Microsoft is making another push to become a powerful presence on the online search world, first with the recent ‘cashback’ scheme that offered cash rebates to customers buying products through its Live Search engine, and now through a new deal with PC manufacturer HP.
This deal, which will only be rolling out in the US and Canada for now, will see Windows Live Search pre-installed and integrated as a search toolbar in all consumer PCs shipped from January 2009.
With HP as a big player in consumer computing, Kevin Johnson, president of the Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft, said the deal represented a “strategic indicator of our increased focus on securing broad-scale distribution”.
The toolbar will use Microsoft’s Flash competitor Silverlight to create the user interface and will incorporate buttons that hotlink to HP-specific services such as Snapfish, its online photo sharing site.
“This agreement provides HP customers with an outstanding search product in Live Search, as well as a user-friendly, fully customisable way to access their favourite 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.”
By Marie Boran