Noticed first by UberGizmo at Amazon’s press conference in Santa Monica this week, the default search engine used in the search box of the Web browser was Microsoft’s Bing. According to confirmations from Microsoft and Amazon, all Kindle Fire tablets will ship with Bing as the preset default for the search box. While users have the option of switching the search engine utilized by the search box within the browser settings to another service like Google or Yahoo, it’s unlikely that the average consumer will bother to swap out the search engine. In the first version of the Kindle Fire released last year, the default search engine was Google. According to Amazon, Bing will now replace Google in the revamped Kindle Fire and all versions of the Kindle Fire HD.Detailed within Amazon’s terms and conditions regarding the Silk browser, Amazon states “All text you enter in Amazon Silks address bar is sent to a default search engine. The initial default search engine is selected by Amazon Silk, and we may change the default search engine in the future without notice to you.”
Amazon continues “If you would like, you may choose to use a different search provider as your default search engine.” Basically, Amazon has the power to switch out the default search engine at any time, but offers the user the power to do the same.
It’s extremely likely that Microsoft is paying a significant amount of money to Amazon in order to allow Bing to be featured in such a prominent position on all Kindle Fire tablets. Mentioned on Mashable, terms of the deal weren’t finalized until Friday according to Microsoft general manager Adam Sohn.
This type of deal will cost Microsoft millions upon millions of dollars on a yearly basis. For instance, Google signed a deal with Mozilla during late December 2011 that was right around $300 million per year. Basically, Google pays Mozilla in order to be the default search engine featured within the Firefox Web browser.
Google has also done well in the mobile space, namely due to the company’s deal with Apple. It’s rumored that Google pays Apple upwards of $1 billion a year in revenue sharing to trade for the default search engine spot on all iPhones and iPads.
Microsoft has had a difficult time acquiring market share from Google since Bing was launched during June 2009. According to data from Net Applications, Bing had about 4.4 percent market share on desktops and laptops as well as 1.1 percent market share on tablets and mobile devices over the last eight months. Alternatively, Google is dominating the space with approximately 80 percent market share on desktops and just over 90 percent on mobile devices.
However, comScore has a measurement scale specific to the United States that offers more positive stats for Microsoft. According to comScore, Microsoft’s market share for searches at work and home is approximately 15 percent compared to Google’s 67 percent. However, Microsoft’s Bing also powers Yahoo search results which technically brings Bing’s total share up to approximately 28 percent of all searches within the United States.
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