Allchin, Nash Questioned 'Vista Capable' Label
- By Becky Nagel
- February 13, 2008
E-mails that have come to light in the ongoing suit against Microsoft regarding
its "Vista Capable" and "Vista Ready" labels for PCs show
that even prominent executives within the company questioned the plan.
reported by the Seattle Post Intelligencer's Joseph Tartakoff,
the plantiffs' attorneys introduced the e-mails in court on Friday, including
one from former Co-President Jim Allchin that read, "We really botched
this. ... You guys have to do a better job with our customers."
"I PERSONALLY got burnt," wrote Corporate Vice President of Windows
Product Management Mike Nash in another e-mail. "Are we seeing this from
a lot of customers? ... I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine."
A third e-mail from an unidentified employee read: "Even a piece of junk
will qualify," according to Tartakoff's report.
The proposed class-action lawsuit charging Microsoft with deceptive advertising
practices was filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Western District, Washington soon after Microsoft
launched the logos more than a year ago.
Most of the accusations appear to be leveled against the Vista Capable logo,
designed to identify PCs that met the operating system's basic requirements
for the most basic version: Vista Home. Microsoft, which denies any wrongdoing,
the way it ranked hardware for Vista last year.
This isn't the first evidence to surface indicating that Microsoft's own employees
were confused by the scheme: In November, plantiffs' attorneys showed that even
the marketing director in charge of the logos got
confused about their meaning while being interviewed in preparation for
the trial, and later had to go back and change his testimony.
Microsoft representatives told Tartakoff that it is not worried about the e-mails:
"The e-mails cited in today's hearing are...really just snippets of a broad
and thorough review."
The hearing Friday was held to determine whether the case would be granted
class-action status. A ruling is expected in approximately 10 days, according
to the report.
Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Enterprise Computing and Education Groups, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy for the groups. She also serves as executive editor the ECG Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the ECG group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.