BASKING RIDGE, N.J., and REDMOND, Wash. — Verizon Wireless has selected Microsoft to provide portal, local and Internet search as well as mobile advertising services to customers on its devices. The five-year agreement will go into effect in the first half of 2009 when Microsoft Live Search is targeted to be available on new Verizon Wireless feature phones and smartphones.
The rapid adoption of a wide variety of data services and the substantial change in the way wireless customers use their devices is driving the need for new ways to organize and deliver the content customers want on their mobile devices. With Live Search integrated capabilities, Verizon Wireless customers will now have easier access to context-relevant search results to help improve the mobile experience. Depending on which device they use, customers will be able to use voice commands and typed queries and even select to use location-aware searches to receive highly relevant search results, including maps, directions, traffic information, information on local businesses, movie theatres and show times, gas prices and weather. In addition, customers will also get search results that include news and entertainment content such as downloadable full-track songs, videos and games. Verizon Wireless customers will be able to access Microsoft Live Search from a device’s home screen, by downloading an application or through Verizon Wireless’ Mobile Web service.
The addition of Microsoft’s mobile search and advertising services enhance the long-standing strategic Verizon-Microsoft relationship. Under the five-year agreement, Microsoft will manage search and display advertising on Verizon Wireless’ Mobile Web service, creating a one-stop integrated way for advertisers and ad agencies to reach mobile consumers.
John Stratton, Verizon’s chief marketing officer, said, “Wireless customers are increasingly using their phones to access the Web, browse and buy all forms of music, video, games, and to look for relevant local information. We’re teaming with Microsoft to make the emerging wireless experience accessible and easy for customers. Microsoft’s Live Search for mobile brings innovation, tremendous resources and expertise, all dedicated to meeting our strategic objective to deliver the best search, discovery and advertising experience. Wireless data – from business-to-business data to multimedia services – now represents more than 25 percent of our revenue. Getting wireless search and advertising done right is critical to continuing to make wireless content relevant to our customers and our business.”
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said, “Mobile search and mobile advertising offer tremendous opportunities for innovation and growth, and Microsoft is in a unique position to deliver a fully integrated, voice-enabled solution for Verizon’s customers. We are confident that our advanced mobile search and mobile advertising technologies will help consumers get the most out of their mobile computing experiences and help advertisers reach consumers who are on the go more effectively.”
The companies declined to provide financial terms related to the agreement.
About Verizon Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 70.8 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 71,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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