Siri, why Bing?

SiriYesterday, at WWDC, among a flurry of Apple announcements including a new, flatter, more “Windows Phone-ish” look for iOS with iOS 7, came news that Apple’s Siri will, beginning this fall, return Bing search results instead of Google.  A post on the Bing Search blog goes a little deeper:

Starting this fall with iOS 7, Bing will power Siri’s new integrated web search. When users ask Siri a question either the specific answer or web search links will now be delivered automatically so users can find information even faster.

Bing was designed from the outset to be a great place for web search helping customers quickly find what they are looking for and get more out of search. We are thrilled that all the great results people have come to know and love on will now be available to Siri users on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

According to Apple Insider, the new version of Siri, available this fall with the release of iOS 7, brings a number of changes to Apple’s “personal assistant”:

A number of Internet services are set to be integrated alongside existing Siri capabilities, including Twitter, Wikipedia and, perhaps most importantly, Bing Web search. Over Siri’s lifetime, the service relied only on Google for Internet searches, but in iOS 7, the assistant will pull from Microsoft’s servers as default.

The move is the latest snub from Apple, which previously deprecated Google Maps and YouTube from its built-in iOS app selection, replacing only the mapping app with in-house solution. A report from December revealed Apple was already cutting down on its reliance of Google with iOS 6, and it appears the company will continue that trend with iOS 7.

It’s no secret that there’s no love lost between Apple and Google, but for Apple users, it may be a different story.  Apple wasn’t dumb enough to make a complete switch away from Google Search, its Safari browser still defaults to Google Search, and iOS 7 users can still search Google by explicitly telling Siri to “search Google”.  While Apple may want to distance itself as much as it can from Google, and Microsoft and Bing are likely thrilled by the association, we’re still a long way off from Apple users accepting a complete switch away from Google.  Still, it’s a toe in the water for Bing and Apple, although don’t expect Bing to gain massive share or massive exposure from the move.