Microsoft Signs (Probably Meaningless) Search Deal With Dell (MSFT)

Steve’s Ballmer’s CES keynote speech is going on right now, but as embargoes lift we’re getting an advance peek at what’s likely to come.

The biggest news, via CNET: Microsoft has a deal in the works with Dell (DELL) to be the default search engine on new Dell PCs, which complements a similar deal with Verizon (VZ).

Depending on how the “default” is structured, this might modestly boost Microsoft’s share of the search market–and thus help incoming Microsoft online chief Qi Lu‘s efforts to reform Microsoft’s Internet presence.

(Kudos to Barclay’s Doug Anmuth, who was right in predicting the Microsoft-Dell deal.)

What else is likely on Steve Ballmer’s agenda? From what we already know, not much.

  • Windows 7 goes into formal beta. Boring, expected, and 7 has been leaked onto P2P networks already anyway.
  • Better integration coming between Facebook and Windows Live. Zzzzzzz…
  • New Halo games. Expected, won’t stop the Wii’s dominance, won’t kill off the PS3.
  • New bells and whistles to the Ford Sync in-car entertainment system.

We continue to listen to Steve’s speech, and we’ll update with any surprises.


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