Microsoft said that it struck a distribution deal with Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest PC manufacturer, to install a Live Search toolbar on all HP consumer PCs in the United States and Canada starting in January.
"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 Microsoft's platforms and services division. "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."
HP shipped 3.9 million PCs in the United States in the first quarter of 2008, according to IDC. Turning all HP PC buyers into Live Search users would be quite a coup for Microsoft, but it's likely that many customers will change the default search engine to Google or Yahoo. It's doubtful, however, that such a change will affect the search box associated with a Live Search-branded toolbar, which is separate from the search box associated with the user's Internet browser. More>>