Microsoft got two new boosts to its Live Search service this week from Verizon and Dell this week. Steven Ballmer, the company's chief executive, made the announcement Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The news spans from mobile phone search to personal computer search and a software suite currently in beta. Verizon has confirmed a five-year deal in which Live Search will become the default search service on mobile phones and smartphones using the Verizon network. Customers will still be able to use Google or other search engine services through the mobile browser, but the default search gives Microsoft the position for a vast majority of user searches. The New York Times blog does not offer specific terms for the deal, but their anonymous source claims that Verizon will be paid over five hundred million dollars over the duration.

target="_blank">The agreement with Verizon will enable customers to use voice commands in addition to typed queries, and there will also be location-based search for local information. With a steadily increasing share of wireless plans being used for smartphones, such versatility will be indispensable. The lack of support for Google by Verizon is reaching a surprising degree, not only with changing its search allegiance to Microsoft, but also with no confirmed phone in line to support Google's operating system for mobile phones, Android.

As for the other deal, Dell computers will soon be distributed with Live Search as well as a suite of online software programs. This will replace the Google tool bar that came with Dell PC browsers for the past years. As for the program suite, called Windows Live Essentials, which are targeted at consumers and small businesses, this would also be a direct conflict with Google's cloud services, this time Google Docs. However, while Google Docs is completely browser based, Windows Live Essentials requires download and installation for users to utilize such applications as Mail, Messenger, Outlook, and others.

[credit photo: L'Atelier BNP Paribas]