Microsoft is apparently restricting the ability to set Google as the default search option on at least a couple of new Lumia phones, according to The Verge.
The option doesn't seem to affect most Lumia phones, at least those running Windows Phone 8.0, as users can still tweak a setting in the address bar of Internet Explorer to change the default search from Bing to Google on the fly. But the Verge discovered that the Lumia 630 and Lumia 930, which run Windows Phone 8.1, both come without the capability to alter the default search option.
Microsoft took ownership of the Lumia handset division from Nokia in April. Nokia let users switch the default search to Google. But as the new owner, Microsoft would naturally want to promote its own Bing search engine over that of Google, especially with Bing battling to grab more share away from market leader Google. So far the restriction against setting Google as the default search option does not appear to be pervasive.
Some 630 and 930 phones in Europe still have the Google option enabled, The Verge said. Current Lumia handsets that are updated to Windows Phone 8.1 also still allow users to switch to Google.
CNET contacted Microsoft for comment and will update the story with any further details.