Microsoft, HP in distribution deal

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Microsoft's Live Search-enabled toolbar will be installed on all Hewlett-Packard (HP) consumer personal computers shipped in the United States and Canada starting in January 2009.

“HP is the world's largest PC manufacturer, so we couldn't be more pleased to enter into this deal with them to help bring Live Search to consumers across North America,” said Joel Steinfeld, a Microsoft spokesman, when reached by e-mail.

The financial terms of the one-year deal have not been disclosed, Steinfeld said. According to the agreement, the default search engine setting on all HP consumer personal computers will be set to Microsoft Live Search.

“We've publicly stated that achieving broad, targeted distribution for Live Search is key to our strategy, and this deal is an important step in that direction,” Steinfeld said. “We certainly expect this deal to impact market share, but can't speculate on what lift might be at this time. We'll be watching the public reporting from ComScore and others, as always,” he said.

Microsoft is in the process of building a customized Live Search-enabled toolbar for HP using its Silverlight technology. According to the company, the toolbar will provide HP with customization capabilities, enabling users to access via toolbar buttons various online services and tools — such as HP's customer support or its online photo service Snapfish.

“On the search side Microsoft has continuously improved quality, speed and total user experience, and we look forward to providing this next-generation experience to our customers in the coming year,” said Tiffany Smith, PR Manager for the HP personal systems group.

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