Google struck a major browser distribution deal last week which in the eyes of this blogger is going to be a definer of future Google distribution deals with computer companies. For years Google has worked with Dell and others to distribute Google toolbars on their machines, which make Google the default search engine for their web browsers and also help gauge online search and browsing behavior by the search company. But now with Microsoft Bing getting more aggressive on the market, and Google Chrome hitting its first year anniversary, Google’s distribution deals are starting to go beyond the toolbar and include Google Chrome.
Announced last week, Sony enthusiasts will now default with Google’s Chrome browser when they fire up their new Sony Vaio computers. Google and Sony has recently snagged a deal which will put Google Chrome as the default Internet browser on Sony Vaio computers. This my friends, is BIG.
Sony is Just the Beginning
Not only is it big because it marks the first major distribution deal between Google and a large computer manufacturer with the distribution of the Chrome browser, but it may set the stage for one day becoming the catalyst of distribution of the Chrome OS.
But let’s get back to the Google Browser. Sony Vaio may not have the largest market share in the US, but believe me, Google is going to be closely monitoring Chrome usage in the Sony family, its influence on better search and more profitable ad targeting, and will be taking those numbers into the boardroom before its next round of negotiations with Dell. Could you imagine a better testing ground?
Google & Dell : Chrome Entering the Mix?
Dell and Google signed a $1 Billion deal in 2006 to distribute its toolbar and Google Desktop bundled software on Dell computers. This deal was for “roughly 3 years” according to some industry sources. Well, “roughly 3 years” is almost up.
Like I said before, Microsoft has become aggressive, signing HP on for Bing Search distribution deal in the summer of 2008 and thanks to Danny Sullivan and the IDC, we see that at the time, HP had a 24.3% share of the US market, placing them #2 only behind Dell (31%) in the US.
The Dell distribution and revenue sharing deal is crucial to Google and if adoption of Chrome by Sony users turns out to be positive, should include Chrome as its default browser if Google can shell out the dollars to do so. I think the response would be overall positive, and would lead to users “checking out” Chrome, and a rather decent percentage of adoption, especially if end users still have IE installed on their Dell’s, in a similar fashion as the Sony deal.
According to an NYT report, the deal was an “experiment” of sort, since most Vaio Notebooks will still come with the Internet Explorer but the will also show the Chrome icon on the PC’s desktop.
So what do you think?
- Will Chrome ever be part of Google’s distribution and rev sharing deals?
- Will Chrome break the 5% browser share point with such a deal, or do you see it bursting up to 10%?
- What would Chrome distribution on Dell mean for the Dell user experience? Do you think it would lead to a negative experience for some?
Feel free to share your opinions in the comments below.
Ok, I admit it, I missed a major news item when I wrote this … Microsoft Bing is the default engine on Dell Computers as of February of this year :
Microsoft announced a distribution deal with Dell in January. As of February, 2009, Bing (and previously Live Search) now ships globally on all Dell PCs. Bing is the default search provider in the browser (IE) and via the Windows Live toolbar pre-loaded on consumer and small business Dell PCs with the Windows OS. The agreement term is for a period of three years. Financial details are not being disclosed.
Still, this does not make my argument nullified … do you see Chrome coming to computers besides Sony as their default browser?