As of yesterday, Microsoft and Lenovo Group have an agreement that Lenovo computers will come pre-loaded with a toolbar powered by Microsoft’s Windows Live. Lenovo is the world’s third largest PC maker and is the first computer manufacturer to formalize an arrangement with Windows Live. Windows Live is also third in its sphere, ranked behind Google and Yahoo in terms of market share.
Which company did Lenovo use prior to Microsoft for default search and toolbar installation? Google.
Microsoft’s Live.com will now be the default home page and search engine for Lenovo PC owners (including ThinkPad notebooks). The default is easily changed, but the majority of computer users don’t get into that level of customization.
This agreement will obviously boost traffic to Microsoft’s Google competitor Live.com, as millions of PC users will unknowingly switch to Live as their choice of search engine. Microsoft Senior Product Manager, Justin Osmer, said the deal with Lenovo is exclusive for several years.
Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of the Online Services Group at Microsoft, said the following: “Building strong partnerships is a key element of the Windows Live strategy. Working with a globally scaled PC maker like Lenovo, we can help millions of people worldwide use Windows Live services to connect to the people and information they care about most.”
So is this an isolated incident or will Microsoft continue to gain ground by taking away Google partnerships?
Looks like Dell is out of the question for a switch, as Osmer elaborates, “We are not in the business to lose money hand over fist, year after year, so these have to make fiscal sense to us. The Dell example is one where it ballooned to a point where it did not make any sense to play in that sandbox, so we let that one go.”