Microsoft has struck a five-year deal to pre-install its Live Search as the default search engine on Verizon mobile phones.
Users will be able to download a Live Search software package to their mobile phones will allow them to check traffic and movie times as well as shop online, Microsoft said Wednesday.
The news is one of the announcements Microsoft is making at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, where CEO Steve Ballmer is scheduled to keynote later today.
Matt Rosoff, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, said striking partnership deals like the one with Verizon to distribute its Live services will be key for Microsoft in its fight with Google. "For Live Search in particular, it's an important way to get these services out to more people," he said.
Microsoft has been fighting an uphill battle against Google's search-engine and online advertising dominance, despite significant investment in Live Search and other Web-based applications and services branded under the Windows Live moniker
Live Search may soon have a new name, perhaps even before it gets to Verizon's phones. Microsoft is widely rumored to be renaming its search engine Kumo, but the company has not confirmed that.
Other news Ballmer is expected to unveil in his keynote later is the first beta of Windows 7, the next version of Microsoft's client OS.