Here’s a note for all those people who think Google is unbeatable in the search engine “wars”, Microsoft has signed a deal to distribute a customizable Live search toolbar on every HP computer starting in January 2009. The default search will also be set to Live, much like Firefox’s default search is set to Google.
“This agreement with HP is a strategic indicator of our increased focus on securing broad-scale distribution for Live Search,” said Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft. “This is the most significant distribution deal for Live Search that Microsoft has ever done, and we are very pleased to be partnering with HP to help bring Live Search to millions of consumers across North America.”
Microsoft is building a custom, Live Search-enabled toolbar for HP customers that take advantage of the exceptional user experience capabilities of Microsoft Silverlight. The toolbar will provide HP with customization capabilities within the buttons on the toolbar, providing quick and easy access to a variety of online services and tools, such as Snapfish by HP, the company’s online photo service, and HP customer support.
“This agreement provides HP customers with an outstanding search product in Live Search, as well as a user-friendly, fully customizable way to access their favorite online services,” said Ulf Claesson, vice president of Worldwide Attach at HP. “Microsoft shares HP’s passion for delivering world-class technology to consumers in meaningful ways, and today’s announcement will help to provide an even more personal computing experience for HP customers.” Source: Microsoft Live Search Toolbar to Be Distributed on 2009 HP Consumer PCs
With HP commanding about 20% of computer sales, this is one huge deal for Microsoft, if they can knock down deals with the other four top computer manufacturers, they could make a HUGE dent in Google’s dominance, Dell may be a hard one to get, but surely they can land a deal with Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba, especially if they are offering them 4 bucks an install like they are currently in their affiliate program, check it out here. May as well combine it with Windows Live Onecare and get virus and spyware scanning, firewalls, tune-ups, file backups as well as better protection against phishing scams and viruses adding the toolbar.
Add this to the little cash back experiment they are doing and they could lure some new visitors with new pc purchases and keep them there with the cash back offering. Why not, if you can save more money by purchasing your HP computer from the same place but get extra back because you are using Live search, you’ll definitely end up with some new users.