The changes to be made to "Desktop Search" are in compliance with a complaint filed by Google earlier this year. In a filing made jointly with the Justice Department on Tuesday night, Microsoft said it would change the search feature as part of the first service pack for Windows Vista. In the filing, Microsoft talked for the first time about when service pack one (SP1) for Windows Vista would arrive, saying a beta version will come by the end of the year.
Background on the complaint made by Google:
This complaint, filed by Google earlier this year, relates to the desktop search functionality in Windows Vista that enables users to search for files located on their computer. This desktop search functionality in Vista, referred to as "Instant Search" in Microsoft's promotional materials, allows users to enter a search query into a text box and receive a list of results from the hard drive that contain the search term, either in the name of the file or program, in the full text of the file, or in the keywords associated with that file. The desktop search functionality relies on an index that is updated whenever files on the computer change.
Google's complaint contends that desktop search in Windows Vista is a new "Microsoft Middleware Product" under the Final Judgments. Regulators said Tuesday: "Plaintiffs are collectively satisfied that this agreement will resolve any issues the complaint may raise under the Final Judgments, provided that Microsoft implements it as promised." Under the agreement, Microsoft will create a mechanism whereby both Computer Manufactures and users (or Consumers) will be able to choose a default desktop search program, just like they can choose a rival browser or media player as there default program, even though those technologies are built into Windows.