Yahoo Inc, the most-visited US Web site, reached an agreement with Hewlett-Packard Co to distribute a browser toolbar and make Yahoo the home page on some new computers.
Desktop and notebook computers sold in Europe will be set to show Yahoo's home page when users open an Internet browser, while customers in North America will get a co-branded search toolbar, Yahoo said on Thursday in a statement.
Yahoo is seeking to lure more users to its Web sites and search engine through the accord with Hewlett-Packard, the world's second-largest computer-maker. Yahoo signed a similar agreement with Acer Inc, the fourth-largest PC maker, last month, while Google Inc has its own agreement with market leader Dell Inc.
"The idea that you can be the default setting is a very good one," said Sue Feldman, an analyst with IDC in Framingham, Massachusetts. "People don't change their settings very often."
Yahoo also said its search engine will be set as the default on Microsoft Corp's Internet Explorer 7 Web browser on Hewlett-Packard computers in North America when the software is released. Terms of the multiyear agreement weren't disclosed.
Yahoo is counting on agreements with computer manufacturers to drive more users to its search engine, e-mail and news and sports pages, which generate revenue from advertising. The software will be included with Hewlett-Packard computers immediately, Yahoo said.
"Making it easier for the customer to get to the things they want and the environments they prefer is always the best way to go," Yahoo chief operating officer Dan Rosensweig said in an interview. "Businesses are built on eyeballs. The higher quality, the more distribution that you have, the more value you can create," he said.
Yahoo said last week profit and sales this quarter will be at the low end of its forecast because of slower advertising demand from automakers and financial services providers.
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