Yahoo, Acer Team Up on Toolbar, Start Page

In a move to stake out as much search and desktop turf as possible before the launch of Windows Vista, Yahoo has inked a multi-year deal with number-four computer maker Acer to include a co-branded Yahoo toolbar on ever Acer PC sold worldwide, as well as set Yahoo as the default search engine on those systems. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the move potentially puts Yahoo services in front of millions of international customers: Taiwan’s Acer is the top supplier of notebook computer systems in Europe, and the third ranked notebook maker in Asia.

“Acer’s commitment to customer satisfaction and its burgeoning global growth make it a key strategic partner for us,” said Dan Rosensweig, Yahoo’s COO, in a statement. “Building on our strategy to partner with leading global brands, this relationship gives Yahoo the ability to offer our services to Acer’s global customer audience, giving users one-click access to Yahoo and helping to expand our community of more than 500 million users worldwide.”

The agreement is set to get underway October 1 in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Under the terms of the agreement, Acer will pre-load a co-branded Yahoo/Acer toolbar and Internet start page on all Acer PCs shipped worldwide; the start page will promote Yahoo services such as Yahoo Music, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Personal Assistant, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messengers, search services, and more. The page will look like the new Yahoo home page, but also feature direct links to Acer customer services. When Microsoft launches Internet Explorer 7, Acer will set Yahoo as the default search engine for use with IE7 on all new computers. Acer and Yahoo will be developing localized toolbars and start pages for Brazil, Canada (English and French), France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, the U.K.,and the U.S. (English and Spanish).

“Yahoo’s world-class services and proven ability to build successful relationships make them the right choice for our partnership. What’s more, their global coverage with strong local engagement perfectly match Acer’s company strategy,” said Acer president Gianfranco Lanci. “As Acer continues to enhance the lives of the world’s PC users, the addition of Yahoo’s services underscores our dedication to our customers and presents a further catalyst for our global growth.”

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