Even Microsoft’s top execs ‘burned’ by Vista problems

“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.]

57 Comments

  1. The ‘Wow’ never stopped for me. The startup sound, spinning donut cursor, and glorious transparency that probably puts the MAC to shame (I wouldn’t know for sure, I don’t touch overpriced toy computers that can’t play games) is as exhilarating today as it was the day I first powered on my Dell after waiting in line on Vista release day.

    Chanting the countdown to Vista launch while waiting with the IT guys I work with is a memory I’ll cherish forever. A special shout out goes to Merv in IT who came to my house and finally got my joystick to work with Bioshock Donkey Kong Edition. Now I just have to get it setup so I can play online. Vista RULES!

    Maybe you smug MAC dorks are jealous of the camaraderie in the Microsoft Windows community. It’s taking hold in Zune circles too.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  2. So I guess we’ll never see in the MDN take that the numero uno problem at the root of the Vista Capable mess is the pathetic performance of the Intel integrated graphics that Apple’s consumer-level machines have depend upon since the switch.

  3. @OpJ,

    “So I guess we’ll never see in the MDN take that the numero uno problem at the root of the Vista Capable mess is the pathetic performance of the Intel integrated graphics that Apple’s consumer-level machines have depend upon since the switch.”

    Good point OpJ. The fact that my MacBook graphics run so smoothly under Leopard and an integrated graphics chip is a testament to the efficiency in  code.

  4. Vista sucks camel ass. ‘Nuff said. They are even LOWERING Vista’s price now, that says a LOT. I am SO GLAD I switched 9 years ago. Microsoft sucks massive ass. EVERYONE knows it. I have been spreading the word. Hope YOU are too.

  5. The wow starts now, as in “Wow! Dell is pissed at M$ over Vista.” A lot of the same details and the same players show up in the NYT story.

    Check it out:

    http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_002570DE00740E18002573FE006B7266.html

    M$ always burns their partners. Dell should have made them wear a jimmy hat. If you’re going to get screwed, you should at least practice safe sex.

    Peace.
    Olmecmystic ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Leopard also runs fabulously great on my 12-inch, 1.5GHz G4 powerbook (1.25 GB RAM).

    <ib>Leopard’s minimum system requirements (according to Apple):</b>
    PowerPC G4 Processor (867MHz or faster)
    512 MB RAM
    9 GB available disk space

    For best performance, of course, one should install at least 1 GB of RAM on any Mac running OS X.

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