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Bing to be on some, not all Verizon Android phones

Microsoft responds to a rumor that Bing will be the default search engine on all Verizon Android smartphones.

Samsung Fascinate
Samsung Fascinate Sarah Tew/CNET

Earlier this week, we posted our review of the Samsung Fascinate from Verizon Wireless and overall, we thought it was a great Android device for the masses.

However, many of you were upset, and understandably so, that Bing was set as the default search engine on the phone, with no way to change it back to Google. Soon thereafter, rumors started circulating that Bing would be the default search engine on all Verizon Android phones, but Microsoft insists this is simply not true.

A Microsoft representative wrote in an e-mail to CNET, "Over the coming months, Verizon will announce the launch of new Android devices, which will be preloaded with Bing. The deal for Verizon Android devices is not exclusive." In other words, Bing won't be the sole search engine for all of the carrier's Android handsets.

Brenda Raney, spokeswoman for Verizon, added, "It is not true that we will put Bing on all of our devices. As you are aware, we have a relationship with Microsoft, and Bing is one search option we offer customers on some of our phones."

In January 2009, Microsoft and Verizon signed a five-year mobile-search deal to have Bing as the default search on the carrier's cell phones, but the Fascinate is the first Android smartphone we've seen to have it. The Motorola Droid X, Droid 2, and HTC Droid Incredible are all equipped with Google search.

It's unclear how many future smartphones will come with Bing and whether the parties involved will continue to block the option to switch back to Google. Still, it's some consolation knowing that the deal won't affect all of Big Red's Android handsets.

We're curious, though: will the fact that a device has Bing instead of Google affect your buying decision? Let us know.