Verizon Wireless will launch a Windows Phone 8 handset this year built by Nokia(s nok), showing support for Microsoft’s(s msft) smartphone platform on the biggest U.S. carrier. Bloomberg reported the development on Wednesday, citing “a person with knowledge of the matter.” If correct and Verizon(s vz)(s vod) provides a major marketing push, both Microsoft and Nokia stand to gain greatly as the uptake of Windows Phone devices has been relatively slow compared to both Android (s goog) phones and the iPhone(s aapl).

To date, Verizon hasn’t been on board with Microsoft when it comes to Windows Phone. The network operator was among the last of those to offer a Windows Phone and it limited consumer’s choice to just a single model: The uninspiring HTC Trophy more than a year ago. But the timing of this report sounds right from my perspective.

If people want Windows Phone handsets — and…

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