Apple Deal Responsible for Google's Dominance in Search, Says Microsoft CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today said that he believes the search engine deal between Apple and Google has made it impossible for other search engines like Bing to compete (via The Wall Street Journal). With Google as the default search engine on Safari on all Apple devices, people become accustomed to using it, Nadella explained in testimony he gave during the ongoing Google vs. U.S. Department of Justice antitrust trial.

microsoft bing chatgpt
"You get up in the morning, you brush your teeth, and you search on Google," said Nadella. "With that level of habit forming, the only way to change is by changing defaults." Nadella went on to say that Google is able to use its ~90 percent market share to improve search results, further reinforcing its monopoly. He said that it's "bogus" that there is choice in the search engine market.

Microsoft has been attempting to chip market share away from Google by adding OpenAI's chatbot technology to Bing, but Nadella says it is unclear how much AI can reshape the existing market because Google's distribution advantage doesn't go away. "I worry a lot about that," he said. "Even in spite of my enthusiasm that there is a new angle with AI, this vicious cycle that I'm trapped in could become even more vicious because the defaults get reinforced."

Last week, iTunes chief Eddy Cue testified in the trial and explained that Apple opts for Google as the default search engine on its devices because the company has "always thought it was the best." Google does pay Apple billions of dollars per year to remain the default search engine, though Cue claimed there is no valid alternative.

Back in 2020, Microsoft approached Apple and offered up Bing as a potential acquisition target, but talks between Microsoft execs and ‌Eddy Cue‌ did not progress, both because of the money Apple gets from Google and concerns that Bing would not be able to compete with Google Search.

Nadella is likely correct that it would be difficult at this point for any search engine to truly compete with Google, especially as long as Google remains the default search engine on Apple devices. The exception might be if Apple decides to develop its own search engine at some point.

In Sunday's edition of the Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reiterated rumors that Apple has considered creating its own search engine. Such a solution would be able to provide better privacy and deeper integration with Siri and Spotlight, and Apple has already developed search tools that are used in apps like the App Store and Apple TV.

Apple's AI chief John Giannandrea heads up a search team within Apple, and according to Gurman, that team has created a next-generation search engine for Apple apps. Codenamed "Pegasus," the search technology is able to provide more accurate results. While it is already used in some Apple apps, Apple will be expanding it to additional apps, such as the ‌App Store‌.

What Apple has now does not match the Google search engine, but Gurman argues that Apple could use it as the backbone for a full search engine in the future.

There are still a few more weeks to go in the antitrust trial, and it is not yet clear what the outcome will be. If lawmakers target the lucrative deal between Apple and Google, the billions of dollars that Apple will lose could serve as a catalyst for Apple to further pursue its own search engine option.

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
microsoft surface pro qualcomm

Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is Faster Than 15" M3 MacBook Air

Monday May 20, 2024 3:19 pm PDT by
Microsoft is going all in on AI, today introducing a series of Copilot+ PCs that have AI-focused hardware. The new Surface Pro is one of the first Copilot+ PCs, equipped with Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor. Microsoft is already pitting the Surface Pro against Apple's M3 MacBook Air, and in marketing materials, claims that the Surface Pro has superior processing power and...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Perspective

iPhone 16 Lineup Rumored to Come in These Two New Colors

Sunday May 19, 2024 11:08 am PDT by
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today outlined his expectations for the iPhone 16 lineup's color options, revealing that two new colors should replace two of the existing shades. Kuo outlined his expectations in a post on X (formerly Twitter) earlier today. He believes that the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in black, white or silver, gray or "Natural Titanium," and rose....

Top Rated Comments

jayducharme Avatar
8 months ago
It also helps when you produce a really good comprehensive search engine.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dingau Avatar
8 months ago
Lol. Microsoft should stop with showing a hundred pop-ups when downloading Chrome on Windows and setting it as a default browser. Hypocrites!
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiRez Avatar
8 months ago
But I don't understand, surely all those Microsoft phones have Bing as the default search engine. Oh wait...
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dschulian Avatar
8 months ago
He should stop complaining and instead invest more time, money and energy in improving the product than pointing fingers at Apple.

I changed my defaults. But nowadays it’s DuckDuckGo. Using it for years now.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
britboyj Avatar
8 months ago
Google had already achieved search dominance by the time the iPhone launched. It was already a verb.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vertsix Avatar
8 months ago
I would be inclined to use Bing if it wasn't a royal piece of ****, Satya.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)