Google demands more Windows Vista changes

Google wants federal and state regulators to press Microsoft to make more changes to Windows Vista's desktop search and indexing tool.

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Google wants US regulators to press Microsoft to make more changes to Windows Vista's desktop search and indexing tool.

Although Microsoft struck an agreement with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and 17 state attorneys general to modify some aspects of Vista's built-in search, Google said anti-trust officials should do more.

"Microsoft's current approach to Vista desktop search clearly violates the consent decree and limits consumer choice," David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer. "We are pleased that as a result of Google's request that the consent decree be enforced, the Department of Justice and state attorneys general have required Microsoft to make changes to Vista.

"These remedies are a step in the right direction, but they should be improved further to give consumers greater access to alternate desktop search providers."

A Google spokesperson declined to elaborate when asked what additional changes Microsoft should be forced to make.

According to reports last week, Google accused Microsoft of making it difficult for users to disable Vista's integrated indexing and search. If a second desktop search application was installed, the computer would slow down as two competing indexers churned through the hard drive, Google said.

Google also complained that Microsoft's search was the only tool allowed to generate results in Vista's search bars, which appear in several places, including the Start menu, in the Windows Explorer file manager and in the Control Panels main display.

In the joint status settlement, the DOJ and state attorneys general said Microsoft must modify Vista so users and PC manufacturers could select a default search tool for producing results in the Start menu.

Other search bars, however, will continue to rely on Vista's own search and indexing program, and must only provide users with a link to the default search engine. Other provisions require Microsoft to offer documentation so that developers can optimise their Vista search software and minimise its impact on PC performance.

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