Windows honcho Allchin retires from Microsoft on Vista launch day; now free to buy his Mac

“After 17 years with the company, Jim Allchin retired from Microsoft as of Jan. 30, 2007 – the day on which Microsoft officially released the Windows Vista operating system to consumers,” the Microsoft press release reads.

Allchin was a member of the Senior Leadership Team, responsible for developing Microsoft’s core direction along with Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. Allchin joined Microsoft in 1990 heading up the company’s networking product strategy and subsequently led the development and marketing efforts for a variety of Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

In December, during the Iowa antitrust trial, Comes v. Microsoft, Inc., being held in Polk County District Court [Iowa], a 2004 email from Jim Allchin to Steve Balmer and Bill Gates was publicly released in which Allchin said that Microsoft had lost sight of what customers need and that he himself would buy a Mac, if he didn’t work for Microsoft:

I’m not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers, both business and home, the most, but in my view we lost our way. I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products… I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft.

Congratulations, Mr. Allchin, you’re now free to get that Apple Mac you’ve wanted for years!

Related articles:
Microsoft’s Windows Vista: Five years for a chrome-plated turd – January 30, 2007
Microsoft emails reveal serious Mac OS X Tiger envy – January 26, 2007
Windows chief Allchin 2004 email: I’d buy a Mac if I didn’t work for Microsoft – December 11, 2006
Microsoft’s Allchin: Vista won’t need antivirus software – November 10, 2006
Windows chief Allchin: Buy Windows Vista for the security – January 30, 2006
Windows czar Allchin says Apple copying Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn – April 27, 2005


  1. He said it all in his email to Gates and Ballmer in 2004 when the Windows team were amazed by OS X Tiger – and passing round the Tiger disks too…

    His one word to them was: “Sigh..”

    Hope he’s switched to Mac by now!

  2. It is one another blow to MS. According to his email he is a man who undestands what is happening to MS. People like him could change the fate of MS. Now with Ballmer at the steering wheel and without bright people like Alchin MS will keep heading towards failure. At the end it is the corporate culture that fosters innovation and creates great products that will determine who wins. Clearly Apple has the right DNA to innovate and meet and exceed customers’ expectations.

  3. Note to self:

    Got the Mac and now I’m going sailing for a few weeks.
    No phones, no internet, no piss in a cup, no nothing but blues skies and some toasty waves.
    My work is done and when I return to terra firma, I’ll go sit in the gutter for two weeks to get back my self respect.

    Jim Allchin

  4. Damning indictment of management failure by none less than a key insider, but don’t tell the pollsters at Harris Interachtung/WSJ, their T-test determined “statistically significant differences at a confidence level of 95%.” They could’ve just asked Allchin.

  5. “If I were jobs I would drive down and present him with a free macbook pro.”

    That is a fantastic idea, mac mac. Seriously, you couldn’t buy that kind of publicity. Once the media gets wind of an ex-MS white collar switching, it’ll spread like wildfire.

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