Microsoft will make some changes to Windows Vista search to accommodate a legal complaint made by Google.
The changes were revealed in a routine legal filing submitted by the Justice Department, state attorneys general and Microsoft after 10 p.m. today. Earlier, information about the changes leaked out to several wire services, in yet another breach of court protocol.
Microsoft will modify search access so that end users can choose a default product; additionally, Microsoft will provide links to the default desktop search software from the Start Menu and to Explorer Windows. Microsoft plans to release the changes with Windows Vista Service Pack 1 beta, which the court document reveals would be available sometime near the end of the year.
Additionally, Microsoft agreed to enable mechanisms that would make it easier for OEMs to choose search defaults and for developers to best develop search programs for Vista. The OEM agreement would be important for Dell, which ships Google desktop search as default.
"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," Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel said in a statement.