Microsoft nears mobile search deal with Verizon

The WSJ is reporting that Microsoft is inching closer to an agreement with Verizon Wireless to snatch the default search provider on the wireless carrier's cellphones, from rivals Google.

Under the terms now being considered, Microsoft would share revenue with Verizon from ads shown in from cell phone web searches, with payments to Verizon guaranteed for somewhere around $550 to $650 million dollars in the next five years. Google is thought to have offered about half that amount, according to the reports.

This combined value could top $1 billion.

Separately, Microsoft is negotiating a deal to put its Windows Mobile software in more Verizon devices. With the recent confirmation of Windows Mobile 6.5, this could kick start a whole new deluge of devices running 6.5 soon.

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