Ballmer Uses “Sgt. Schultz” Defence In “Vista Capable” Lawsuit

It’s been a while since I’ve discussed this, but this document (Warning: PDF) posted on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claims that he had no direct knowledge of the “Vista Capable” circus. He chooses instead to point the finger at two retired MS employees:

“I was not involved in any of the operational decisions about the Windows Vista Capable program. I was not involved in establishing the requirements computers must satisfy to qualify for the Windows Vista Capable program. I was not involved in formulating any market strategy or any public messaging surrounding the Windows Vista Capable program. To the best of my recollection, I do not have any unique knowledge of nor did I have any unique involvement in any decisions regarding the Windows Vista Capable program. All of my knowledge about those decisions came through other people at Microsoft, notably Jim Allchin, Microsoft’s then-co-President, Platforms Products & Services, and Will Poole, Microsoft’s then Senior Vice President, Windows Client Business.”

Well if I’m Allchin or Poole, I’d say it’s time to lawyer up and make sure their ducks are in a row as they’re sure to be answering questions in front of a judge shortly. While they’re at it, they should find some way to defend themselves against flying chairs.

But I digress.

I find it incredible that Ballmer knew nothing beyond the superficial details of the “Vista Capable” program. After all, he is the CEO and from a legal standpoint the buck should stop with him. Hopefully, this “I didn’t know anything” defence gets ripped apart.

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