Google has forged a deal to distribute Chrome in Sony PCs sold in North America, the company’s first such deal with a PC vendor and one of a number of efforts to popularize the Internet browser.

Sony started installing Chrome in PCs bound for North America in May, a Sony representative said. The deal was initially a test run for the two companies, but the test phase is nearly over.

The Sony deal marks an important step for Chrome into PCs. Launched almost exactly a year ago, the browser has had a rough time against rivals such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox.

Internet Explorer continued to reign as market leader in July with a 67.7 per cent share of the browser market, compared to 22.5 per cent for Firefox, 4.1 per cent for Apple’s Safari and 2.59 per cent for Chrome, according to Net Applications.

Google is talking with other PC vendors as well, and is seeking other ways to increase Chrome’s market share.

“Users’ response to Google Chrome has been outstanding, and we’re continuing to explore ways to make Chrome accessible to even more people,” Google said in a statement. 



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