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.