In a deal that has the potential to bring millions of users to Yahoo search, CEO Marissa Mayer announced a three-year agreement with Oracle at the company's shareholder meeting Wednesday that makes it the default search engine for Java software.
Users who install or update Oracle's Java software beginning this month will see a message prompting them to make Yahoo their browser's default search engine and home page. Oracle's deal with Yahoo replaces a previous exclusive deal with Ask.com owned by IAC/Interactive.
The deal was made possible through revised terms of Yahoo's search alliance with Microsoft, which now makes the company free to bring in partners other than Bing.
Yahoo holds 12.7% of the search market compared with Google at 64.2% and Microsoft with 20.2%, according to comScore May 2015 numbers.
Java software is installed on 89% of desktop computers in the U.S. and billions of devices, from mobile phones to connected televisions.
Oracle has accused Google of infringing its copyrights and patents related to Java in its Android operating system. The lawsuit, which involved a Java copyright dispute over whether the API specifications allowing programs to communicate with each other are copyrightable ended any possibilities it would choose Google as the default.
Yahoo struck a deal in 2014 to become the default search engine for the Mozilla Firefox browser, and reports suggest the company has held discussions this year with Apple to take over the default search box on iPhone from Google.