Quoting extensively from internal Microsoft Corp. e-mails, plaintiffs’ lawyers argued Friday that the company knowingly misled consumers by allowing PC makers to emblazon “Windows Vista Capable” stickers on PCs that could run only the most bare-bones version of the operating system.
During his opening presentation, plaintiffs’ lawyer Jeffrey Tilden of Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell quoted from numerous internal e-mails that appeared to show that employees within Microsoft had misgivings about the “Windows Vista Capable” campaign. The documents are under seal pending a ruling by Pechman.
“Even a piece of junk will qualify” for the “Windows Vista Capable” designation, wrote one employee in an e-mail that Tilden read out loud.
Another employee, Mike Nash, currently a corporate vice president for Windows product management, wrote in an e-mail, “I PERSONALLY got burnt. … Are we seeing this from a lot of customers? … I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine.”
Jim Allchin, then the co-president of Microsoft’s Platforms and Services Division, wrote in another e-mail, “We really botched this. … You guys have to do a better job with our customers.”
Microsoft unsurprisingly says these are just “just snippets of a broad and thorough review that took place during the development of the Windows Vista Capable program.” I still say what I said at the time which is that the Vista Capable marketing goofiness was just trouble waiting to happen and detracted from the real Vista hardware logo program.