to replace Bing with Baidu in China but if its announcement with Yandex is anything to go by then it’s a sure bet.