Microsoft Details Search Changes for Windows Vista SP1

Microsoft on Wednesday revealed more details about its plan to change the way Windows Vista's Instant Search feature works. The changes, which will be implemented in Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), are happening in response to complaints from Internet Search giant Google, which notified antitrust regulators last year that the feature made its own products perform poorly.

From a mile-high view, nothing has changed: As Microsoft previously announced, it will alter Instant Search in SP1 so that third parties like Google can more easily integrate their desktop search products with Vista. This week's revelations are a bit more low-level, with the company releasing documentation for third party desktop search developers that describes how these changes will be implemented and how they can best take advantage of the changes.

More specifically, Microsoft has released three documents describing the changes, which are scattered over the company's Web site. The first describes the Instant Search changes in SP1, the second explains how developers can use the Vista SP1 search protocol, while the third explains how to make third party search services run as efficiently as possible. (Links below.)

Microsoft says that it has also provided the technical committee which is overseeing the company's adherence to its 2002 antitrust consent decree with an interim build of Vista SP1 so that they can test and validate the changes. A public beta version of SP1 is due by the end of 2007, with the final release now expected in the first quarter of 2008, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft documentation for search changes in Vista SP1
Overview of Windows Vista desktop search Changes in Windows Vista Service Pack 1
Using the search Protocol
Good citizenship when developing background services for Windows Vista

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