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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Microsoft repeatedly attempted to persuade Apple to switch to Bing as the default search engine for Safari or even buy it outright, it has emerged.


The information was disclosed in documents as part of Google's ongoing antitrust case against the U.S. Justice Department (via CNBC). According to the filings, Microsoft approached Apple in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2020, proposing that Bing should replace Google as the default search engine in Safari.

Apple consistently declined these offers, citing concerns over Bing's search quality relative to Google's. The documents reveal that in 2018 Microsoft not only suggested making Bing the default search engine but also offered to sell Bing to Apple or establish a joint venture around the search engine. These proposals were similarly turned down by Apple.

The court filings provide insight into Apple's decision-making process, highlighting the company's evaluation of Bing's capabilities against Google's. Eddy Cue, Apple's Senior Vice President of Services, is quoted in the filings expressing skepticism about Bing's search quality and Microsoft's investment in search technology.

Google pays billions of dollars to remain the default search engine on Apple devices. Google argues that Microsoft's repeated pitches to Apple demonstrate the competitive nature of the search engine market, countering allegations that Google holds a monopoly in web search advertising.

Article Link: Microsoft Begged Apple to Adopt Bing as Safari's Default Search Engine
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macrumors G5
I believe the final paragraph says it all:
  1. [Apple] Roll your own SE and NOT get billions of dollars
  2. Buy Bing and NOT get billions of dollars
  3. Switch to any other SE and NOT get billions of dollars
  4. Stick with Google and get billions of dollars
I wonder if they picked a number out of a hat or spun the bottle, after what I assume was weeks of contentious debate to have to find somewhere to store those billions if they went with #4. ;)
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macrumors 6502a
Apr 29, 2005
They also begged me, what a coincidence.
I think this thread is going to be full of people giving their own experiences being approached by Microsoft to buy Bing from them.

When they approached my family, unfortunately I had just bought groceries and, with the high food prices lately, I was unable to afford buying Bing at that time. It's too bad; it's been a lifelong dream to own a mediocre search engine.


macrumors member
Sep 20, 2012
I don't get the clickbaity title.

Isn't this standard procedure? I mean, there's a spot to get (default search engine) that happens to get renewed every year or so. Isn't it a given that others will make an offer besides Google?

Also, given Google's dominance on the market, there's not much incentive to change this besides selling the whole thing, especially when it's not an attractive proposition for yourself. You know, "Hey, I'm not really using this Bing thing since pivoting to cloud services, but maybe it can be of some value to you, wanna buy it cheap?"

From a strict business point of view, it makes sense and it's not shameful.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2022
In an ironic twist, Bing may actually be the superior search engine now. Whether this is because Bing has genuinely gotten a lot better (all those AI advancements must count for something), or whether it's because Google has gotten so much worse... well, who knows. :p

(okay, but seriously, why are Google search results so bad these days? 🙃)


macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2005
Why should Apple trust Microsoft with anything? This is the company that stole Lisa OS, tried to box Apple out of the marketplace through strategic purchases, purposefully created inoperability between their products for Windows and macOS, etc. Microsoft is the single most antagonistic company Apple had ever had to deal with. They are better now that balmer is gone but they have still have no incentive to fully commit to developing software for macOS unless it hurts their other competitors (Google for example). To hell with Microsoft and good on Apple for refusing to buy the streaming pile that is Bing.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2011
I don't understand. Having an inferior option in Maps compared to Google was no problem for years for Apple, I don't see why Search should've been different. :D

(relax, it's a joke, save me the "why u hate AppleJesus" PMs)
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