Google has a new deal with personal computer maker Dell to preinstall Google features on a lot more Dell computers.
The first PCs with Google on board will be shipped by the end of the month, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told analysts recently.
He would only say Google was sharing revenue with Dell, but wouldn't be any more specific. He also said to expect similar future deals between the two companies.
There's a lot that's to Google's advantage here, especially considering that Microsoft was rumored to be seeking the same kind of deal with Dell.
It's a big plus for software or services providers to have their products come already loaded onto a personal computer. Analysts repeatedly say that people generally use, and become attached to, these features.
A deal between Google and Dell of this variety had been expected since January, when Google confirmed a relationship between the two companies.
The unknowns at the time were the length of the contract, the number of computers involved and other such details.
Schmidt released the details of the deal during an address to financial analysts today.
The deal is apparently three years in length, and involves preinstalling Google's desktop search feature and a Web browser tool bar on millions of computers.
Also, the Web browsers installed in Dell laptops will be set to a page developed by Google and Dell. It can be seen here.
The expectation is that Google is paying Dell about $1 for each machine going out the door with the preinstall.
Although that agreement is still far short of $1 billion, additional agreements and add-ons would make up the remainder, or the per-computer pricing might actually range between $5 and $10, according to the speculation.
Dell has seen softening sales and the Google deal would represent a welcome source of added revenue.
At one time, Dell seemed solely tied to Intel and Microsoft. The decision to allow:00 AMD chips in the high-end server line, and now the apparent decision to allow Google onto the startup screen, are telling signals of how far Dell is willing to go to get growth back on track. Earlier this week, Dell also announced that it was opening two stores, although customers in those retail stores would still have to order their systems online.