Windows Live OEM bundle to be announced?

In a post that seems to contradict the doomsday scenario that Joe Wilcox seems to be pushing, he reports today that an unidentified OEM will “imminently announce its first PC-bundling deal for Windows Live”.

According to sources cited by Wilcox, the initial bundling would be for the Live homepage (www.live.com) and the Windows Live Toolbar.  Live search is expected to be included according to the report, and “other products or services could come in the future”.

According to the report, the Windows Live bundling deal would be one step to counteract Google’s May 2006 deal with Dell, in which Dell PCs are loaded with the Google toolbar for Web and PC search, along with a co-branded home page, before they’re shipped to consumers.

Reports of its demise notwithstanding, expect more out of Windows Live as it moves out of wave 1 (the only major piece left in beta being Windows Live Hotmail), as the new management (has anyone noticed that along with the much publicized departures, there have been some powerful additions to Windows Live management, noticably Steven Sinofsky and Chris Jones?) begins to assert itself, and as the focus in Redmond shifts away from the recent Vista launch to Windows Live.