Microsoft Corp. today announced a search distribution deal with Sun Microsystems Inc. to offer the MSN Toolbar, powered by Microsoft Live Search, to U.S.-based Internet Explorer users when they download the Java™ Runtime Environment (JRE™), effective as of today.
Through this agreement, Internet Explorer users downloading Sun’s JRE will have the option to download the MSN Toolbar and have one-click access to Live Search features, as well as news, entertainment, sports and more from the MSN network and direct access to Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger.
The Java Runtime Environment is one of the highest-volume consumer downloads on the Web, with tens of millions of downloads each month from http://java.com.
Seems like a fairly predictable eyeball buy and in this case Microsoft is replacing Google whose deal dating back to 2005 had apparently expired:
Financial terms, as well as the duration of the partnership, were not disclosed.
Sun provided few details about why its relationship with Google had ended in the United States (The Google toolbar will continue to be bundled with Java abroad).
Klein said Sun had "made a change in direction."
A separate agreement – under which Sun put the Google toolbar within its StarOffice suite – will also expire Monday, although the two companies continue to have other business relationships.
The Google toolbar in StarOffice will not be replaced by Microsoft’s offering.
Likely not unrelated is also the disappearance of Sun’s StarOffice from the Google Pack. Danny Sullivan also notes the oddity that this is the MSN toolbar, not the Windows Live Toolbar. Of course, the bigger oddity is why there are two Microsoft browser toolbars in the first place.
European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, fresh off her antitrust victory over Microsoft in the European Court of First Instance, has launched two new investigations into anticompetitive behavior by Microsoft:
Everyone enjoys a good strategy presentation, so I recommend for your delectation the “Sun Microsystems New Corporate Strategy” slide revealed by Fake Steve Jobs to explain this week’s announcement that Sun is now a Windows Server OEM. Similarly revealing is the note FSJ supposedly received from Jonathan Schwartz describing the double secret plan involving IBM that is behind it all.
I guess snowballs are now safe in Hell. Yesterday, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems announced that Sun is now a Windows Server OEM for their x64 systems with Windows Server 2003 R2 to be available preinstalled within 90 days. It’s no surprise that Wintel commoditization is hitting the server market and squeezing the proprietary vendors – the real question is why Sun chose this point in time to embrace Wintel. Peter Burrows at Business Week offers some theories, but the only one that strikes a chord with me is that Sun views it as an opportunity to spread their hardware fixed costs over bigger volume with perhaps a bit of comfort for customers that buying from Sun doesn’t lock them into an evolutionary dead end.
Anyhow, according to the PR, it is all an expansion of the Microsoft-Sun settlement/alliance announced in April 2004 and included these other talking points: