In June, Microsoft announced plans to open up Vista's built-in desktop search functionality to competitors like Google. The move was presumably prompted by pressure from both Google and antitrust regulators at the U.S. Justice Department.
CNet now has the scoop on exactly what Microsoft intends to do to facilitate the integration of third-party search tools in Vista. The change will come in the first Vista service pack, due out early next year. According to a message from Microsoft to CNet, users can expect the change to take the following shape:
The changes will be visible to those running Vista in a few places. The first of these places is in Vista's start menu. Today there are buttons that say "see all results" or "search everywhere." If a third party search engine is chosen, that engine will launch when the search everywhere button is clicked.
The second place is in the command bar in windows within Vista's explorer navigation system. As you start typing there in the search box, currently there is a dark blue bar with buttons that say "save search" and "search tools." As part of the changes, there will be an added button that says "search everywhere" and links to the default search engine.
To enable third parties to offer alternatives to Vista's built-in search, Microsoft is releasing a set of three documents this week. The first is a simple knowledge base entry, the second contains documentations regarding Microsoft's search protocols, and the third is "a paper that describes how services can operate in a way that avoids disrupting overall system performance."