Microsoft, Google Settle Vista Complaint
The Department of Justice has reached an agreement with Microsoft that will end a complaint made by Google about a Vista feature.
The Vista operating system produced by Microsoft has a feature called Instant Search. Vista users can submit a query with Instant Search to find items on the local hard drive containing those search terms.
Google felt this feature limited user choice of desktop search products, such as Google Desktop. The DOJ said its agreement with Microsoft resolves any issues raised by Google’s complaint.
Microsoft has to deliver certain fixes to Vista when it release the beta version of its first Service Pack for the new operating system before the end of the year. Justice listed them in its statement:
- Create a mechanism for end users and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to select a default program to handle desktop search and enable independent software vendors (ISVs) to register their desktop search products for this default in the same way that ISVs can register third-party Web browsers and media players as the default in Windows today;
- Ensure the default desktop search program will be launched whenever Windows launches a new top-level window to provide search results; and
- Inform ISVs, OEMs, and end users that the desktop search index in Vista is designed to run in the background and cede precedence over computing resources to any other software product.
Google’s chief legal counsel, David Drummond, told Bloomberg News the changes will be a step in the right direction, but need to be “improved further to give consumers greater access to alternate desktop search providers.”