Yahoo! signs deal with HP

Internet portal Yahoo! has shaken hands on a deal with Hewlett Packard to offer it as the default search engine in the forthcoming Microsoft Internet Explorer 7. There will also be a co-branded Yahoo/HP Internet toolbar on HP computers.

Yahoo! says that its home page will be featured on Compaq branded notebook and desktop PCs in Europe, while in the United States and Canada, HP consumer PCs will come with an Internet browser toolbar that features links to Yahoo! services such as search, e-mail, news and finance links.

Earlier this year, Google failed in its bid with the US Department of Justice to prevent Microsoft making Windows Live Search, the search engine formerly known as MSN Search, the default search option in the upcoming Internet Explorer 7. However, the DoJ pointed out it was up to manufacturers to choose the default search engine on the PCs they shipped which is leading to the current deal frenzy.

The situation is particularly acute for the search engines as Microsoft has said it not only intends to release IE7 before the end of the year but also offer it as an automatic update to IE 6 where it will retain the existing default search settings. This is thought to favour MSN Search and Google, but by signing deals with OEMs Yahoo! is looking to sign up more ‘inertia’ customers in future.

All of the search engines are in a race to sign up exclusive deals with as many of the larger brands on the Internet as possible. Earlier this year Google signed an exclusive deal with HP’s rival Dell. Google has also signed a string of deals with AOL and among others.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! has signed a similar deal with the world’s number four manufacturer Acer and both Yahoo! and Google have signed deals with eBay. No doubt teams from Google and Yahoo! are wooing Lenovo and others right now in advance of the IE7 launch.

The terms of the deal have not been revealed.

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