And the hits just keep on coming, don't they Microsoft.
In its latest move to outflank the Redmond software giant, Google will bundle Google Toolbar with downloads of Adobe's Shockwave.
Google's deal with Adobe will help Google continue to spread its products to consumers and compete with Microsoft, which is planning to embed its new search tool in its Vista operating system, which should ship early in 2007.
In the last year, Google has announced Google Pack and several Web-based products that compete with Microsoft's core business; distributed Google Desktop on USB and flash drives; and shipped Google desktop software with Dell PCs (hoping said PCs don't explode).
According to Adobe, the Shockwave player runs on an estimated 55.4 percent of Internet-ready PCs. Researchers estimate that 63 percent of American households, or about 40 million households, are currently connected to the Internet.
Dell, meanwhile, captured 18.2 percent of the consumer PC market in 2005. The global PC market (which also includes servers) was 208.6 million in 2005, according to IDC. Gartner estimated the market at 218.5 million.
Whatever the exact number of desktops and notebooks that will come with Google software, the number will far exceed the number of computers running Windows Live Search in Vista, especially for the next year to two years.
Let's not forget that Google's deal with Adobe helps Adobe out too.
Adobe, the world's fifth-largest software company, is increasingly in competition with Microsoft these days. In 2005, Microsoft announced the Expression suite of design products, which includes software that will compete with Adobe's creative tools. Expression Graphic Designer will compete with Illustrator, Expression Web Designer will compete with Dreamweaver, and Expression Interactive Designer will compete with Flash.
Adobe and Microsoft have also recently butted heads about Microsoft's plans to include PDF functionality in an upcoming version of Microsoft Office.
Note 1: Adobe had an agreement with Yahoo to distribute the Yahoo tool bar, but the Google agreement replaces Yahoo's. However, Yahoo will continue to have an agreement with Adobe whereby their users who download the Flash player and Adobe Reader will be asked if they'd like to download the Yahoo Toolbar.
Note 2: Shockwave and Flash are not the same thing. Shockwave was originally intended for more robust applications created with Macromedia (now Flash) Director. Director, however, may be phased out due to the competing abilities of Flex 2, which is being released shortly. In fact, the latest update to the Shockwave FAQ doesn't even mention Director. The Flash player FAQ, however, still contains copy about Director.