Microsoft & Verizon: Google won Round 1

Microsoft Verizon
I already mentioned Microsoft‘s mobile advertising and search deal with Verizon when discussing Motorola’s Droid marketing campaign and wondered”what happened to the Live Search (now Bing) deal signed between MS and Verizon this year though“. Well, today AdAge posted some interesting info about this particular subject, pointing out that Microsoft totally blew it thanks to the fact that Google-Branded phones are not part of the $600M search deal. This can be seen a major blow to Redmond when you realise that the Motorola Droid is currently the best selling phone on Verizon (alongside the HTC Droid Eris). But you know what’s worse fro MS? The default search engine on all HTC Windows Mobile phones (even on Verizon) is Google, as seen on the Internet tab in the TouchFLO/Sense UI (and Google maps is also the default mapping service on all HTC phones). So far the few phones that have Bing as the default search provider are BlackBerry devices on Verizon AFAIK. Yup Google hijacked MS’s deal.

“Microsoft dropped the ball,” said Phuc Truong, managing director of Mobext, Havas’ mobile marketing agency. “It was well-positioned to do something deeper with Verizon, and within that time frame you would have thought they’d done something more to solidify that relationship.”

Whereas Google’s hand in guiding Android’s development allowed it to preload its services on most Android devices in the U.S., Microsoft hasn’t capitalized on its mobile-operating software by working with carriers and handset makers to stuff its search or content assets into Windows Mobile phones. It’s another example of how Google has consistently trumped its search competitors in mobile, despite late entries in both search and handset software.

It would be interesting to see how Microsoft is going to try to change  this with Windows Mobile 7. We already know that they are going to be more heavely involved in the design and specs of the future Windows Phones, but will Bing search & Bing Maps be good enough and correctly integrated into the OS so OEMs won’t have to use Google’s services instead (same for IE Mobile & Opera Mobile)?

Source: AdAge