Microsoft Windows marketing chief worried "info about Windows Vista would" confuse the masses

Spelling out which features of Windows Vista would work on a given PC might be useful to early adopters, but would only "confuse the masses," a high-level Microsoft manager argued more then a year before the operating system shipped, according to internal company e-mails. In a short exchange in November 2005, Brad Goldberg, then the […]

Spelling out which features of Windows Vista would work on a given PC might be useful to early adopters, but would only "confuse the masses," a high-level Microsoft manager argued more then a year before the operating system shipped, according to internal company e-mails.

In a short exchange in November 2005, Brad Goldberg, then the general manager of the Windows product management group, dismissed a colleague's suggestion that Microsoft work up documents listing what components and features of Vista would work on specific PCs slated to go on sale the following year.

"The average consumer would not know whether [s]he needs Aero-Glass or Windows Defender or not," Goldberg said in a Nov. 9, 2005 message. "Retail sales person[s] cannot explain what Aero Glass is or what it will do for them four [to] six months prior to Vista."

The message was just one of hundreds made public last week in a class-action lawsuit over the Windows "Vista Capable" marketing plan.

Goldberg was replying to mail from Jim Hebert, another manager, who had expressed concerns about the marketing program, which targeted PC buyers shopping for machines starting in the second half of 2006. Vista Capable was an attempt by Microsoft to encourage PC purchases by promising that the machines could later be upgraded to Vista.

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Microsoft, Windows Vista, Windows Vista Capable