HP Ticked At Microsoft Over Vista Capable Program…. Ooops!

It seems that HP was a wee bit ticked at Microsoft over the Vista Capable program according to the latest batch of e-mails (Warning: PDF) that have been released in regards to this ongoing lawsuit.

Here’s the Cribs Notes version.

HP had been working towards having all of its hardware support Vista. That included not having computers that use the low end (read: cheap) Intel 915 chipset as according to Microsoft, the 915 chipset wouldn’t support Vista’s advanced features (read: The Aero Interface). So HP had invested heavily in supporting Aero by using more expensive graphic chipsets from Nvidia and ATI. Oh yeah, they wouldn’t have done this had HP had not been assured by Microsoft that this requirement would not change. But when Microsoft caved to Intel and included support for the 915 chipset, HP went postal as it put them at a huge dis-advantage versus companies who decided to build comptuers that had the 915 chipset.

Richard Walker, senior vice president of HP’s consumer PC business unit, emailed Jim Allchin of Microsoft with this:

“I see from the announcement on the OEM website that the rumor I referred to in my earlier message is indeed true. You should understand that for a partner who has made a significant investment in meeting the Vista Capable requirement we find it both disappointing and troubling that you would make such a decision without first consulting HP, your biggest global partner.

“The decision you have made and communicated has taken away an investment we made consciously for competitive advantage knowing that some players would choose not to make the same level of investment as we did in supporting our program requirements.

“Now we have a situation where PC manufacturers (and processor/chipset suppliers) can claim Vista Capable in a ‘good’ mode just because it will run. What kind of consumer assurance is that? Hardly one that puts any credence behind your desire to create the ‘best possible customer experience for the Windows Vista Upgrade’.

“I can’t be more clear than to say you not only let us down by reneging on your commitment to stand behind the WDDM requirement, you have demonstrated a complete lack of commitment to HP as a strategic partner and cost us a lot of money in the process. Your credibility is severely damaged in my organization….”

So… To make Intel happy, Microsoft screws over HP who is their biggest global partner. That’s not a smart move. That might explain HP’s later decision to continue selling Windows XP as a low-cost downgrade to Vista (Warning: PDF). Or their support for LINUX. Then there’s the fact that Vista sucks that might work into this discussion.

In any case, grab some popcorn as this is getting good.

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