The latest Department of Justice status report on Microsoft's antitrust compliance is out. And Microsoft's concessions to a Google complaint regarding integrated desktop search are a key component of that report.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Todd Bishop links to the 27-page PDF version of the full status report. He also provides the highlights of Microsoft's four-pronged plan for enabling third-party desktop search engines to work better with Windows Vista.
A Microsoft corporate spokesman, contacting the media via e-mail on Tuesday night, summarized the Vista search changes Microsoft is planning to make as follows:
- "Defaults: Computer manufacturers and consumers will be able to select a default desktop search program similar to the way they currently select defaults for third-party web browsers and media players in Windows Vista.
- "Easy Links: Links to the default desktop search program will be provided on the Start menu and in Windows Explorer windows.
- "Developer guidance: Microsoft will provide information to developers of third-party desktop search programs about how they can optimize their programs to minimize any performance problems."
Microsoft is promising to deliver a number of the required changes as part of Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista. A beta of that service pack, according to the status report, will be out before the end of this year.
(That's one way to get Microsoft to have to cough up a long-awaited acknowledgement of Vista SP1, as well as a partial timetable for it.)
What do you think of the proposed changes to Vista's integrated search capabilitiy? Gratuitious? Necessary? Confusing? None of the above?