Yandex replaces Bing as default search engine on Russian Windows Phones

By Tom Warren, on 27th Nov 11 4:21 pm with 14 Comments

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.

  • Andrew Seymour

    That’s quite interesting – is Bing not very good at Russian or something? I suppose they could use the strategy of, get everyone using a WP7 with Yandex search in Russia, then, when it’s a success switch it back to Bing?

    It just seems very unusual especially if they’re trying to create large brand awareness of Bing, internationally – be interesting to see how this pans out.

    • Anonymous

      I heard that Bing’s services don’t work as well overseas. 
      But I guess Microsoft realized that supporting a local search engine with a large market-share can better combat Google than trying to introduce Bing.

    • Sebastian Swann

      In my country Bing is not the best solution, yet. I heard that in US it works really great.
      But I use it for some things.
      Anyway, my first choice of looking for something is always Google, than I look on Bing.

    • Darth Tyekanik

      Russian Bing page looks more poor than American. Even Bing maps don’t have cyrillic letters in addresses. Looks like MS just doesn’t care about Russian market much.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe it’s because their population is in decline due to that negative growth rate.  Eventually there will be no Russians :)

  • Anonymous

    Look they didn’t choose Google either. Apparently our American search engines are the the be all and end all across the world.

  • Anonymous

    Hmm, switching the default search engine in an update is pretty bad. An update should not touch the user’s settings. They should just add Yandex so you can select it as a default if you want, and then they can set it as a default on new phones.

    • Mark

      You obviously don’t have a Windows Phone. You can’t change from Bing

  • Pierre Venescar

    mamybe there’s a ccatch to it. Whatch out Yandex

  • Circuitsoft

    Two syllable search engines (yandex and google) suck. One syllable search engines (bing) rule.

    • Circuitsoft

      Sorry I misunderstood. Go yandex and bing!

  • Darth Tyekanik

    This sucks. Now I will definitely have to hack my wp7 to switch from yandex. Yandex sucks.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if Microsoft will be buying up Yandex in the future.

  • Anonymous

    Glad I live in the US.