SweetLabs has picked up another OEM partner, HP, to preload its software platform that includes a Windows Start Menu replacement on some of its PCs.
SweetLabs, the creators of Pokki, a popular Start Menu and app tool, have placed their focus in recent quarters on helping OEMs boost per-device margins. In short, the technology they provide to consumers is used by OEMs to drive revenue on shipped computers.
App recommendation and install advertisement is a growing business. Pokki, which also has deals with Acer and Lenovo, sits on newly shipped computers, providing an alternative to the new Windows Store.
TechCrunch learned of the HP deal after the company published a support page for Pokki use on its machines. SweetLabs confirmed the deal, but declined to elaborate further.
SweetLabs has raised more than $20 million to date.
SweetLabs, and its Pokki product, have evolved through time, starting as a way to run mobile-esque apps on traditional Windows, to a Start Menu replacement tool that also encompassed prior function, and now to an OEM-facing tool that builds on prior development.
The old airline joke applies: Want a million dollars? Start with a billion and build PCs.
Microsoft is gunning to make up for lost time. It intends to bring back its own Start Menu to Windows, and also push the Windows Store. SweetLabs is working to survive both by pivoting to OEMs instead of consumers, so far successfully.
We’d know more with revenue numbers.