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June 19, 2007

Microsoft to change Vista to satisfy Google antitrust complaint?

Posted by David Hunter at 7:48 PM ET.

Reuters has the buzz on a possible settlement of the Google US antitrust complaint leaked last week:

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to modify its new Vista operating system in response to complaints that its desktop search function puts Google Inc. and other potential competitors at a disadvantage, a source familiar with the case told Reuters on Tuesday.

The U.S. Justice Department and Microsoft are expected to provide details of the proposed changes in a joint report filed in federal court later on Tuesday, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Stay tuned since the details should be released later today.

Update: Jessica Mintz at the AP has more details from an anonymous source:

Microsoft has agreed to make changes to the design and function of Windows Vista in the area of desktop search, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The company will fold the changes into a beta version of a Service Pack software update by the end of the year, and will give computer makers the option to install non-Microsoft desktop search applications, said the person, who requested anonymity because the report had not been released.

Update: The leaks were on target. Todd Bishop links to the full status report. I haven’t been shy about stating my belief that Google’s complaint was pretty thin, but evidently there were some state attorneys general who wanted to earn political points by fighting the issue and Microsoft appears to have chosen the path of least resistance to make the problem go away. Since Microsoft is giving up very little, it was probably a wise decision.

As for state attorneys general, Stephen Labaton at the NY Times (who reported the original leak) was reporting the settlement details and quoting the remaining misgivings of Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut attorney general, even before the settlement was announced. Now I guess we know who was trying their case in the press.



Filed under Antitrust, Coopetition, General Business, Google, Governmental Relations, Legal, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows Vista

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4 Responses to “Microsoft to change Vista to satisfy Google antitrust complaint?”

  1. US antitrust regulators dismiss Iowa Microsoft API complaint -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Overshadowed by last week’s news that Microsoft was modifying Vista desktop search integration to satisfy a Google complaint to US antitrust regulators, was the positive resolution for Microsoft by these same regulators of a complaint by the plaintiffs in the Iowa antitrust case. This complaint alleged that Microsoft had violated the the US antitrust settlement by not disclosing APIs and had caused a brief flurry back in January. Filed under Legal, Governmental Relations, General Business, Antitrust, Microsoft [...]

  2. Google requests Microsoft antitrust oversight extension -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Last week Microsoft promised to make changes in Vista desktop search to placate Google and antitrust regulators, but Google felt they weren’t enough. They now have backed that feeling up with a filing with the court overseeing the US Microsoft antitrust settlement requesting extension of antitrust oversight related to the desktop search question. [...]

  3. Microsoft tests Vista maintenance packs -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] The natural question is why isn’t this Vista Service Pack 1 and speculation abounds there too, but since at least the promised search fixes for Google apparently aren’t included, the simple answer is that Microsoft has more work to do before SP1 is ready. In the meantime, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be shipping Vista bug fixes. As for the odd venue of a Windows Server 2008 beta program, it sounds like merely an expedient way to find some beta testers since the Vista testing program has ended.   Filed under OS – Client, Windows Vista, Security, Beta and CTP, Microsoft, Patch Tuesday   [Permalink] [TrackBack] [...]

  4. Microsoft reveals Vista Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 slips -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Not called out specifically: the promised remediation for the Google antitrust complaint [...]

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