Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Gets in Bed With Baidu

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Microsoft Corporation is adamant on expanding the user base of its latest OS, Windows 10. With several ties already in place with Chinese entities, the tech giant announced a new partnership with online giant Baidu. The internet company holds a great share of the online usership in China.

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The alliance will make it easier for Baidu users to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft also wishes to provide a unique browsing and search experience for consumers in China. Baidu will be used as the firm’s default homepage and search engine for the new Edge browser in the region. The Chinese Web firm has more than 600 million active users in the Asian state.

“We’re excited to be working with leading hardware and software companies in China to develop ground-breaking devices and consumer experiences for Windows 10,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post on the deal.

Microsoft Corp. Vies for China

Microsoft has already formed ties with other major tech firms in China. The U.S. tech giant recently brokered agreements with Xiaomi, Tencent, and Lenovo. The trend goes on with the firm’s latest tie with Baidu. This will give Microsoft a lucrative foothold on the Chinese market, one that even the likes of Google can’t obtain.

The deal with Baidu was finalized on Wednesday. The Chinese giant not only gets to headline on Microsoft products in China, it will also bring over exclusive apps for Windows 10. These tools will cover the users’ cloud, search, maps and video experience on the operating system.

In the announcement, Microsoft  said that Baidu’s new distribution channel, Baidu ‘Windows 10 Express’ will make it simple for internet users in China to download an “official Windows 10 experience”.

There are over 10 million devices currently running the Windows 10 OS in the country, Microsoft reports. This is a large portion of the system’s entire 45 million user base, around 22 percent in total.

What About Bing?

Users have been assured that Bing has not been thrown under bus in supporting Baidu. There firm claims that, while Bing is not being neglected, it also believes in offering a more localize feel to its Windows users to instill a better and more relevant expereince.

“We remain deeply committed to delivering Bing around the world and we’re also committed to offering locally relevant experiences – like Bing in China,” said Windows VP Yusuf Mehdi.

Baidu is said to have been used by over 92 percent of of internet users in China.

Bing holds a poor share in eastern regions. The search engine is used by less than 2 percent of internet users in China. It is upped by Google, which holds 27 percent.

“If Google can’t win the search market in China, then Microsoft  can’t,” Says Danny Sullivan – Editor of Search Engine Land. “But there’s a lot to gain by pushing the Windows adoption,” he adds.

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