The Toolbar Wars Have Started

Posted on March 3, 2006

A ZDNet article says the battle for computer real estate has moved from the desktop to the web browser and major Internet companies are battling it out for the best toolbar positions.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the companies are mulling a three-year partnership that could bring as much as $1 billion in revenue to the PC maker for letting Google install its software on Dell machines. The Dell representative declined to comment on the future of the relationship between the two companies. A Google representative confirmed the two companies were testing the search giant's products on new Dell PCs, but declined to comment further.

The browser, not the desktop, has become the most sought-after piece of real estate on a new PC, said Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates. Five years ago, PC companies were giddy over the prospect of renting space on their boxes' desktops to the highest bidder, after Microsoft's antitrust settlement with the U.S. Justice Department forced it to open up the Windows desktop to increased competition.

It makes sense that the browsers would be coveted real estate because many people have it open for hours a day. Getting people to download and install toolbars is not always easy so having them pre-installed is a big advantage. A big list of toolbars can be found here on Search Engine Watch. Yahoo has a smaller list here.

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