Verizon, Microsoft Strike Mobile Deal

Verizon Wireless has tapped Microsoft to serve as the exclusive search partner for its portfolio of mobile devices.

As part of a five-year deal, Microsoft Live Search will receive prominent placement on the home screen on select Verizon phones starting in the first half of 2009. In addition, Verizon consumers will be able to access Microsoft search through either a downloadable application or via Verizon’s own mobile Web portal.

According to officials, Microsoft’s mobile-search technology promises to deliver Verizon users location-specific searches, too, and some phone models will offer both voice-delivered and -typed search queries. Also, in some cases, Microsoft Live Search will provide access to news, videogames and song downloads directly within specific search results.

In addition, as part of the new pact, Microsoft will also handle all advertising sales for Verizon’s mobile Web portal, including both search and display ads.