When it wanted to increase its search market share in the US, Microsoft sought out a partnership, resulting in a Yahoo-branded engine with Bing-flavored results. So, it seems natural that the company would look for a similar deal in China, the world's largest market, where the company only manages a presence of around one-percent of search. This time, however, Microsoft's managed a deal with the number one search engine, Baidu, which currently lays claim to three-quarters of the Chinese market -- far greater than Google's 20-percent or so. Baidu and MS announced a deal this week that will put Redmond in charge of English searches on the site. No money changed hands with the deal -- Baidu gets advertising revenue, Microsoft gets a larger slice of China's search pie, and we get an excuse to do an image search for Steve Ballmer on a Chinese search engine.

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Microsoft, Baidu strike China search deal