Microsoft Corp.'s Internet search engine will become the default search program on all personal computers sold in the U.S. and Canada by Hewlett-Packard Co., the world's biggest maker of the machines.
The Windows Live Search tool bar will be installed on PCs starting in January, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft said in a statement. The software also will direct users to Hewlett-Packard sites, such as photo service Snapfish.
Microsoft's search engine, the third most popular, will replace Yahoo as the default on HP machines.
The agreement is meant to help Microsoft get its sponsored links in front of more users and take market share from Google and Yahoo. Microsoft scrapped a $47.5 billion (U.S.) bid for Yahoo on May 3.
Google handled 61.6 per cent of U.S. search queries in April. Yahoo had 20.4 per cent and Microsoft had 9.1 per cent.
Winning more search users may help Microsoft fuel growth in Web advertising sales, which topped $40 billion last year. Google's dominance in search requests translates directly into higher ad rates.
The deal with HP will deliver a "very high" volume of search queries, a Microsoft executive said.