Dell (DELL) has signed a distribution deal with Microsoft (MSFT), via which the software giant’s Live Search Toolbar will be preinstalled on new Dell PCs, according to ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley. Currently, Google’s (GOOG) search toolbar is preloaded on Dell PCs. Officials aren’t commenting, but Foley cites unnamed sources familiar with the arrangement saying that “Microsoft has offered Dell sweet enough terms to entice the PC maker to replace its search-preload deal with Google with a comparable offering from Microsoft”.
Microsoft has already signed several important distribution agreements for Live Search with PC makers. In March 2007, the software giant signed a search-preload deal with the Chinese-based Group Lenovo Ltd., (LNVGY.PK). In June 2008 they landed a North American distribution deal with Hewlett-Packard (HP), set to begin in January 2009. Microsoft signed another deal for Live Search in November ’08 with Sun Microsystems Inc., (JAVA). But Dell isn’t the only front in Microsoft’s bid to capture preinstall deals. The Redmond, Wa.-based co. is currently trying to become the default search engine for Verizon (VZ) Wireless’s mobile phones. In addition to the distribution deals, M’soft is investing heavily in ways to improve its search offering so that more people will want to use it.
But despite its best efforts and everything that Microsoft has thrown at Google, the software giant, so far, has had little to no impact in terms of jump starting its lagging search market share.
Details regarding financial terms and the length of Microsoft’s agreement with Dell have not been divulged at this time.