The Microsoft Corporation reached an agreement on Tuesday with the Lenovo Group to pre-load Lenovo computers with a toolbar of Microsoft’s Windows Live online services including Web search, the two companies said.
The agreement between Lenovo, the world’s third-largest PC maker, and Microsoft replaces a similar deal the Chinese computer maker had with Google, the leader in online searches, to pre-load its toolbar on its desktop and notebook computers.
The agreement will set live.com, Microsoft’s customizable news, information and search engine site, as the default home page for Lenovo PC users and add a Windows toolbar inside the PC’s Internet Explorer browser.
Lenovo, of course, purchased IBM’s PC unit in 2005 to complement their strong Asian business. As Steve Ballmer said at the time of the Dell deal, “everybody has got to decide at what level they want to … pay to play,” but there is no word on the terms in this deal nor, as is common with all such deals, is there likely to be.
One more thing – for fans of Windows Live branding, the sidebar of the formal press release has links for MSN Live, MSN Live Beta, and MSN Toolbar which all point to Windows Live properties. A typo or a sign of things to come?