U.S. software giant Microsoft officially announced its partnership with Chinese internet giant Baidu on Wednesday (September, 23rd 2015). The new tie-up, which offers Web search services in English, is due to be launched by the end of this year. The deal was made one year and a half after its rival Google pulled its popular search engine out of the vast China technology market. Now, Baidu.com will become the default search engine and home page for those who are using Microsoft’s Edge browser in the mainland.
Baidu is the biggest internet portal in China which has the biggest number of Internet users in the world. With over 600 million users that account for 92% of Internet users, it becomes the most popular search engine in the country. Meanwhile, Google is ranked fourth, reaching 27 percent of the online Chinese population and the Redmond-based software company’s Bing is used by less than 2%. After Baidu teams up with Microsoft, the Chinese company’s hundreds of millions of users, who still use older or pirated edition of the OS, will now be able to upgrade to Microsoft’s newest operating system Windows 10 through Baidu’s distribution channel called “Windows 10 Express”. Therefore, Microsoft can capture more users for its new software as the Baidu deal allows users to download easily an authorized, licensed version of Windows 10. It will then help the Redmond-headquartered firm reach its self-imposed, ambitious goal of 1 billion Windows 10 devices in 2018 more quickly.
Apart from making it easier for users to download Windows 10, Baidu plans to offer Windows Universal Apps for cloud, video, search and maps.
Last year, Chinese search giant Baidu made $1.2 billion in online marketing revenues. It serves three types of online participants, including customers, users and Baidu union members.