“Private Microsoft emails unearthed during a US court case have revealed that even the software giant’s own executives struggled to get Windows Vista running smoothly,” Asher Moses reports or The Age.

“Early adopters of the operating system, which launched last year, battled with widespread hardware and software compatibility issues. Many PCs initially sold as ‘Vista Capable’ were unable to run some of Vista’s core features, sparking a class action lawsuit against Microsoft,” Moses reports.

“One executive, Mike Nash, complained he was ‘burned’ so badly by compatibility issues he was left with ‘a $2100 email machine,'” Moses reports.

“Steven Sinofsky, the Microsoft executive in charge of Windows, struggled to even get his home printer working with Vista. In an email to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in February last year, Sinofsky outlined reasons why Vista struggled at launch,” Moses reports. “He said hardware and software vendors never ‘really believed we would ever ship [Vista] so they didn’t start the work [on updated drivers] until very late in 2006.'”

“‘People who rely on using all the features of their hardware (like Jon’s Nikon scanner) will not see availability for some time, if ever, depending on the [manufacturer],” Sinofsky wrote,” Moses reports. “Ballmer responded with a terse “Righto.'”

Full article here.

Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld, “Last-minute changes to Windows Vista broke drivers, forcing key hardware vendors to ‘limp out with issues’ when the operating system launched last year, according to a presentation by Dell Inc. that was made public this week. ‘Late OS code changes broke drivers and applications, forcing key commodities to miss launch or limp out with issues,’ said one slide in a Dell presentation dated March 25, 2007, about two months after Vista’s launch at retail and availability on new PCs.”

“In August 2005, Gretchen Miller, Dell’s director of mobile marketing — responsible for the Texas company’s laptop marketing — gave feedback to Microsoft on its Vista programs,” Keizer reports. “‘[The dual logo] adds another level of complexity to an already complex story, which in turn will create confusion for our customers, both corporate and consumer,’ said Miller in an e-mail. Although Dell advised Microsoft to scale back the logos, the software developer eventually went ahead with its plans for two stickers, one that announced a PC was ‘Vista Capable,’ the other advertising that the system was ‘Vista Premium Ready.'”

Full article here.

Tom Krazit reports for CNET, “As far back as 2005, Microsoft executives knew that confusing hardware requirements for the Windows Vista Capable program might get them in trouble. But they did it anyway–over the objection of PC makers–at the behest of Intel, according to e-mails released as part of a class-action lawsuit pending against Microsoft.”

Krazit reports, “A treasure trove of e-mails has been released as part of that case, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Todd Bishop has spotlighted a number of e-mails that call into question whether Microsoft was acting, at least in part, on Intel’s behalf when it set the requirements for the Vista Capable marketing program.”

Full article, with links, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Big Pete” and “Erik” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: The fact that Apple’s Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger runs on an old indigo iMac G3/400Mhz/192MB RAM circa 2000 with nearly all of the meaningful Aqua graphics intact (we do have to forgo the ripple when dropping Widgets on the Dashboard) while Vista can’t run its derivative, less productive, and obviously massively inefficient Aero graphics even on new PCs neatly highlights Apple’s insurmountable lead.

Of course, all tech leads are insurmountable when those distantly trailing only know how to copy the leader poorly, not innovate on their own.

People sometimes notice that old indigo iMac in the corner of our office and ask why we don’t get rid of it. Why should we? It only gets faster with each successive Mac OS X release.

[UPDATE: 5:35pm EST: Added excerpts from and link to CNET article. Fixed Take to reflect that Tiger is running on that old iMac, not Leopard. The point we are making remains exactly the same as Tiger’s UI easily exceeds that of Windows.]

[UPDATE: 9:12am EST: Removed reference to possible future install of Leopard on the old iMac as Leopard does not support G3 processors.]