Last week, Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt and Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy announced a distribution partnership.
What did they decide?Google's toolbar will be bundled into downloads of the Java Runtime Environment and Sun's Java will be used to power new software developed and released by Google.
Google might also include links to Sun software that directly competes with Microsoft software such as the Open Office suite in future updates of its toolbar.
What does this mean for search?
This is probably only the first step in Google's and Sun's battle against Microsoft. Google wants to win more market share on the desktop of computer users and it wants to move computer applications from the desktop to the Internet.
Google has also recently filed a new patent that indicates that Google is working on a way to constantly monitor all of your actions in order to build personalized search queries.
According to the patent specification, Google aims to monitor whatever you type in your word processor, the things you copy to your clipboard, the position of your mouse, the content of your emails, instant messenger messages and more.
If Google has access to Sun's free Open Office suite, it might be easier to do that. By gathering as much information about you as possible, Google can offer you personalized search results and - more important to Google - personalized ads.
What does this mean to you?It seems that many of Google's recent "free" applications mainly serve the purpose of gathering more data about you for Google so that Google can monetize that information for targeted ads.
If you use many different Google services, you share a lot of information with Google. It's up to you to decide if you're willing to exchange private information for "free" software and services.
This distribution partnership is probably only the start. It's likely that we can expect a lot more from this alliance between these two online giants.