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Google's toolbar to be spread by Adobe

Causing Shockwaves

Adobe will distribute Google's browser toolbar with some of its products, it announced yesterday. The deal will start immediately with downloads of the Macromedia Shockwave Player.

During the Shockwave Player's installation, users will get the option of adding the Google Toolbar to their Internet Explorer browser.

As part of the multiyear agreement, the Google Toolbar will be distributed with other Adobe products as well. Adobe expects the deal to generate a "significant" amount of additional revenue for its coffers, a spokeswoman said, declining to provide more financial details.

Adobe distributes a competing browser toolbar from Yahoo in its Adobe Reader and Flash Player products, she said. It doesn't distribute Microsoft toolbars.

Browser toolbars provide a variety of utilities and shortcuts to online services, but their primary feature is a search engine box. From this box, users can execute queries without having to go to a search-engine website. For this reason, search engine operators such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are constantly seeking distribution vehicles for their browser toolbars.

Adobe and Google compete with Microsoft on different fronts. Microsoft and Adobe compete in design, publishing, document management and multimedia-playback software. They have recently been embroiled in a public controversy over Microsoft's decision to pull support for Adobe's PDF (portable document format) from Office 2007. Meanwhile, Microsoft and Google compete in consumer and enterprise search, web-portal online services and hosted software.


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