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Is Dell Turning to Microsoft for Search?

ZDnet is reporting a new deal between Dell and Microsoft that will see Live‘s search toolbar preinstalled on new Dell PC’s.

Neither Dell nor Microsoft has confirmed the deal, but ZDnet attributes the news to “sources familiar with the arrangement.

If the report is true, it’s another small victory for Microsoft who recently announced the availability of a number of new and updated online applications in its Windows Live suite, as well as the hire of Dr. Qi Lu as President of their Online Services Group.

Having already displaced Google on Lenovo computers earlier this year, and again in June with the Hewlett Packard deal, Microsoft is clearly looking at OEM deals to grow its search share, which in October 2008 covered 8.5 percent of the market, compared with Google’s 64.1 percent.

October 2008 U.S. Search Engine Rankings: comScore

The report also speculates that Microsoft is considering dumping Live and using Kumo as the new name for its search business.

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