Google Loses Lenovo, Microsoft Comes Out Ahead

    March 15, 2007

Today is the Ides of March – the same day that Julius Caesar was betrayed and assassinated so many years ago.  And although it’s not likely to go down in history in quite the same way, another betrayal has taken place – Lenovo has chosen Microsoft’s software (in place of Google’s) as its default search application.

The damage might be likened to one stab wound, as opposed to Caesar’s twenty-three.  It’s actually not even as severe as that, since, as the NewsFactor Network reported, “Lenovo . . . plans to continue to work with Google in other areas.”  Individual users will of course be able to switch their computers back to the Mountain View-based company’s product line, as well.

Just the same, Microsoft is acting as if it had a new empire to rule.  “Building strong partnerships is a key element of the Windows Live strategy,” said Steve Berkowitz, the company’s senior vice president of the Online Services Group, in a statement.  “Working with a globally scaled PC maker like Lenovo, we can help millions of people worldwide use Windows Live services to connect to the people and information they care about most.”

There’s no telling how much cash (if any) changed hands here – Microsoft and Lenovo have been tight-lipped on that subject – and other arrangements between the companies (again, if there are any) remain unknown.  As for the future – look for this to happen again.  Justin Osmer, a Microsoft senior product manager, said that “Microsoft would seek similar deals with other vendors to integrate Windows Live Toolbar with PCs,” according to the Washington Post.

Lenovo is the world’s third-biggest computer manufacturer, so if Microsoft moves on to number two . . . .  Et tu, Hewlett-Packard?