Microsoft will alter Vista to address search concerns

The software maker will change the operating system to address concerns from Google over desktop search. Changes will come with the first Vista service pack, a beta of which is due before the end of the year.

Microsoft plans to make changes to Windows Vista to try to assuage concerns from Google that its desktop search product is disadvantaged by the operating system.

The software maker is expected to detail its planned changes to the desktop search mechanism later Tuesday in a federal court filing being jointly made with the Justice Department. A Microsoft representative declined to comment on the report ahead of its filing. A Justice Department representative was not immediately available for comment. The planned changes were reported earlier Tuesday by Reuters and Bloomberg.

Microsoft plans to use the first service pack for Vista to make the changes to desktop search, a source told CNET News.com. A beta of the service pack is due before the end of the year, the source said.

Google complained about Vista's desktop search arrangement more than a year ago, but the issue has come back into the forefront in recent weeks, with the Connecticut Attorney General saying he would look into the matter .

With Windows XP, Microsoft's desktop search was an add-on, similar to products from Google and others. With Vista, as with Mac OS X Tiger, indexed searching of the local hard drive is built into the operating system.

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    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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