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Microsoft Concedes to Alter Its Vista Operating System

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Microsoft has agreed to revise its Vista operating system under a compromise with federal and state officials monitoring the company's compliance with a five-year-old antitrust decree, according to a court filing last night.

Microsoft's concession came after Google filed a complaint alleging that it and other competitors were unfairly disadvantaged by how Microsoft designed the feature for conducting computer-desktop searches. In particular, Google said that it was difficult to turn off the Microsoft desktop search and that Google's desktop search ran too slowly when users chose it as an alternate.

Though Microsoft executives denied those accusations, the company said it would make several changes in its desktop search. The feature, which is separate from Internet search, allows users to scan information on computer hard drives.

Google raised its concerns with officials tracking Microsoft's compliance with the 2002 consent decree that ended the government's antitrust case against the software giant. The dispute between Google and Microsoft became public in recent weeks as the monitoring committee, composed of state attorneys general and Justice Department officials, was drafting its quarterly status report.

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