Microsoft and Verizon activate their deal to use Microsoft Bing as the default search engine on Verizon-powered mobile devices. A small but growing segment of the search market, mobile search is rapidly being explored by not only Windows maker Microsoft, but also by Yahoo and Google, as the archrivals seek advantage in the competitive search engine arena.
Bing has become the default search on Verizon-powered mobile devices as part of
a five-year deal.
According to a January story in The New York Times, which quoted an unnamed
source "familiar with the deal," Microsoft will pay Verizon
in the neighborhood of $500 million for the lifetime of the agreement. When
asked about the financial terms of the deal by eWEEK, a Microsoft spokesperson had
Charles Johnson, Microsoft's general manager for mobile media, told
Bloomberg that Microsoft mobile search on Verizon handled 19 million queries in
its first 20 days, a jump of 10 to 15 times over the previous rate.
In 2008, Yahoo and T-Mobile reached a similar deal, with Yahoo's OneSearch
being installed as the search engine on T-Mobile USA phones.
Along with mobile search comes the inevitable surge in mobile advertising.
Scott Howe, corporate vice president of Microsoft's advertiser and publisher
solutions group, told Reuters while attending the Cannes Lions International
Advertising Festival in June that he expected mobile
advertisements to increase to 5 to 10 percent of worldwide media spending
within five years,
as companies sought alternative ways to extend their
"It won't happen all at once, it will happen gradually," Howe said
at the time. "Mobile phone advertising is going to be one of the
fastest-growing segments this year because it is growing out of a small
In the face of this predicted expansion, watchdog groups such as the Center
for Digital Democracy and U.S. PIRG (U.S. Public Interest Research Group) have
pushed back, arguing that advertisers could potentially use mobile devices to
more effectively violate the privacy of consumers. A complaint lodged in
January alleged that mobile marketers were aggressively using data mining and
other techniques to target the 267 million mobile users in the United
Whatever the response, Microsoft-like Google, Yahoo, and other companies
devoted to search-is determined to earn more market share within the
advertising-rich search engine segment through Bing, which offers traditional
search along with tabs that offer search in categories such as Travel and
Shopping. According to ComScore, Bing's daily penetration has increased among U.S.
since its June 3 rollout, reaching 16.7 percent by its second week of
The same report suggested that Microsoft's share of U.S.
search result pages increased to 12.1 percent during the same period, a rise of
3 percentage points from the period preceding the release of Bing.