It’s still unclear whether Microsoft will end up buying some or all of Yahoo, but in the meantime it has to keep soldiering on, and at least try to maintain its single-digit share of the search market. Latest effort: A deal that will make its “Live Search” the default on HP computers, via a custom version of Internet Explorer that will come pre-installed on HP machines.
This won’t do much in the long-run, but at the right price, these deals aren’t a terrible idea — HP is the largest PC manufacturer in the world, and more people still use Internet Explorer than any other browser. And while browsers and bundles once got Microsoft in quite a bit of trouble, these search pacts are now commonplace and uncontroversial. Microsoft already has a deal in place with Lenovo, and Google has deals with Mozilla and Dell (DELL).
We don’t know how much Microsoft paid for the deal, but Google pays about $55 million-$60 million a year for their deal with Mozilla.