Microsoft stops users from changing default search in some unlocked Lumia phones

Despite previously allowing Nokia Lumia customers to change the default search engine to Google on their handsets, it seems that Microsoft has now decided it is time to disable the option on the latest unlocked Lumia devices.

The option used to be accessible in Windows Phone 8.0 by accessing the advanced settings in Internet Explorer, though the company’s latest handsets, the Lumia 630 and Lumia 930 no longer have this setting available in the version of Windows Phone 8.1 that they ship with.

The issue does not appear on any older Nokia Lumia hardware which is currently being upgraded to Windows Phone 8.1, this could mean it is a firmware change.

Although this decision seems to be only affecting new unlocked Lumia 630’s and Lumia 930’s, devices which are purchased under contract seem to still be shipping with the option to switch search engines.

If this is a new decision by Microsoft to disallow other search provides to be set as default on Windows Phone devices, it may open up a whole can of worms not just amongst users, but also companies such as Google and Yahoo. Especially as both Google and Apple allow their mobile device users to change search providers whenever they want to.

Source: The Verge

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40 Comments

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Google isn't going to care with the ###### marketshare the phones have. I just wish Google would stop being ###### to the platform.

People complain about Apple locking the iPhone down too much and in some ways I agree but search is very personal and not allowing individuals to select their search engine of choice is an awful user experience and should keep even more people away from the Windows Phone platform.

I can choose between Bing and Google on my brand new Lumia 930 unlocked. It was purchased directly from Nokia distributor here in Croatia. Maybe it is country specific.

Isn't this fun? You know getting the Jump to Conclusions mat out and forming opinions based on a small sample set? Are these people who have WP8.1, an unlocked device, are in Europe AND just got the Cyan firmware?
What is the EXACT firmware and OS version on the devices? Oh no one knows?
Anyone ask MSFT about this? No?

Keep Jumping!

Could MS really be this stupid? Sure it keeps the basic users locked into Bing but as soon as a pretty Android phone takes thier fancy on the next phone contract then Bing is gone and Google is in it's place. This hits the users that want choice and i wont purchase another WP device that disallows that. MS just seem to annoy me so much now days, it's like they intentionally shoot themselves in the foot at every chance they get.

Nothing is stopping users from accessing Google in their browser. In fact, the company that makes it most difficult to access Google services on WP is Google.

As long as this isn't going to result in another ridiculous case like when they "forced" Internet Explorer onto Windows users which now results in every time I have to patch a PC up through Windows Update from a fresh install, "Browser Choice" is spammed back to the Start menu. Seriously, if you want Google Chrome, go to the Google website... don't rely on Microsoft to sell it to you in their software!

Who searches from the IE address bar when there is a dedicated search button on the phone? (which has always been hardwired to bing). That's a rhetorical question, I know that some people must do it - I just never have in nearly 4 years of using windows phone.

Way to go Microsoft. I'm sure the people who were already happy of paying more for worse hardware (the Moto E and Moto G at a lower/same price have far better specs) now would be even happier locked with a search engine that is complete garbage anywhere outside the US.
That said I have an unlocked 630 (italian unbranded SKU) and the Google option was still there.

jakem1 said,
I use Bing in the UK and it's much better than Google.
That's because it's still the English one, the ones in other languages are a complete spamfest of useless links.

while I couldn't care less for any google product on WP, they should just make a search and maps app and youtube app. After all google should go to where their customers are and I've seen them support the roku, which is far smaller in usage share than WP and Win8. If MSFT bothers with the mac as does google, they should stop being so insecure and realize they are only hurting their users who are pushed to MSFT solutions instead.

Indeed, I don't know that I would have adopted one drive if it wasn't because I felt hated by google for not picking android. Your inability to put me, your prior customer ahead of your war lost a customer for good. MSFT is the open company now. They are where you are. Mac, iOS, windows. They don't care.

For Christ's sake! Why is everyone reporting this? It's a Carrier option and it's been like that since Windows Phone 8.0. If you don't see the option blame your carrier. That's why you're seeing it on some carriers. This came up before. Nothing new.

This is going to upset some WP users since Bing search in a lot of countries do not display as good a results as Google does. Love or hate Google, they are far ahead of MS in this area.

Meh not surprised considering Google's recent history of pulling some classic dick moves, ######-for-tat. That said, want Google services, buy a Google phone. Want Microsoft services, buy a Microsoft phone. Easy.
(Edit: Surprised a common phrase like that gets censored..)

The way Google has treated Windows & Windows Phone especially... I'm completely fine with this. Screw Google. I've been weaning myself off of all Google products & services ever since they started being so overtly evil and so blatantly contemptuous of Windows Phone and Windows 8.

techbeck said,
Meh, I dont let emotion dictate what services I use. If I find a use for it, I use it.

Emotions really have nothing to do with this. You have two companies, one will go to where you are even if they rather have you choose their platforms (MSFT). The other, will punish you only as to the extend they can get away with. Should iOS keep declining, you bet google may start to use the same excuses they use to refuse even apps developed and paid for by your platform OS maker such as they did with youtube.

It is all about which company has your back and I think google made it very clear what type of game they will be known for.

So its better for MS to bash Google and to make false/inaccurate claims? You cannot have a quarrel with on party involved. Yes, Google should just create services for MS but MS isnt exactly all nice and innocent here. I mean, they hired a political adviser with with the soul purpose of attacking Google. They it is found out that MS snooped on someone's email and you can bet if they did it once, they did it before. But again, I dont let these kind of company fights affect what I use since in the end, it is their fight not mine.

And I doubt Google will ditch iOS. iOS give them a lot of exposure.

pmbAustin said,
The way Google has treated Windows & Windows Phone especially... I'm completely fine with this. Screw Google. I've been weaning myself off of all Google products & services ever since they started being so overtly evil and so blatantly contemptuous of Windows Phone and Windows 8.

I am doing the same thing. Its not as nice to check gmail on my WP8 and its near impossible to check Drive. So, Google, I am leaving you =). Now, if there was a better streaming service that had the content I want and I would leave YouTube as well...

techbeck said,

Talking about WP here which Google was never really present on.

They also don't support Windows 8 which, is practically the same as WP now.

Google is restricing any of its apps onto the platform, I don't see why Msft by default should help them out at all. anyone who wants Google can type it into the address bar- or use their 1 official app or thirdparty app and go.
you want to use Google services? buy an Android, you want Microsoft buy WindowsPhone, you want Apple services? buy Apple... AHHH competition

Googles stance against windowsphone apps is 'low marketshare' AND they say WindowsPhone users can still access youtube via a GREAT mobile experience via the web.

so? you can still access Google search via their great mobile web experience! google should be so proud

http://www.windowsphone.com/en...

Also Google Search is the 1 and only app they have made available to the WP platform both phone and Windows 8.1. default gone? it wouldn't be gone had google treated ALL viable platforms Equally and released a few apps, at least YouTube, Hangouts and Search. google has no one to blame but themselves when it comes to things like this, play fair be treated fairly
-
But anyway, Its probably only a bug, and if it ain't oh well.