Yahoo! has just partnered with Acer, the world’s fourth largest computer manufacturer, to be the default search option on their machines.
The deal will also see a co-branded Yahoo! toolbar and start page included in all Acer PCs when users first log onto the internet. This coupled with Yahoo! being the default search option in the internet browser will help it steal some market share that Microsoft has traditionally gained from the default of MSN search across its windows platform.
Yahoo! is not the first major search engine to secure market share in this way. Google has been doing deals with the likes of Dell for the same reason. It appears that by partnering up with computer manufacturers, Google and Yahoo! are circumventing the competitive edge Microsoft established courtesy of its operating system’s mass usage.
While Acer is by no means as large as Dell, their rapidly increasing market share and prominence in regions like Europe, Africa and the Middle East make them a smart strategic partnership for Yahoo!
According to the press release:
“Acer’s commitment to customer satisfaction and its burgeoning global growth make it a key strategic partner for us,” said Dan Rosensweig, chief operating officer, Yahoo! Inc. “Building on our strategy to partner with leading global brands, this relationship gives Yahoo! the ability to offer our services to Acer’s global customer audience, giving users one-click access to Yahoo! and helping to expand our community of more than 500 million users worldwide.”
So while Google and Yahoo! team up, it appears that Microsoft will be left ruing the loss of the competitive edge they once had. Considering the launches of IE7 and the Windows Live brand, it will be interesting to see how they respond to these new initiatives by Google and Yahoo!
I wonder whether they will try flexing their Windows OS muscle, and place a block on any further deals with manufacturers. I am sure current competitive laws and the anti Microsoft monopoly advocates would make such a move extremely difficult.