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12/12/2006
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Microsoft's Allchin Says His 'I Would Buy A Mac' Statement Was Taken Out Of Context

Allchin says he was being dramatic in order to convince Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates that change was needed.

Jim Allchin, the departing chief of Windows development, said Tuesday that he was only being "purposefully dramatic" when he wrote in a 2004 e-mail to Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates that "I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft."

In the e-mail dated Jan. 7, 2004, that was entered as evidence last week in Microsoft's antitrust trial in Iowa, Allchin said that the Redmond, Wash., developer had "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," Allchin wrote in the e-mail. "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."

Tuesday, Allchin used the Windows Vista team's blog to clarify his three-year-old statements.

"I was being purposefully dramatic in order to drive home a point," he wrote. "The point being that we needed to change and change quickly. We did: We changed dramatically the development process that was being used and we reset the Windows Vista development project in mid-2004, essentially starting over."

Today, intimated Allchin, he wouldn't buy a Mac.

"Windows Vista has turned into a phenomenal product, better than any other OS we've ever built and far, far better than any other software available today, in my opinion," he wrote.

Allchin, the co-president of Microsoft's platform group, will step down at the end of January.

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