Microsoft, Sun Pack Live Search Into Java

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The deal will allow Internet Explorer users who download the JRE to access Windows Live Search, Hotmail and Messenger with a single mouse click. While not exactly earth-shattering, this type of cooperation would have been unimaginable prior to Microsoft and Sun's 2004 interoperability pact, when the relationship was defined by visceral loathing.

Microsoft is looking to build search market share by probing every nook and cranny possible, and Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of the Online Audience Business at Microsoft, said the deal will help expose Live Search to "millions more Internet users and drive more volume for Microsoft's search advertisers."

"This agreement with Sun Microsystems is another important milestone in our strategy to secure broad-scale distribution for our search offering, enabling millions more people to experience the benefits of Live Search," Mehdi said in a statement.

Microsoft has been trying a variety of tactics to build search market share, including paying cash rebates to users in its Live Search Cashback program; providing an API to Facebook that lets developers weave Live Search into the social networking ubersite; lobbying U.S. antitrust regulators to scuttle a proposed Google-Yahoo search advertising deal; and offering a search service and advertising deal to Verizon that trumps a similar offer from Google.

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