Although the deal was pretty well signed, sealed and delivered back in November last year, it is now official: Microsoft has trumped Google and Yahoo! to be the search engine of choice for Verizon.
Microsoft CEO made the announcement on the partnership at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
“I’m also thrilled to announce a new long-term partnership with Verizon, to offer our Live Search on all Verizon wireless phones in the U.S. Search on the phone will be similar, but somewhat different from searching on the PC. And search will become an even bigger part of the overall mobile experience, which makes me very excited about this partnership with Verizon.”
The full terms of the deal are yet to be disclosed; however the New York Times reports that Microsoft is likely to be paying Verizon upwards of $500 million over the term of the contract for this exclusivity.
Although Live Search will be the default browser, users will be able to access other search engines, just like on a normal computer.
Verizon is one of the largest providers of mobile services in the USA so this is major win for Microsoft. I guess the big question however is whether the default deal will actually make Verizon users adopt Live Search as their preferred search engine.
We already know that Google is the clear search engine of choice on computers, but will a forced default browser make mobile users change over to Live Search? I think not. Most searchers stick to what they know and what works. If they are loyal to Google’s search engine (which the stats would suggest is the case), they will no doubt continue to use Google even on their mobile/cell phones.