Microsoft Feared It Would Lose “Mac vs. Vista” War In 2005…. Meaning They Saw This Coming

I tripped over this article in ComputerWorld today that got my attention. The latest tidbits released in the Vista capable lawsuit shows that Microsoft was worried that it would end up on the wrong side of comparisons between the Mac and Vista over a year before Windows Vista’s release. An e-mail thread from October 2005 showed that an article in the Wall Street Journal by Walt Mossberg grabbed the attention of managers at Microsoft:

“You also won’t have to worry about Vista if you buy one of Apple Computer’s Macintosh computers, which don’t run Windows. Every mainstream consumer doing typical tasks should consider the Mac. Its operating system, called Tiger, is better and much more secure than Windows XP, and already contains most of the key features promised for Vista.”

It should be noted that Tiger was the most recent Macintosh OS available at the time Mossberg wrote the article.

Freaked out by this, Padmanand Warrier, a developer in the Windows group fired this article around Microsoft and made this statement:

“A premium experience as defined by Walt = Apple. This is why we need to address [the column].”

Richard Russell, a Microsoft development manager shot back almost immeidately with this:

“My takeaway from Walt’s article is that we have failed to communicate Vista’s value,” Russell said in an e-mail reply sent just 20 minutes after Warrier fired off his.

So. What does it mean? My guess is that Microsoft reacted to this badly and set a bunch of events into motion that got them into the situation they are in today. Not to mention making Vista the target of Apple ads.

What Microsoft should really have considered was why, even before they released it, customers were ready to say no to Vista. It’s been a huge albatross around their neck. The Aero interface is a joke, the supposed “security” of Vista is questionable at best, and the performance hit it takes to run all of this is off the charts.

This has basically become just like the Windows ME circus. The only difference is, there’s a lawsuit and customers are fleeing the Windows platform for The Temple Of Steve Jobs Apple Stores. Not to mention Microsoft may not recover from this.

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