As part of its recent push to have its Web browser toolbar installed everywhere around the world Google has agreed to pay an unspecified "significant amount" to have the software bundled with select Adobe downloads.
The initial venue for the Google miniapp will be downloads of the popular and free Shockwave multimedia player.
The move is seen by some observers as an effort to outflank Microsoft especially as Internet Explorer nears its formal launch this summer. The next version of Microsoft's Web browser software will default to MSN search rather than Google.
Interestingly Google's search toolbar will be available only when Shockwave is downloaded for use with Internet Explorer on Windows.
"Teaming up with Adobe is not earthshattering" said Laura DiDio a Yankee Group analyst. "But the fact that they're doing it for Internet Explorer on Windows is Google giving another jab at Microsoft."
Jeffrey Mann an analyst at Gartner offered a similar take. "This is clearly part of a pattern" he said.
Mann pointed out that Google is looking for many different ways to reach eyeballs especially as the launch of Windows Vista and Office draws closer. Much like Internet Explorer these Microsoft mainstays will default to Microsoft's own search service.
Windows Vista is expected to be released for businesses later this year and for consumers in early . Office is slated to be released next year as well.
Replacing Yahoo Toolbar
Google Toolbar will be available immediately by default with the Shockwave player download but users can opt not to install it.
The Google app replaces Shockwave's current Yahoo Toolbar option although the Yahoo option will continue to be bundled with downloads of Adobe's Flash player and the Adobe PDF Reader at least for now.
In addition to offering a direct link to the company's search service Google Toolbar includes a spellchecker a word translator a popup blocker and a Web page form filler.
Google Toolbar also enables users to create bookmarks that are accessible from any computer and share Web content with other users through Gmail blogs or text messaging for mobile phones.
In the past year Google has made deals to preinstall its Google Desktop software an application designed to replace the builtin Windows search tools on Dell Computers and Lexar USB drives.