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Microsoft Drops Live Search Onto HP Boxes

Live becomes default search on HP computers in Jan. '09

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Consumer PCs from HP will arrive with default search and a toolbar from Microsoft in the browser, linked to the Live Search service.

The rollout begins in 2009, when HP customers in the United States and Canada order personal computers. Starting in January of next year, consumers will find Live Search integrated into the onboard Internet Explorer, Microsoft disclosed today.

HP’s rise in the personal computer market looks like an opportune time for Microsoft to make this deal. But the January start means missing out on the 2008 holiday shopping season, where new computer buyers will unpack new machines and start browsing the Web without changing the default search or toolbar choices.

“This is the most significant distribution deal for Live Search that Microsoft has ever done,” Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft, said in a statement.

The Live Search toolbar will arrive with features enabled by Microsoft’s SilverLight technology, a rich Internet application platform the company uses for cross- browser and OS multimedia presentation. People will be able to customize what they can do from the toolbar; HP will offer tools like its Snapfish photo service, available from the browser.

Search Engine Land said Microsoft considered taking on Google for the prime position on Dell machines, but Microsoft blanched at the possible cost of that fight.

“Given the billions it was prepared to spend on acquiring Yahoo, I’d assume it’s willing to pay much more for distribution these days,” Danny Sullivan said at Search Engine Land.

Microsoft Drops Live Search Onto HP Boxes
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