Yahoo, Acer ink homepage, search engine pact

Yahoo reached a deal for prime real estate on all Acer PCs shipped globally, with a co-branded toolbar, homepage and search engine.

Yahoo reached a deal for prime real estate on all Acer PCs shipped globally, with a co-branded toolbar, homepage and search engine, the companies said Wednesday.

In a deal that extends the battle for the PC among Internet companies, Acer laptops and desktops shipped from Oct. 1 will direct users to an Acer-Yahoo homepage when they click on a Web browser, complete with Yahoo portal content such as the Yahoo search engine, news, music, sports and the Yahoo Personal Assistant.

The pact mirrors an agreement between Dell and Google earlier this year, and ups the ante with Microsoft and other companies battling to drive PC users to their Internet-based services. The PC desktop has become a battleground for companies fighting to increase their brand awareness and Internet ad revenue. The coming launch of Windows Vista highlights the issue because Microsoft is moving toward putting more and more Internet capabilities, such as search, on its OS, which would make it the first item users see when they boot up their computer.

In May, Dell agreed to install Google homepage and search tools on all desktops and notebooks shipped to consumers and small and medium-size businesses worldwide, effectively kicking Microsoft out of a position it has occupied for years. The Yahoo, Acer deal does essentially the same thing, and while Acer isn't nearly the size of Dell, it is the fastest growing PC vendor among the top ten, and is based in Asia, the fastest growing PC market in the world, according to market researcher IDC.

Yahoo and Acer referred to the agreement as a multi-year deal, but did not specify how many years, nor whether it would involve any kind of revenue sharing. Acer will factory-install the co-branded toolbars and homepages on all of its desktops and laptops, the companies said. Once Microsoft launches Internet Explorer 7, Acer will set Yahoo as the default search engine for IE7 on all of its computers.

Neither Yahoo nor Acer representatives were immediately available for comment.

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