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February 14, 2008

Vista Capable stickers even bit Microsoft employees

Posted by David Hunter at 2:41 PM ET.

Microsoft was sued last April over its ill-conceived Windows Vista Capable program and now the fruits of legal discovery are coming out with likely more amusing revelations than Microsoft would like:

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.



Filed under General Business, Legal, Marketing, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows Vista

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