Microsoft has official thrown its own search engine Bing under the bus in China, agreeing to make local search outfit Baidu the default as part of a series of new deals designed to help the company gain a stronger foothold in the market.
Microsoft has been pushing its Bing search engine, created to compete with rival Google, heavily, and it's no surprise to find that it's the default choice for Windows 10's Edge browser. That is set to change in China, however, thanks to an agreement which will see Microsoft switch Edge's default to local search engine Baidu instead. Given Baidu's near-monopoly in the region, that's equivalent to Microsoft switching out Bing for Google in the US.
The unprecedented deal comes as Microsoft signs a raft of agreements with Chinese companies, from convincing local smartphone maker Xiaomi to adopt the company's Azure cloud platform to a deal with the Sichuan Provincial Government to provide training, cloud computing knowledge, and incubation for local start-up companies. The full list of agreements, available at Microsoft News
, includes a partnership with 21Vianet to further push the Azure cloud platform into the region, with a particular focus on large state-owned corporate customers.
The agreements come following last year's announcements that Microsoft was under monopoly investigations in China
and that the Chinese government had banned Windows 8.1 from tenders
, plus a whopping £87 million in back-taxes
which the Chinese government insisted Microsoft must pay to continue operating in the region.