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First, Microsoft will create a mechanism for end users and OEMs to select a default program to handle desktop search. ISVs will be able to register their desktop search products for this default, in the same way that ISVs can register
third-party web browsers and media players as the default in Windows today.
Second, the default desktop search program will be launched whenever Windows launches a new top-level window to provide search results. This will include an existing location on the Start menu that a user can select to display additional search results in a
new window. Windows Vista also includes search boxes located in the upper-right hand corner of various windows in the operating system, such as all the windows used to explore the files on the computer -- often called "Explorer" windows -- and the Control
Panel. In these windows, when the user enters a query Vista will continue to display the search results using the internal Vista desktop search functionality. Microsoft has agreed, however, to add a link that, if clicked, will launch the default desktop search
program and display search results from that program.
Third, Microsoft will inform ISVs, OEMs, and end users that the desktop search index in Vista is designed to run in the background and cede precedence over computing resources to any other software product, including third-party desktop search products and
their respective search indices. Microsoft will emphasize that there is no technical reason why OEMs and end users cannot, if they choose to, install additional desktop search products on their system, even if those products maintain separate indices from
that operated by Windows. products maintain separate indices from that operated by Windows. In addition, Microsoft will provide technical information that will enable other desktop search companies also to design their products to optimize their priorities
on the computer and minimize any impact on performance.
Microsoft will deliver the required changes in Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista, which Microsoft currently anticipates will be available in beta form by the end of the year.
Those aren't huge concessions. Or even concessions at all.
1) Indexing will remain enabled. Instant Search will be Microsoft's.
2) Google et al can plug into various boxes and have it launch their application with a search string (basically open a URL).
3) Microsoft will "provide documentation" to allow Google et al to modify their indexing services to take priority over Microsoft's.
Currently, OEMs can modify Microsoft defaults; so "extending" that to search is a misnomer. Microsoft will just make it "saner."