Microsoft, Baidu In Deal To Push Windows 10 In China

Microsoft announced Thursday that it had signed a deal with Chinese search engine giant Baidu to get Windows 10 on more devices in China. Currently, more than 10 million devices in the country run Microsoft’s latest OS. But there are hundreds of millions of devices running pirated or older versions of Windows. The company is even offering an unlicensed version of Windows 10 to pirates to “re-engage” them.

Baidu to become default search option in China

Under the terms of the deal, Baidu.com will become the default search option and homepage for Chinese users of Microsoft Edge browser. It will help Microsoft tap into Baidu’s 600 million-strong user base to boost Windows 10 adoption in China. The Chinese company will also introduce universal Baidu search, map, cloud, and video apps to Windows 10.

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The Redmond-based software giant said it would deliver “a custom experience” to Baidu users, including local browsing and search experiences. The two companies will make it easier and safer for Baidu customers to upgrade to Windows 10 by offering a “Windows 10 Express” distribution channel. So, what does the deal mean for Microsoft’s own Bing?

Bing to still power Cortana in Windows 10

Microsoft’s VP for Windows and Devices group, Yusuf Mehdi, said Baidu will replace Bing as default search and homepage options on Edge browser. But Bing will still power Cortana and Windows 10 search in China. More than 75 million users had installed Windows 10 by the end of August, and its adoption is growing at a healthy rate.

Microsoft aims to get its latest Windows 10 OS on at least one billion devices within three years. The latest deal with Baidu will help the company get more users. Mehdi said the software giant had received great feedback from the Xiaomi program, which is testing Windows 10 on mobile devices. In the past, Microsoft had partnered with VMWare, Qihoo, Tencent, and Lenovo.

Microsoft shares fell 0.89% to $43.48 in pre-market trading Thursday.