Google complaint forces changes to Vista’s desktop search

Vista SP1 to arrive later this year

Microsoft has revealed via a court filing that it will be revising its new Vista operating system later this year with the public beta release of its first Service Pack. The move, which is seen as a step to avoid falling foul of its five-year-old antitrust decree, means that the firm will make revisions to its internal search function to make it easier for rival’s software and allow users to more easily change the default search program.

Microsoft’s concession comes after search rival Google lodged a complaint claiming that the way Vista was set up made it difficult for users to change the default search engine and also made third-party software including Google’s own desktop search run far slower than Google claimed they should do. Microsoft denies the accusations however, said it would make changes.

Microsoft said it had reached an agreement with all parties. Speaking about the agreement, California Attorney General Jerry Brown told Associated Press: “This agreement, while not perfect, is a positive step toward greater competition in the software industry.” Microsoft’s general counsel, Bradford L. Smith added: “We’re pleased we were able to reach an agreement with all the States and the Justice Department that addresses their concerns so that everyone can move forward.”

Microsoft said that the updates would be a part of the first service pack for Windows Vista, made available as part of a beta due for release later this year, but did not comment when it would become available to the public.

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