New Dirt In “Vista Capable” Lawsuit Found…. It Truly Sucks To Be Microsoft Right Now…

Some more internal e-mails relating the the “Vista Capable” lawsuit have hit the streets. These ones are good as it proves that Microsoft caved to Intel to allow Vista to run on computers that can’t run Vista well:

“At the heart of Intel’s pressure was its 915 chipset, which was incapable of running Vista’s Aero interface. Intel had a significant number of those chipsets on hand. Because the chipsets were incapable of running Vista, Intel wouldn’t be able to unload them. That’s why they pressured Microsoft into putting “Vista Capable” stickers on PCs with 915 chipsets, even though those PCs couldn’t run Aero or other parts of Vista.”

Now, if you’ve followed this story on my blog you’re likely saying “Yeah, you’ve said that before, so what’s new?” Here’s what’s new. First Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may have known more than he claims to:

“Less than a week later, after a great deal of internal bickering going on at Microsoft, Microsoft backed off and acceded to Intel’s wishes. Intel CEO Otellini even sent a note personally thanking Ballmer.”

That sure doesn’t sound like someone who used the Sgt. Schulz defence to keep himself out of court. Next is this e-mail from Microsoft exec Mike Ybarra who was one of many Microsoft employees who were furious at this decision:

“This kind of [s**t] drives me crazy, Chris. We have pushed UI in Vista so hard in the last 18 months and we get our OEMs to go with higher end chipsets and graphics parts on existing PCs to really drive the experience for consumers and at the last minute we cave to Intel and give 915 and other chipsets a backdoor into the programs. I hate the idea of a consumer upgrading a PC that we have marked as “Vista Capable” and not getting the great UI experience.”

Ex- Microsoft exec Jim Allchin was even more furious:

“I’m sorry to say that I think this plan is terrible and it will have to be changed. I believe we are going to be misleading customers with the Capable program. OEMs will say a machine is Capable and customers will believe that it will run all the core Vista features. The fact that aero won’t be there EVER for many of these machines is misleading to customers. … We need to meet on this. Please set this up ASAP. We need something simpler in my view. I know we don’t want to hurt the OEMS, but end-customers must be the top priority. We must avoid confusion. It is wrong for customers. And we probably will have to change your current plans”

You can guess what happened next. The plan went ahead, end-customers were pissed, Microsoft got sued. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Microsoft needs to settle this out of court and make this go away. These e-mails paint Microsoft in a rather negative light and it is in their interest to stop the bleeding ASAP. Otherwise, Apple will quickly replace Microsoft at the top of the food chain.

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