In a bid to boost its web search traffic Microsoft has announced a deal that will make its Live Search the default on Hewlett-Packard personal computers supplied in the US and Canada, starting in January.
The deal also calls for HP, the world’s largest PC maker, to install copies of Internet Explorer with an extra Live Search toolbar on those computers. Microsoft said the toolbar also links to HP services such as its Snapfish digital photo printing site.
Since Microsoft called off its $47.5 billion offer to buy search competitor Yahoo, the company has been under pressure to prove it has a new plan for attracting more people to Live Search. Google fields more than ten times Microsoft’s search traffic and has turned that into billions of dollars in advertising. Yahoo, No2 in the US, attracts more than twice as much as traffic as Live Search.
Microsoft has already made a similar arrangement with the much smaller, China-based Lenovo Group, while Google has a distribution deal in place with Dell and Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser.