Last-minute changes to Windows Vista broke drivers, forcing key hardware vendors to "limp out with issues" when the operating system launched last year, according to a presentation by Dell Inc. that was made public this week.
"Late OS code changes broke drivers and applications, forcing key commodities to miss launch or limp out with issues," said one slide in a Dell presentation dated March 25, 2007, about two months after Vista's launch at retail and availability on new PCs.
The criticism was just one of many under the heading "What did not go well?" Others ranged from knocks against Vista's Windows Anytime Upgrade scheme, an in-place upgrade option, to several slams on "Windows Vista Capable," the marketing program that targeted PC buyers shopping for machines in the months leading up to Vista's debut.
Dell's postmortem, in fact, was one of several after-launch appraisals included in the 158 pages of e-mails and other documents unsealed Wednesday in a class-action lawsuit over Vista Capable.
"Stronger messaging regarding hardware requirements (the bar was set too low when Aero was dropped as a requirement for Vista Capable)," Dell's presentation noted in another slide.
That response wouldn't have come as a surprise to Microsoft Corp. Dell had voiced its dissatisfaction with Microsoft's marketing plans a year and a half earlier. In August 2005, Gretchen Miller, Dell's director of mobile marketing -- responsible for the Texas company's laptop marketing -- gave feedback to Microsoft on its Vista programs.
"[The dual logo] adds another level of complexity to an already complex story, which in turn will create confusion for our customers, both corporate and consumer," said Miller in an e-mail. Although Dell advised Microsoft to scale back the logos, the software developer eventually went ahead with its plans for two stickers, one that announced a PC was "Vista Capable," the other advertising that the system was "Vista Premium Ready."
Microosft, Windows Vista, Dell, Windows Vista Capable, Vista Premium Ready, Vista Capable