Microsoft has reached an agreement after working with the American Justice Department to change some search aspects of the Vista operating system.

Microsoft were forced to make the changes after Google filed a complaint against the software giant claiming they were in violation of a 2001 antitrust settlement that stops Microsoft disadvantaging rival software companies.

Google's complaint accused Microsoft's Vista of potentially harming competing search software to the extent that Google's desktop search program doesn't perform properly on Vista.

The Google-friendly changes will be available in a service pack, or as an update that should be ready by the end of the year.

Microsoft has also now agreed to give additional technical info about Vista to third-party developers so that they can improve the way their desktop search service works with the Vista OS.