Intel blamed for Vista Capable antics

Intel blamed for Vista Capable antics

Internal Microsoft emails reveal that the software giant caved into Intel pressure when it lowered the requirements on its Vista Capable programme.

Internal Microsoft emails used by plaintiffs as evidence in the Windows Vista Capable lawsuit have revealed that the software giant caved into pressure from Intel to enable its 915 series integrated graphics chipsets to run Windows Vista.

What’s significant about this is that before this decision, Microsoft had been adamant that, in order for a system to support Windows Vista, its graphics processor had to support the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM)—a specification that Intel’s 915 graphics chipset didn’t conform to.

John Kalkman, a Microsoft executive, wrote in an email chain dated 26th February 2007, “In the end, we lowered the requirement to help Intel make their quarterly earnings so they could continue to sell motherboards with 915 graphics embedded.

This was in the same chain that Mike Nash, a vice president in the Windows Product Management Group, pointed out that he had been burned by the Vista Capable programme. “

I personally got burned by the Intel 915 chipset issue on a laptop that I PERSONALLY [bought],” Nash wrote. “I know that I chose my laptop (a Sony TX770P) because it had the Vista logo and was pretty disappointed that it not only wouldn’t run Glass, but more importantly wouldn’t run Movie Maker. . . . I now have a $2100 email machine.

Microsoft employee Mike Ybarra protested against the decision in an email to Jim Allchin. “Jim, I am passionate about this and believe this decision is a mistake. We are caving to Intel. We worked hard the last 18 months to drive the UI experience and we are giving this up. The OEMs are behind us here, we have the support we need to drive this experience on today's hardware. . . . We are allowing Intel to drive our customer experience.

Allchin acknowledged his concerns, stating that he wasn’t involved and that it was too late to reverse the decision, “It might be a mistake. I wasn’t involved and it is hard for me to step in now and reverse everything again.

The emails suggest that Intel leaked the change of specification to its partners a day ahead of official notification of the changes from Microsoft. This probably had something to do with one statement from Will Poole in the email exchange; “[Intel is] losing orders every day, so we need to get a simple communication out ASAP.

Whatever the case, this doesn’t look good for either Intel and Microsoft because, based on what’s in the emails, the decision to change the requirements for Vista support was for financial gain. On one front, the programme was designed to bolster Windows XP sales, and on the other hand, the change in requirements was to steady declining Intel 915 chipset sales. The change of heart was a complete u-turn on Microsoft’s push for a fully 3D user interface in all versions of Windows Vista and, as Ybarra put it, the software giant essentially allowed Intel to drive the Windows Vista customer experience.

As the days roll on, this case gets just gets more and more interesting. Share your thoughts on these revelations in the forums.


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1ad7 29th February 2008, 10:15 Quote
So here is the new food chain....
Intel>Microsoft>Apple>Nvidia>AMD> Consumers... so we are the industry love slave now!
I cant wait to see a intel based iphone running windows with onboard ati graphics.....
Cadillac Ferd 29th February 2008, 10:21 Quote
Wow... really...? ...He bought a Sony laptop?

I don't really understand what all the fuss is about, they said the machines could support Windows Vista and they do end of story. this whole mess makes just as much sense as someone who went out, consciously purchased an affordable Honda sedan then complained when it didn't drive like a Ferrari. The car drives just fine, is it really the car manufacturer's fault that other cars drive better?
rjkoneill 29th February 2008, 10:21 Quote
may as well drag everybody into it

go on
LeMaltor 29th February 2008, 11:09 Quote
I knew it, Microsoft aren't the bad guys!
Paradigm Shifter 29th February 2008, 11:18 Quote
Don't see why this is a surprise... Microsoft dragged their heels over an x86-64 bit OS until Intel had got their 64-bit processors ready...
TreeDude 29th February 2008, 13:31 Quote
Man when I make a $2,100 purchase, I read the hell up on what I am buying. Anyone who spends that much on a laptop without doing a little bit of research, deserves an overpriced email machine.
naokaji 29th February 2008, 13:42 Quote
Originally Posted by LeMaltor
I knew it, Microsoft aren't the bad guys!

they are as evil or good as every company, they follow the money.
Faulk_Wulf 29th February 2008, 16:36 Quote
Yes but most people were lead to believe that "Vista Capable" would mean all the abilities that Vista had.
Despite being an Intel fan I am disgusted by their childish behavior and lack of innovation at creating a new chipset for Vista.
Its not like buying a Honda and expecting a Ferarri.
It's like being told if you buy this Four Cylinder sedan, after Christmas you'll be able to upgrade to a V8--
But that time rolls around and all they give you another Four Cylinder in a different package.
leexgx 29th February 2008, 21:16 Quote
$2100 even in £ (1000) he must of got maga riped off (unless it was an tablet pc that Vista is pointless for them as Vista just suck them bats dry) or mega dumb for buying an laptop for that price and only haveing allready known poor onboard video card, all i see that is extra on that that put the price up is the built in mobile GPRS thing
ShredMachine 29th February 2008, 21:16 Quote
I disagree completely with this lawsuit.

I accept a certain level of responsibility to inform customers of what they are buying in a clear way, however microsoft did exactly that and this information has been readily available since long before vista launched, and can be found on the vista website and on hundreds of websites. In my opinion, while the manufacturer has a responsibility to disclose all the information, microsoft have done this, and it is the consumers responsibility to look at that information.

Hell, I say make things more complicated and legally challenging to anyone who complains, it'd force people to do some ****ing thinking!
1st time modder 15th April 2008, 04:15 Quote
VISTA all spec'd out should only be USED ON DESKTOPS!, laptops just dont have the power to keep it all running smoothly using hardware intensive programs. This should be told to the consumer, but in the end.... I live in America, and the mentality here is when something doesnt work the way its told it should.... break out the lawyers and sue instead of contacting sony and microsoft in a letter and having them help you. But money is the way of the world and people will try anything to get it for something they feel wrong'd them..... i would throw this out and require microsoft and sony to tell the consumers that desktops should be full vista compilant, laptops on the other hand vista runs..... not to the max.... use XP......
DougEdey 15th April 2008, 10:31 Quote
Why can Compiz run on the 915 but Aero not?
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