Verizon Busy Calling On Apple, Microsoft

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Verizon's got a number of pots on the fire in the mobile phone business. It seems Verizon is not only in talks with Apple, but also Microsoft.

Earlier this week, rumors started flying about not one but two new devices that Apple was designing with Verizon -- and not with its iPhone partner, AT&T. Apple's exclusive pact with AT&T expires in 2010.

One of the Apple/Verizon devices would likely be a more compact (and cheaper) version of the iPhone, while the other gadget would be a larger iPod Touch that would supposedly play music and high-definition videos and display photos.

Verizon has also reportedly been in talks with Microsoft, to develop a device that will rival the iPhone, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both companies are pushing hard to compete against the ultra-popular iPhone. But Verizon and Microsoft are allegedly plotting the next big thing to compete against not only the iPhone, but the Blackberry, the Palm Pre and Google phones. Microsoft's unconventional code-name for its device is, according to the newspaper, "Pink."

The phone would obviously use Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system, and would also probably include Microsoft's new Windows Marketplace for Mobile, one of a growing number of purchasing sites for cellphone downloads similar to Apple's App Store.

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