Microsoft Windows Vista (In)capable

What went wrong? I’ll tell you what went wrong: Microsoft execs - starting with Steve Ballmer - don’t care enough about their customers. Which is too bad for the thousands of smart, hard working ’softies who do. I went through the Vista Capable lawsuit Exhibit A emails. Lots of warnings that Vista was a train […]

What went wrong? I’ll tell you what went wrong: Microsoft execs - starting with Steve Ballmer - don’t care enough about their customers. Which is too bad for the thousands of smart, hard working ’softies who do.

I went through the Vista Capable lawsuit Exhibit A emails. Lots of warnings that Vista was a train wreck, that its requirements exceeded the market, that the continual changes and slips were killing OEMs and that many peripheral vendors had simply given up trying to stay in sync.

Where was Steve?

Even execs get shafted: If you were confused and/or burnt by the “Windows Vista Capable” logo, you have good company. Mike Nash, now Microsoft Corporate VP, Windows Product management, said in an email:

I personally got burned by the Intel 915 chipset issue on a laptop that PERSONALLY (eg with my own $$$). . . . I now have a $2100 email machine.”

Board member and former Microsoft President/COO Jon Shirley also had Vista woes:


I upgraded one of the two machines I use a lot to Vista. The most persistent and so far hardest to fix issues are both MSN products, Portfolio in MSN Money and Music (downloads I had bought in the past).

. . . there are no drivers yet for my Epson printer (top of the line and in production today but no driver yet), Epson scanner (older but also top of the line and they say thwy not do a driver for) and a Nikon film scanner that will get a driver one day . . . . I cannot understand with a product this long in creation why there is a such a shortage of drivers. I suppose the vendors did not trust us . . . enough to use the beta for driver testing?

Good question, Jon. Ballmer replied: “You are right that people did not trust us . . . “.

Was it Intel’s fault? Intel clearly put pressure on Microsoft to ease the graphics requirements for the “Vista Capable” designation. Intel VP, Software and Solutions Group Renee J. James got a lot of attention from William Poole, a Microsoft VP.

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Microsoft, Windows Vista, Steve Ballmer, Windows Vista Capable, Email, Intel,