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Vista Compatibility Issues Outlined In Internal Microsoft Emails

The federal class-action lawsuit against Microsoft over issues surrounding the trouble-plagued Vista launch has uncovered some internal Microsoft e-mails that reveal provocative details about the company's interactions with Intel and others.The e-mails document angry responses from Microsoft executives to decisions to allow PC vendors to label systems as "Vista Capable" even when they couldn't handle some of the more advanced--and highly advertised--Vista features. "Vista Capable" PCs were based on the the Intel 915 chipset and could only run the most basic version of Vista, while "Premium Ready" PCs are based on the Intel 945 chipset and can manage features such as Aero graphics and Media Center operations. The e-mails suggest that Microsoft allowed the "Vista Capable" tag in order to enable Intel to sell down its backlog of the older chips; one Microsoft manager's message accused the company of "caving to Intel." Intel has declined comment.

Microsoft spokesman David Bowermaster defended his company, saying that it had "led a comprehensive consumer education campaign through retailers, manufacturers, the press, and our own Web site." Unfortunately, one un-educated consumer turned out to be Windows Product Management Vice President Mike Nash. One of his e-mails read, "I personally got burned by the Intel 915 chipset issue on a laptop. I chose my laptop because it had the Vista logo and was pretty disappointed. I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine."

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