Sony to Bundle Google Chrome Browser with Vaio Computers

Sony Vaio LaptopElectronic giant Sony and Google have apparently worked out a deal that will see Sony Corporation pre-installing the Google Chrome Web browser across its Vaio computer line. As part of the deal, Sony will also set the Vaio’s default search engine to Google. The arrangement marks one more front on which Google and Microsoft are increasingly competing with each other not just in the Internet search arena, but also on the browser front. Originally reported by The Financial Times, the arrangement is described as “experimental”—some Vaio systems have already been shipping with Chrome pre-installed.

Google launched its Chrome browser back in late 2008, and while the browser has generally earned high marks for its performance and technical design—and even its stripped-down interface—it has yet to capture a significant share of the browser market. Google no doubt hopes bundling Chrome on Sony machines will expose more consumers their browser; Sony, in turn, may hope that bundling a high-performance, consumer-friendly browser with their PCs may help boost Vaio sales.

No financial terms of Google and Sony’s deal have been announced. The move marks the second major tie-up between Sony and Google in recent weeks; Sony just announced a deal with Google to make more than 1 million public domain books available to Sony Reader users via Google Books.