Microsoft Nabs New Search Distribution Deal

Microsoft has signed a new deal with HP that it hopes will boost its search traffic.

The software giant has secured rights to have Internet Explorer pre-installed with Live Search as the default option on all new HP computers in the U.S. and Canada. The IE installation will also include the Live Search toolbar.

Microsoft has similar arrangements with Lenovo. Google is partnered up with Dell and Mozilla to be the default search site -- something Microsoft's CEO knows all too well.

"Every Dell machine we buy at home that comes with the Google toolbar," Steve Ballmer told a group of employees during a May gathering, according to the Associated Press. "It's not a good day in my family when that happens," he added, vowing to invest more in distribution deals for the future.

Microsoft researchers say about 40 percent of computer users stick with whatever default search site is set on their new computer.