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Microsoft lowered Vista requirements to help Intel sell incompatible chipsets

Nilay Patel
02.28.08
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So now that the "Vista Capable" lawsuit is a full-blown class action, the judge has unsealed all 158 pages of emails between Microsoft execs trying to sort out what went wrong with the sticker program. While bits and pieces have been blacked out, what remains is still fairly incredible -- although Intel's 915 chipset was initially rejected as incompatible with Vista, MS execs flatly admit that "In the end, we lowered the requirements to help Intel make their quarterly earnings so they could continue to sell motherboards with the 915 graphics embedded" and "We are caving to Intel. We worked the last 18 months to drive the UI experience and we are giving this up." On top of that, it seems that the company was getting direct feedback from retailers that the stickers were confusing, with Wal-Mart appealing directly to HP to pull Vista Capable stickers from low end machines, and an MS exec saying that "I was in Best Buy listening to people and can tell you this did not come clear to customers. We set ourselves up." That's pretty damning, if you ask us -- and the complete emails, linked below, are full of similar bombshells. Looks like this case may have some serious legs after all.

Disclaimer: Nilay's a lawyer, but he's not your lawyer, and none of this is legal advice or analysis.

Read - Seattle Post-Intelligencer coverage of the case
Read - PDF of all the emails

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