Most people in China will be using Baidu rather than Microsoft’s Bing as the search engine within Microsoft’s Edge browser, thanks to a new distribution deal that Microsoft has announced.
“Baidu Windows 10 Express” is a new way to get Windows, through a deal signed between Microsoft and Baidu, China’s dominant and homegrown search engine.
As part of the deal, the default search engine for Edge — Microsoft’s new browser in Windows 10 — will be Baidu rather than Microsoft’s own Bing search engine. Usually, Bing is the default search engine in Edge, unless there are other deals with hardware manufacturers that alter this. Baidu will also become the default home page within the Microsoft Edge browser.
The deal will also change Edge to use Baidu for anyone already running Windows 10 in China. The exception will be for those who have already set their homepage or search provider to something customized or those who upgraded through programs in association with Tencent or Qihoo.
Microsoft told Search Engine Land that Cortana, the digital agent within Windows devices, will continue to be powered by Bing. Those who prefer Bing or another search engine can change the default, though the company has attracted some criticism for making it harder to switch search engines in Windows than in the past.
One way people in China will get the new version of Windows will be just by searching for “Windows” on Baidu. Microsoft told Search Engine Land that in such cases, a special link will appear guiding people through the upgrade and installation process.
Those who already have Windows 10 in China, or who get it outside of the partnership, will continue to have Bing as their default.