Internal e-mails show Microsoft’s Vista fury

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Senior Microsoft staff have now been revealed to have complained about the misleading advertisements and Windows Vista incompatibility issues in embarrassing e-mails made public during a court case.

Published online by The New York Times, corporate vice president for Windows product management Mike Nash said that he “got burned” after buying a laptop with “Vista Capable” but was not capable to run the full version of the operating system.

“I know that I chose my laptop (a Sony TX770P) because it had the vista (sic) logo and was pretty disappointed that it not only wouldn’t run Glass, but more importantly wouldn’t run Movie Maker,” he wrote in an e-mail about his “$2100 e-mail machine”.

“Are we seeing this from a lot of customers?”

Glass is the internal codename for the Windows Vista user interface, which is known as Aero. Movie Maker is a free basic video editing program that comes with Vista or from Microsoft’s website.

As well, chief operating officer Jon A Shirley chose not to upgrade to Vista on one of his computers after finding it was not compatible with several peripheral devices, including his printer and two scanners.

Staff also discussed a decision to lower Vista’s hardware requirements to encourage sales, with one warning that it would result in “a complete tragedy”.

This comes as a US judge granted class-action status to a lawsuit against the company by Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen claiming that they were mislead by stickers reading “Windows Vista Capable” when they purchased computers in 2006 as those computers could only run a cut-down version of the software.

The class action against Microsoft is scheduled to go to trial in October. The messages can be download here [PDF, 3.5MB].

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