Insiders say Verizon Wireless is likely to pick Microsoft as the default search provider for its mobile phones, the Wall Street Journal reports today. Verizon had also been in talks with Google to provide the service, but Microsoft’s guarantee of about $600 million in annual ad revenue—about twice as much as Google—seems to be a dealmaker.
Microsoft is also pushing for Verizon to include its mobile operating system, and could pay for the privilege, upping its outlay to a possible $1 billion. Though Microsoft lags far behind Google in standard Internet searches, analysts say the new application could hold promise. “This is a market that hasn't been divided up yet,” one says.