It may sound like an illness in China, but Microsoft is aiming at Chinese mobile phone users with a new deal to include its Bing.com search engine on Motorola Android phones sold in the country.
Motorola this week announced a global alliance with Microsoft to deploy Bing services on Motorola devices powered by Android. This new offering, launching in China on smartphones before the end of March, will provide consumers a choice when using search and map functions on their Android-based devices. Search and Maps capabilities through Microsoft will initially be available in China, starting this month, through either pre-load or over-the-air updates for devices already in market.
With this collaboration, consumers will enjoy a pre-loaded Bing bookmark on their mobile browser and an enhanced search widget with Bing integration. By enabling users to customize their devices and select their own Search provider, Motorola, with help from Microsoft, is expanding the capabilities and range of services currently offered in the marketplace and opening the doors for increased personalization.
When Microsoft unveiled Bing last year, the name drew snickers in China, as it sounds like either "illness" or "ice" in Mandarin Chinese. The company hopes to now use that name to give searchers a healthy dose of warm searchability via the Motorola phones.
Interestingly, the Android operating system is run by a consortium that has Google at the helm, so Google could be said to be powering a rival's growth on mobile phones in China.