Microsoft announced this today:
Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has won a key distribution deal with HP, the world’s largest PC manufacturer, to install a Live Search-enabled toolbar on all HP consumer PCs planned to ship in the United States and Canada, beginning in January 2009. As part of this deal, the default search engine setting in the browser on all HP consumer PCs will also be set to Microsoft Live Search.
I think this is a very big deal for Live search. It’s the only way to win share. Google has owned Dell and Firefox, this is a way to fight back. I am sure it cost a pretty penny….
4 thoughts on “How to Move the Needle In Share: Buy It”
This is a smart move by Microsoft. The desktop is their playground and by weaving themselves into PC’s they’re in a good position to steal a little market share from Google. As a paid search advertiser I welcome the competition.
Does Google no longer “own” Firefox?
I think, BTW, that if / when we get adequate levels of education about how to use computers among the wider population, that such “default” settings will no longer matter very much.
The bigger issue is: When will people realize that the leading “one-size fits-all” search engines are “cashing in” by mining their personal data — and that these data are being sold to the highest bidders? Today, using such a “one-size fits-all” search engine is on par with filling out forms to win in a “free” lottery (btw: there’s a super commentary Esther Dyson gave to the WSJ that I also linked to at Gaggle.INFO/News ). In that vein, I do applaud Microsoft for actually making that connection and for giving a share of the “take” back to its users (and — as I wrote the other day in http://gaggle.info/post/59/financial-business-news-vs-tech-opinions — it’s interesting to note that Wall St. seems to also think that Microsoft may very well be “onto something” here).
I am, of course, enamored with the fact that Microsoft has been wise enough to act on the “Wisdom of the Language” with its premier “Live” search property. I wonder whether they will “follow through” on this promising start….
Per nmw’s comments, Mr. Battelle did not imply that Google no longer “owns” Firefox. Had he used the past perfect tense (had owned) instead of the present perfect tense (has owned), then he would’ve.
As for the education of the average PC user, I think this process will indeed occur, but it will likely be the product of older generations no longer using computers and younger tech-savvy consumers coming of age.
As I referred to in my own Yacrosoft blog post on this topic, this deal likely cost Microsoft a lot, but is probably worthwhile. It’s no secret that Microsoft is willing to hemorrhage cash in certain markets in defense of its core business. The great power of search, and Google’s dominance in that field, could eventually loosen Microsoft’s stranglehold on the desktop (or whatever relevant platform the future holds).
Maybe Google “pwns” Firefox?
Ok, I am not really adding much this conversation 😉