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Google And Dell Ink Deal For Prime Desktop Real Estate

Dell will feature Google on PCs it sells, while Google will share online ad revenue

Google is making itself at home in Microsoft territory, otherwise known as the desktop. Last week, CEO Eric Schmidt confirmed longstanding rumors that his company will partner with Dell to install Google search software on Dell computers.

Google has fretted in recent months about Microsoft using a home-field advantage in its upcoming Microsoft Vista operating system to promote its search technology over Google's. The fact that Dell inked a sweeping partnership with Google, not Microsoft, suggests such fears were overstated. Schmidt called it a multiyear, worldwide pact involving tens of millions of computers.

Dell could use the new revenue. The company has been uncharacteristically struggling, falling short of stock analysts' growth predictions for its most recent quarter. Schmidt declined to discuss specifics other than to say it involves sharing Internet ad revenue. The Wall Street Journal, which in February reported the two companies were in talks, said Google will pay a fee for each PC fitted with its software. Dell declined to comment.

The deal calls for Dell PCs to come with Google Desktop and Google Toolbar installed, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 will be set to use a Google home page.

Google also plans to offer Google Desktop for Enterprise, which is search software with IT administrative controls, to Dell's business customers. Large customers that provide Dell with specific desktop requirements, however, will only get Google software if they ask for it.

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