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Lenovo Computers To Use Microsoft Search

Lenovo Group Ltd. became the first computer maker to agree to pre-load Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Live toolbar and make its search portal the main service on all new computers worldwide.

The deal announced by the two companies Wednesday could help Microsoft in its bid to compete with Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. for traffic.

Google leads the Internet search industry with a 54 percent share of the market, followed by Yahoo with 23 percent, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Microsoft's search engine is in third place with 8.9 percent of the market.

Lenovo, the world's third-largest PC manufacturer and maker of the ThinkPad line of notebooks, will load Microsoft's toolbar on laptop and desktop computers, the companies said. The toolbar includes one-click access to Microsoft's Live Search service.

The deal also makes Live.com the main portal on Lenovo computers. Users are free to change the default settings to use Google or another search engine, but many don't bother.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Leading computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. has a deal with Yahoo, while No. 2 Dell Inc. has a partnership with Google.

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