Feeds

Dell tools up with Google

MSN loses a bundle

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google could dole out up to $1bn over three years for the rights to have the Google Toolbar pre-installed on Dell PCs.

The PC maker confirmed today that it is piloting sales of PCs pre-installed with Google software. It was smoked out by the Wall Street Journal, which today published a well-sourced article on the battle for PC "real estate", conducted by Microsoft, Google and Yahoo!.

According to the paper, Dell set up an auction last autumn in which it invited internet firms to bid for the rights to pre-load software on its PCs. It says Yahoo! withdrew from the race and then Google went on to beat Microsoft in a straight fight.

Google has already signed up for bundling with HP. It pays $1 for every PC installed with a Google toolbar and 75 cents for the first time the user types in a query on his spanking new HP PC, the WSJ says.

Google is making something of a habit of out-bidding Microsoft: in December, against industry expectations, Google beat back Microsoft to retain the AOL search contract. The cost: $1bn in return for five per cent of AOL stock. This was about double the price most sensible people thought AOL was worth, so either Google knows something the rest of the world does not, or it is very keen to ring fence its market share.

According to the WSJ, the first ten minutes a PC is switched on is a "magic" time for the bundlers. The buyer is happy, excited and in the frame of mind to sign up for software and ISP offers. Those choices are rarely changed during the lifetime of the PC.

So getting bundled onto PCs is a well-worn path for software companies and ISPs - in the US, AOL did very well out of being pre-installed. Microsoft and Symantec are notable exponents of the pre-loads as well. Through its dominance of the PC operating system and of office software - which, of course, it charges for - Microsoft has had it relatively easy for years. When it found the competition a little tougher - as with Netscape - it could always strong-arm the PC OEMs into staying onside. That weapon has long been dulled - the fusillade of anti-trust lawsuits has seen to that. Of course, Microsoft still has Office and it still has the de facto operating system of choice for the PC masses. But it will have a tougher time in defending its Internet Explorer and MSN franchises.

Google is a formidable competitor, and Yahoo! could be too - if it overcomes its distaste for bid-up battles. The bigger the fight, the better it will be for the PC makers. They are used to being dictated to by their major suppliers, and most of them are used to making little or less than no money. So it is nice that for once they can turn the tables. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs
Thus doth tech of future illuminate present, etc
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.