Those "Vista Capable" stickers certainly caused consumers a lot of confusion, and it looks like they even tripped up some senior Microsoft execs. According to internal MS emails introduced as evidence in the ongoing lawsuit over the program, several MS managers expressed concern that they were misleading people, with the VP of Windows product management saying "I PERSONALLY got burnt... I now have a $2,100 email machine" and Jim Allchin saying MS had "really botched" the program, and that it "had to do a better job with our customers." Of course, the main reason for all the confusion is the multiple editions of Vista that run with different capabilities depending on your hardware, but that's a subtle point to make with a sticker -- or, as one Microsoft employee admitted in an email, "Even a piece of junk will qualify" as Vista Capable. That's some pretty damning stuff, but the case isn't anywhere near resolution yet -- the judge has yet to decide whether to certify it as a class action, which looks like it'll depend on a technical reading of what exactly Microsoft was advertising throughout the Vista Capable program. We'll know in 10 days, when the judge has said she'll issue a ruling -- we'd imagine the plaintiffs' legal team has plenty more of these emails in store if the case goes through.
Disclaimer: There once was a man named Nilay / Who was indeed an attorn-eye / He wrote this post, but he's not the lawyer of most / And this post is not legal advice or analysis and should not be taken as such.
Microsoft VP: "I personally got burnt" by Vista Capable stickers
Nilay Patel|February 12, 2008 4:04 PM