In a memo Microsoft stated that a beta version of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 will be available before November 12.
Last week, after considering a Google complaint that Microsoft had purposefully designed Vista to make it difficult or impossible for users to swap the operating system's built-in search tool for one from another vendor, the Department of Justice, 17 states attorneys general, and the District of Columbia reported that they had struck a deal with Microsoft and were "collectively satisfied" with the arrangement. The agreement requires Microsoft to make some changes to Vista's desktop search, but does not include all the modifications Google had requested.
Microsoft painted Google's brief as so many sour grapes. "Dissatisfied with the Plaintiffs' enforcement of the Final Judgment, Google is seeking to make an 'end-run' around the prohibition on non-parties directly enforcing the decrees," Microsoft's memorandum read.
Also in the memo, Microsoft attempted to undercut Google's reason for extending the consent decree by promising to release a beta Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) before the decree's Nov. 12 expiration. Google had hinted that Microsoft, which had previously committed to launching SP1 only before the end of the year, might never implement the changes. The Nov. 12 deadline for Vista SP1 is the firmest timetable yet for any major milestone of the update.