Microsoft nearing Search, mobile deal with Verizon worth nearly $1B, according to reports

The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight that Microsoft is “moving closer to an agreement with Verizon Wireless to become the default search provider on the wireless carrier’s cellphones” according to a Reuters report.  Microsoft would reportedly share revenue with ads shown on cellphone 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.

In addition, Microsoft is said to be separately negotiating a deal to put Windows Mobile software on more Verizon devices.

“ The combined value of the two deals could top $1 billion, the people told the paper”

The deal is not done yet, and Verizon is reportedly still in discussions with Google, but according to sources quoted in the Wall St. Journal article, Verizon

“is tilting toward Microsoft because the software giant is offering significantly better financial incentives, the paper said citing the people.”

We’re hoping for some news from Live Search, as Vice President Satya Nadella is scheduled to speak at PubCon in Las Vegas on Thursday, and although we’re guessing this isn’t the news he may be preparing to announce, it would sure be an added bonus.