Google: Sony Picks Chrome For Vaio PCs


"We are in the process of testing one such channel with Sony," Google said in a statement to Reuters.

While Sony has yet to comment on the deal, Google confirmed the news to The Financial Times, which broke the story.

Google said some of Sony's PCs bundled with Chrome have already hit store shelves.

The deal marks the first time Google has struck a Web distribution pact with a hardware maker. The news bodes well for Google, whose browser lags far behind Microsoft's. Google also said that it is in talks with other manufacturers to distribute Chrome.

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Google launched Chrome a year ago, and the browser came out of beta in December. In March, Google unveiled yet another beta version of Chrome. The company boasted that the new beta was 25 percent faster than its V8 benchmark and 35 percent faster than its Sunspider benchmark compared to the initial Chrome beta.

Microsoft is also contending with other competitors' upgraded browsers that have been released in the past two months, such as Mozilla's Firefox 3.5 and Apple's Safari 4.

According to the most recent figures from research firm StatCounter, Microsoft's combined IE 7 and IE 6 market share declined from 68 percent in July 2008 to 63 percent as of February 2009. IE 8 took just 1 percent of the market, while Firefox 3 and Firefox 2 grew from 25 percent in July 2008 to 27 percent in February of this year.