Yandex, the Russian internet company, has reached an agreement with Microsoft and OEMs like Nokia, Samsung, HTC to become the default search engine on Windows Phones in Russia.
Yandex’s search engine, which is the most visited web site in the country, is already installed on Samsung’s Omnia W as well as on Nokia’s Windows Phone-powered Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. The Samsung Omnia W is already available for purchase in Russia. Nokia’s smartphones will hit the stores in December. Also, following the launch of Windows Phone-based Titan, Mozart and Radar smartphones last autumn, HTC is planning an update release with Yandex as the default search engine on its handsets.
"Launching Windows Phone in Russia, our goal was to provide our customers in this country with the latest version of a mobile operating system integrated with the most popular local web services and social networks. Now we are pleased to announce that the services of our strategic partner Yandex will appear on a wide range of smartphones supporting Windows Phone," says Anna Kulashova, Director of Mobile Carriers and Service Providers Development at Microsoft.
Yandex has already developed apps like Yandex.Maps and Yandex.Market for WIndows Phone 7 and intends to expand this range even more.
"Windows Phone is a new operating system with great potential. It is bound to catch attention in Russia. It’s good to know that the Windows Phone users in this country will have familiar Yandex search on their new devices," says Tigran Khudaverdyan, Head of Web Portal and Mobile Services at Yandex.
It is not clear from the announcement to what extent the move will affect Bing services on Windows Phone 7.