Sun Microsystems has agreed to bundle Microsoft's search system with the latest version of its Java Runtime Environment (JRE).
The software will be part of an MSN toolbar which will be bundled as an optional add-on for new JRE downloads.
The plug-in will be limited to Internet Explorer, and will also offer access to Microsoft's Windows Live Hotmail and Messenger services.
Microsoft hopes that bundling the toolbar will allow the company to leverage Sun's huge market share with Java to reach new users for the search service. There are an estimated 800 million Java users worldwide.
"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," said Microsoft online audience senior vice president Yusuf Mehdi.
"With the vast array of Java-based web applications downloaded every month, this deal will expose Live Search to millions more internet users and drive increased volume for our search advertisers."
Microsoft has long been looking for new avenues to expand the reach of its search service and the advertising dollars it generates.
The acquiring of greater search reach and advertising revenues were the prime factors in Microsoft's attempt to acquire Yahoo.
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