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September 13, 2006

Yahoo snags Acer while Intuit goes Google

Posted by David Hunter at 8:53 PM ET.

The eyeball auction continues apace as Yahoo signs up Acer:

Yahoo Inc. has signed a multiyear distribution deal to feature its Internet search services on all personal computers from Taiwan’s Acer Inc., the world’s No. 4-ranked computer notebook maker, the companies said on Wednesday.

Acer, which is the top supplier of PC notebooks in Europe and the third-ranked manufacturer in Asia, plans to feature Yahoo as the default way users search on the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser.

The deal, described as a strategic partnership by officials from both companies — with further ties to come — calls for Acer to distribute a co-branded Web browser toolbar and PC start page with Yahoo as the default search service.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, Jupiter Research’s Joe Wilcox says, “Now Microsoft can worry,” since Google has done a deal with software vendor Intuit that has more meat in it:

Intuit and Google are making a big play for small businesses.

When QuickBooks 2007 hits the shelves later this fall, buyers will also get the Google Desktop, easy access to Google AdWords, and the ability to embed their product listings and physical locations on Google Base and Google Maps, respectively.

While Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Intuit CEO Steve Bennett positioned this as a pairing of best-in-class partners trying to serve customers, many saw it as a pre-emptive assault on Microsoft’s nascent Windows Live and Office Live franchises, which both target small-business customers.

“QuickBooks will integrate several Google services in a way that would help small business make themselves better known. For example, businesses could easily incorporate their info into Google Maps and get $50 credit to be used toward AdWords Listings,” Bennett told reporters and analysts on a call Wednesday afternoon.

The anticipated upside: Google will sell more ads, Intuit will sell more QuickBooks, and small businesses will sell more stuff, the two executives said.

But is it pre-emptive or reactive? You may recall that Microsoft’s Office 2007 Accounting (which competes with QuickBooks) just went into beta with heavy tie-ins to eBay and PayPal.

Filed under Acer, Advertising, Coopetition, General Business, Google, Intuit, Microsoft, Office, Office Accounting, Online Services, PayPal, Yahoo, eBay

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