Microsoft has beaten down Google -- at least in one deal announced yesterday. Lenovo, the third-largest computer maker, has entered a distribution deal with Microsoft so that Live.com can become the default portal and the Windows Live toolbar can be pre-installed on both notebooks and PCs, according to this Search Engine Watch article.
Lenovo had a similar deal with Google, which will be replaced by this one. Google, for its part, won the race for the same type of deal with Dell last year, after Microsoft conceded.
The Windows Live online services include Web search, which is what Lenovo customers will probably use first and, if they like it, they'll keep the toolbar rather than replacing it with Google's or another rival's (or at least that is what Microsoft is banking on).
The Lenovo deal is the first for Microsoft Windows Live, which trails Google and Yahoo in the search market, with a little under or a little over 10 percent, depending on whose numbers you're looking at.
Oh, to round things out nicely, HP has a similar deal with Yahoo, reports The Age.