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Internal Emails Released In Vista Capable Debacle 314

Posted by kdawson
from the circling-the-drain dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As previously discussed, Microsoft's attempt to shield itself from further discovery over the Windows Vista Capable debacle has failed and more internal emails have been released. Although Microsoft has successfully kept CEO Steve Ballmer away from the witness stand on grounds the he 'has no unique knowledge of the facts in this case,' emails suggest otherwise. An email was released in which Intel CEO Paul Otellini thanks Ballmer for listening and making changes to the program allowing their 915 chipset to pass the grade: 'I know you did it.'"
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Internal Emails Released In Vista Capable Debacle

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  • by Shambly (1075137) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:26AM (#25760531)
    Those witness stand chairs are bolted down right?
    • by wild_quinine (998562) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:34AM (#25760629) Homepage
      Ballmer's got nothing to fear. We all know who's responsible.

      Developers.

      Developers, developers, developers...

    • Those witness stand chairs are bolted down right?

      Why is that?

  • 'I know you did it.'

    The witness then took the stand and threw it violently at the prosecutor.

  • Ummm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:29AM (#25760567) Homepage Journal

    Did anyone doubt that Microsoft and Intel are in cahoots? I mean, seriously, what cave have these people been hiding in for the last 20 years?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by V!NCENT (1105021)
      Considdering the fact that they bought a computer with Vista preloaded, they probabbly have lived in the "I need a computer, but I don't like computers"-cave.
    • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:44AM (#25760749)
      Really MS has long worked closely their customers and partners. The problem is that for most users is that MS has never really considered them their customers or partners. OEMs and Developers are their customers. Intel, IBM (now Lenovo), HP, Dell are their partners too. Your average user, not so much.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        How is Intel a 'partner'? They aren't an OEM, they're a component maker. Intel should no more be a Microsoft partner than, say, Seagate or nVidia.

        • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:18PM (#25761129) Journal

          How is Intel a 'partner'? They aren't an OEM, they're a component maker. Intel should no more be a Microsoft partner than, say, Seagate or nVidia.

          What are you talking about? AMD aside, Intel and Microsoft have long had a "special" relationship. Whether that's proper or not is another issue.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by pclminion (145572)

            What are you talking about? AMD aside, Intel and Microsoft have long had a "special" relationship. Whether that's proper or not is another issue.

            Indeed -- at WinHEC this year, Intel and Seagate (along with another manufacturer I can't remember) comprised the "first class" sponsors, meaning they helped pay a huge chunk for the event. And Microsoft and Intel were obviously shmoozing throughout the conference. I wasn't surprised by it at all. What surprises me is that others are surprised.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Xerolooper (1247258)
          If it is mutually beneficial they will get in bed with each other.
          "The partnership between Intel and Microsoft has brought the benefit of using a dedicated computer software for use with Intel's technologies." - Wintel [softpedia.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by aztracker1 (702135)
          Microsoft writes software that runs on Intel processors. Intel likes to make enhancements to the instruction set to improve performance, and wants the biggest software vendor to leverage them. Microsoft, being the biggest software vendor likes to know what coming around the corner, it works.
        • Re:Ummm... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by servognome (738846) on Friday November 14, 2008 @02:04PM (#25762785)

          How is Intel a 'partner'? They aren't an OEM, they're a component maker. Intel should no more be a Microsoft partner than, say, Seagate or nVidia.

          I would hope all those companies have some sort of partnership with Microsoft. It's in the best interest of everybody to understand what the other is doing. Microsoft should understand how Seagate handles data, what graphics capabilities are on the nVidia roadmap, and what changes to instructions and new capabilities are coming down the line for new CPUs.
          One example where communication with other component suppliers is SSDs, and the changes to software needed to better handle data for performance and reliability. Microsoft better be talking to the drive manufacturers directly, not with Dell, so they come up with a total solution for both hardware and software sides.

    • What Cave? The famous wintel cave of course! It connects Redmond, WA to Santa Clara, CA via large underground 'tubes' (volcanic I think, but they run the internet either way).
    • by IgLou (732042)
      What blows my mind away was there was any doubt that Ballmer has unique knowledge. I really doubt that the dealing between MS and Intel was in the mid management solely.
  • Here's the link (Score:5, Informative)

    by stjobe (78285) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:29AM (#25760569) Homepage

    Link to the email conversation in question: http://media.techflash.com/documents/intelvictory.pdf [techflash.com] (pdf)

  • Cool, now I can run Vista on my Thinkpad X41? I'm gonna ... ... wait!

    No, thx, I think I'm gonna pass that one and stay with Debian. Mind you.

    That was close.

    (the hd on the X41 is a 1.8, not a 2.5, my hdparm -t gives me 18.29 MB/sec, imagine Vista on that baby)

  • 'I know you did it.'

    Giggling: Com'on, big boy, I know you did it! Tell me! Tell me everything!

  • by RulerOf (975607) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:39AM (#25760695)
    People want cheap computers with the latest and greatest technology, and OEM's want to maintain as high of a margin as possible. These fundamental conflicts of interest cause these kinds of problems.

    Shattered expectations aren't limited to computers either. Ever bought something that you should have spent more money on? I have a snowblower at home that's so underpowered that shoveling takes less time.

    My personal belief is that this problem is to blame on hardware manufacturers and OEM's trying, and horribly failing, to deliver what consumers desire (fast computers with brand new technology) and maintain their profit margins (which can't be done for a fast computer at $399 in a retail store).

    And what do we do about it? We bash Microsoft. In fact, we bash them so well that everyone, including people who have never used it and those who currently use it (without major issue) that Vista is not a viable choice for them.

    Fast forward to December, 2009. Windows 7, which is almost entirely based on the now very stable (dare I say mature) Vista codebase. Not only will it improve perception of Windows due to its excellent compatibility and well honed kernel, it'll force me to shell out cash (unless I can get a Microsoft handout, which is how I got Vista) for the latest Microsoft OS, and prematurely outdate every single Windows License companies have bought in the meantime.

    Want Windows Vista SP4...err, I mean Windows 7? $299 please.

    We have no one to blame but ourselves.
    • by andrewd18 (989408) on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:01PM (#25760931)

      [The] hardware manufacturers and OEMs [have been] trying, and horribly failing, to deliver [fast computers with brand new technology] and maintain their profit margins (which can't be done for a fast computer at $399 in a retail store).

      The definition of fast can either mean a measurable metric like MIPS or clock speed, or it can mean what most consumers mean, which is "Look, Mom! Word started in less than 10 seconds!"

      The problem is not that the hardware manufacturers have been unable to keep up with consumer demand for new ideas and more speed. Look at the numbers on a video card or stick of RAM today, and compare it to the same components from your computer a decade ago. They've gotten quite a bit faster and have quite a few more features, if you haven't noticed.

      The problem lies in the software we're running on said hardware. The software has gotten so big and so bloated, it just "looks like" the hardware hasn't gotten any better. 30 gigabytes of HD space, a 256MB Graphics Card, and 2GB of RAM just to run an operating system? Absolutely unnecessary.

      The reason we bash Microsoft is because we're not brainwashed into thinking that Windows is the only game in town. We've used Linux, Mac, and BSD. We know that they're all viable operating systems that do what Windows does, and in many cases, do it better. Is Vista a viable choice? Sure it is. Is Vista the best choice? That depends on who you are, what your goals are, and what your mindset is.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tubal-Cain (1289912) *

        The problem lies in the software we're running on said hardware. The software has gotten so big and so bloated, it just "looks like" the hardware hasn't gotten any better. 30 gigabytes of HD space, a 256MB Graphics Card, and 2GB of RAM just to run an operating system? Absolutely unnecessary.

        Mac Plus vs. AMD DualCore [hubpages.com]

        The reason we bash Microsoft is because we're not brainwashed into thinking that Windows is the only game in town. We've used Linux, Mac, and BSD. We know that they're all viable operating systems that do what Windows does, and in many cases, do it better. Is Vista a viable choice? Sure it is. Is Vista the best choice? That depends on who you are, what your goals are, and what your mindset is.

        Another problem is that MS has a one-size-fits-all approach. Some people like the Aero interface, and others want the UI to be as slim as possible (See Ubuntu+Compiz, Gnome, KDE vs. Flux/Open/Black Box, Enlightenment, JWM) With Vista the most streamlined you can get is a Win2K-like look.

        • by sjames (1099)

          Another problem is that MS has a one-size-fits-all approach.

          If only! They have a dizzying array of 'editions' and little clear guid to determine which is needed. Once you pay for that, comes the matter of how many of what license. Even MS isn't sure what the 'correct' answer is for that.

          They know all about modularizing when they can use it to nickel and dime the customer to death, just not when it might allow for a custom 'user experience' or, God forbid, allow their products to be un-bundled or replaced by better 3rd party equivalents.

          I still don't understand why t

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:02PM (#25760933)

      My personal belief is that this problem is to blame on hardware manufacturers and OEM's trying, and horribly failing, to deliver what consumers desire (fast computers with brand new technology) and maintain their profit margins (which can't be done for a fast computer at $399 in a retail store).

      Vista even the basic version requires a much beefier machine. So if you're an OEM, what do you do? Your basic machine can't handle Vista but MS is getting rid of XP. Really most consumers want a stable, secure OS. That Aero stuff looks cool, but most users can do with out it. In other words, fix XP.

      And what do we do about it? We bash Microsoft. In fact, we bash them so well that everyone, including people who have never used it and those who currently use it (without major issue) that Vista is not a viable choice for them.

      We bash MS because they took 5 years to produce an OS that for most people, isn't an upgrade. Sure there are some nice features, but for the average user, most of the changes were cosmetic. Other changes actually were not beneficial. More DRM. Shifting security to the user by having them approve everything? And MS wasn't very honest about what the real requirements were.

      Fast forward to December, 2009. Windows 7, which is almost entirely based on the now very stable (dare I say mature) Vista codebase. Not only will it improve perception of Windows due to its excellent compatibility and well honed kernel, it'll force me to shell out cash (unless I can get a Microsoft handout, which is how I got Vista) for the latest Microsoft OS, and prematurely outdate every single Windows License companies have bought in the meantime.

      From what I'm seeing Windows 7 isn't that much of a difference from Vista. By 2009, most of the hardware being sold by the OEMs will be able to handle it unlike when Vista was released. Hopefully MS learns from this fiasco and won't publish ridiculous hardware requirements (1GHz to run Vista, come on).

    • by King_TJ (85913) on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:19PM (#25761147) Journal

      Sure people want cheap computers, just like they want anything else to be as cheap as possible. Nobody likes to spend more than they have to.

      The fact remains though, a number of people will spend more as long as they believe that they "get what they pay for". That's why Apple has been so successful, really. They charge more for nicely configured systems with more expensive case designs and better support (you can still take one in to any of hundreds of retail stores for servicing, unlike any other major brand of PC I can think of).

      Vista's problem is, it doesn't really make people feel like they "got what they paid for" in many cases. You generally need twice as much system memory as you did with XP to get comparable performance, and all the pretty f/x demand an actual 3D graphics card with decent capabilities. (Sure, it runs fine without that, but then you're negating one of the benefits that was supposed to make a user feel like they really had something "slick" when they used it.)

      When you buy a machine that actually runs Vista well, you're not buying a low-end bargain machine -- so that means people have higher expectations for that extra money spent.

      I don't think it delivers on those expectations -- and SURELY won't when you go the budget machine route.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      Ever bought something that you should have spent more money on? I have a snowblower at home that's so underpowered that shoveling takes less time.

      Consumers have the right to demand the lowest price possible from businesses. Especially monopolies, if they can. I dont like the idea that the real problem is that people are just too cheap. The real problem here, if there truly is one, is more along the lines of the MS development cycle and vendor greediness, not how much the end user pays.

      When you look at marke

    • Intel knew for at least three years that WDDM was going to be a requirement for Vista (nee Longhorn) but kept foisting the 915 on OEMs.

      They had Microsoft and the OEMs over a barrel. Intel should have been able to get a product in the pipeline in time, but kept beating the 915 horse until they fucked over the entire industry.

      Customers that want and expect a budget PC that can run the latest Windows are the victims. Blaming them unfairly shifts the focus from Intel's and Microsoft's malice.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cptdondo (59460)

      It's sort of like Home Depot and Grainger. Ever wonder why seemingly the same DeWalt drill costs twice as much at Grainger than it does at Home Depot?

      Home Depot sells mostly to non-professionals, so they demand that DeWalt cut costs to meet a price point. Thus the drill gets sleeve bearings and plastic gears, and a weak motor. The Grainger version gets ball bearings, metal gears, and a motor that will break wrists. It also costs $200 more. I've smoked one of those Home Depot drills in an afternoon.

      I bl

      • by Abreu (173023)

        It's sort of like Home Depot and Grainger. Ever wonder why seemingly the same DeWalt drill costs twice as much at Grainger than it does at Home Depot?

        Home Depot sells mostly to non-professionals, so they demand that DeWalt cut costs to meet a price point. Thus the drill gets sleeve bearings and plastic gears, and a weak motor. The Grainger version gets ball bearings, metal gears, and a motor that will break wrists. It also costs $200 more.

        ...but then it's not the same drill, is it?

    • by Abreu (173023)

      Sorry, no.

      If I make a piece of software it is my responsibility to clearly state the minimum hardware requirements for it.

      We need to know if MS colluded itself with hardware manufacturers in order to place a "Vista Ready" sticker on computers that plainly would not be able to run it.

    • Actually this is both the OEM, and Microsofts fault. Microsoft came out with a program to certify OEM hardware as able to run Vista with acceptable performance. Had Microsoft actually done what they said they were doing things would have been fine. Instead when the OEMs started complaining to Microsoft that only the most powerful most expensive systems they were selling that year meet the certification requirements, Microsoft lowered the requirements knowing that by doing so they were representing underpowe
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)

      Normally I would agree with you that if you buy a bad product, it's not somebody else's fault. But in this case, customers were being misled into thinking that a certain computer would be adequate for running Vista, whereas, really, that wasn't the case. If you actually made your purchase decision based on this misleading message, I think it is reasonable to blame whoever did the misleading.

    • by griffjon (14945)

      To be fair, Vista leveled the playing field so that even people with super-powerful computers get a painfully nonresponsive and crash-prone user experience, just like the "Vista Ready" folks!

  • Yeah, and? (Score:3, Informative)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:41AM (#25760717)

    It's common knowledge by now even amongst the general public that Vista exploded on the launch pad. At this point, the only thing this line of inquiry has to offer is to help Microsoft prevent a repeat of the last performance. If you ask me, Windows 7 will suffer many of the same problems -- namely because they are still using the monkey-horde development technique, which is get a bunch of third-world programmers in a room and churn out very lackluster code, and then keep redeveloping it until it works "good enough". Microsoft still hasn't learned that great programmers have a lot of experience outside programming, and to make the best code you need to give them the freedom to try different solutions and then listen to their feedback. From what I've seen, Microsoft is a hugely divided organization where hundreds of small teams compete to produce the most lines of code and nobody knows quite what everybody else is doing. Management constantly changes direction during the development process, to the point that a lot of work is wasted in duplication of effort and things being thrown away due to changing priorities.

    Windows has reached a level of complexity that these kinds of organizational mistakes can no longer be tolerated, but Microsoft is too large and entrenched to be capable of streamlining their development process. Maybe they get rid of UAC, and the DRM, and rewrite the driver infrastructure so it sucks less; And those are all fine goals to have, but it doesn't fix the real problem -- which is that the organization made these decisions in the first place when I know their developers were screaming at them "For the love of all things good and holy in the world don't do it!"

    Microsoft isn't the first to deal with this. One Mr. Richard Feynman noted similar organizational problems that led to the Challenger disaster at NASA. NASA has been trying to squelch this addendum for some time and you won't find a link to it on their main report anymore, but you can find it here http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/missions/51-l/docs/rogers-commission/Appendix-F.txt [nasa.gov]

    • Re:Yeah, and? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:51AM (#25760823) Homepage

      namely because they are still using the monkey-horde development technique, which is get a bunch of third-world programmers in a room and churn out very lackluster code, and then keep redeveloping it until it works "good enough"

      Er, citation needed? Have you ever worked at Microsoft?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by King_TJ (85913)

        I haven't worked at MS either, but I did know a guy who worked on MS Outlook for them for a while. His assessment of the organization was much like what "girlintraining" detailed.

        I remember one time, he told me how they had problems with promoting people internally. Developers didn't WANT to get a promotion that meant they'd become a "project lead" - and thereby be held accountable for all the problems. (Not to mention, the raises weren't deemed worth the additional hours they'd get stuck putting in.)

      • Re:Yeah, and? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wSLACKWAREorf.net minus distro> on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:50PM (#25761607)

        namely because they are still using the monkey-horde development technique, which is get a bunch of third-world programmers in a room and churn out very lackluster code, and then keep redeveloping it until it works "good enough"

        Er, citation needed? Have you ever worked at Microsoft?

        Or the fact that Microsoft is composed of little fiefdoms and each major "team" often has a snapshot of code from other teams that doesn't get synced? E.g., Windows teams use a compiler that is older than the dev tools team is creating, Office uses DLL code that's been branched/modified/extended from the WIndows Shell, and is quite incompatible (ditto on dev tools as well). Which is why you can end up with 3 incompatible versions of the same DLL - one that ships with Windows, one that ships with Office, and another one that developers use for their projects (that ships with Visual Studio) - I believe one such DLL is common controls or common dialogs.

        Or how about this - Office 2007 introduced the ribbon. A third-party developed a library to emulate the ribbon. Said library was purchased by Microsoft to be provided with Visual Studio? Thus, developers will be using a different ribbon library than what the Office people use, and who knows what horrible merge the Windows team will (eventually) use?

        So not only is DLL hell created from different versions of a DLL with the same code lineage, there's also the troubles caused by the same DLL with different code lineages living on the same system.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nitio (825314)
      ...which is get a bunch of third-world programmers in a room and churn out very lackluster code...

      You're right. We 3rd-world programmers suck. We tend to use something awful (C/C++/Java) and not the awesome technology in which the legacy code I received from my company, written in the 1st-world. The greatness that Microsoft Access 97 is.

      Don't be a douche. There are as many awful 3rd-world programmers as there are in the 1st-world.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        It's a culture problem, not what tools are being used. Most of these foreign programmers are very good at following orders. The problem is that they're very bad at taking initiative; They want/need management approval to do much more than go to the bathroom. This is true for most eastern countries; People are more collectivistic by nature. Engineers in this country are taught to think critically and independently, and often clash with their managers. But the result is better engineering. As some non-enginee

    • So your saying a 3rd world developer is not as capable as someone from the US... Nice way to be xenophobic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nabsltd (1313397)

      If you ask me, Windows 7 will suffer many of the same problems

      The #1 problem of Vista was the poor performance on the average hardware available for sale at the time of the release.

      All software has bugs, but Vista just needed more machine than was possible to sell at a low enough price to get a large uptake.

      Microsoft will "solve" this problem with Windows 7 by doing nothing but let Moore's Law lead to the inevitable faster hardware for the same price. At this point, Windows 7 looks to be nothing more than Vista with just enough changes for people to say "ooh, shiny n

    • by hey! (33014) on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:46PM (#25761533) Homepage Journal

      is that Microsoft has, in the past, successfully navigated this kind of situation before. In fact, they were the beneficiary.

      Remember OS/2? Highly regarded for its technical quality, however it required a princely amount of RAM. Ideally you needed something like 8MB of RAM, back in the day when this added over $500 in current era dollars to the price of the system. Add this to the cost of the OS itself, and you didn't have high adoption.

      Microsoft did a classic market segmentation move: they had Windows 3.1, which ran in 2MB of RAM, and NT 3.x, which ran in 8MB, and provided easy upgrade paths between the two products.

      What seems really ... odd to me today is the way Microsoft is trying to segment and position its markets. All this Vista Home/Professional/Ultimate business. You may think Windows 3 was a POS, but it addressed a legitimate market segment: people who didn't wanted to do basic computing tasks without dropping the better part of a thousand dollars more for a more powerful system. There may have been all kinds of good reasons for them to go with a better system, but they had other uses for the money.

      I look at a box of Windows Vista Super-Duper Ultimate, festooned with bullets, sitting next to Vista Business, Vista Home Premium and Vista Home Basic, and I'm supposed to sort myself into the appropriate market segment by studying the bullets festooning each package. What in the world were they thinking? Don't they study their own history?

      Going by their own history, they should release Windows Basic and Windows Advanced. Windows Basic would be XP stripped down to nothing and capable of running in 512MB of RAM on any chipset manufactured in the last five years. Windows Advanced would be Vista with all the bells and whistles and need the latest and greatest chipsets.

      I'd make Windows Basic really cheap, but make network login and sharing an add-on, so that corporations who wanted to use it would pay something between the cost of Windows Basic and Windows Advanced, and feel like they're getting a deal. Even the UAC business would have been less of fiasco here. People who wanted to take their chances could go with Windows Basic. IT Departments choosing Windows Advanced could piously tell their users that they were being protected from harm.

      Microsoft failed with Vista because they wanted to drag the world onto a product it wasn't ready for, and tried to segment the market in totally meaningless ways.

      • I'd make Windows Basic really cheap, but make network login and sharing an add-on, so that corporations who wanted to use it would pay something between the cost of Windows Basic and Windows Advanced, and feel like they're getting a deal.

        Dude, you don't know what you're saying. Vista is the "Home" version, and XP is the corporate version. Most Corporates are STILL requesting XP, while the HOME user cannot even get it at Circuit Buy Depot Martco.

        Home users care about all the glitz and gloss, where Corporate is just wanting it to run Office and Business Apps. They don't want DRM, UAC or any of the crap MS has bundled with vista. And don't even get me started on Vista Enterprise, and the requirement to have you're own DRM server(s) and have ro

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hey! (33014)

          In fact I do know what I'm saying. Microsoft failed to segment the market properly. The built the technology and assumed people would do as they're told and buy it at different prices in different colored boxes. Instead, the people with the most clout balked, and demanded XP.

          If you remember, a lot of companies used Windows 9x for a long time after they were "supposed" to go to NT. That was fine. Microsoft still had the bases covered. The Vista roll-out was more like they had tried to discontinue non

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      Unfortunately NASA only learned their lesson for a short time. When Columbia happened, initially people bashed the engineers for that failure. Why didn't they spot the damage? Why didn't they do anything about it? Well, most people didn't realize the internal power struggles and politics that were occurring. Engineers did notice the foam strike the wing. They tried to get more information.

      They asked for an EVA to check the damage. Too risky.

      They asked to redirect a satellite to take pictures of the

    • by Abreu (173023)

      ...the monkey-horde development technique, which is get a bunch of third-world programmers in a room and churn out very lackluster code, and then keep redeveloping it until it works "good enough"

      Your comment comes across as incredibly insulting.

      There are lots of great programmers all over the world, developing countries included, just like there are even more mediocre programmers all over the world, develped countries included.

      Now, this is not to say that I disagree with the idea that putting a lot of second-rate coders in a room and get them to compete in terms of number of lines of code produced is the reason why some modern software is so bad...

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday November 14, 2008 @11:52AM (#25760835) Homepage
    about how windows certification for hardware doesnt always guarantee it works, and clippy is actually more annoying than helpful.
  • by foo fighter (151863) on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:05PM (#25760973) Homepage

    The motion for summary judgement [nwsource.com] makes it pretty clear that Microsoft was in the wrong, but so was Intel.

    Microsoft knew by at least August 2005 that the widely-used Intel "915" chipset "definitely won't qualify for the logo." That same month, Intel published an internet link "positioning 915 GM as optimum for Windows Vista on Mobile PCs," which Microsoft internally viewed as "misleading" and "egregious" at the time. ...

    In the aftermath of the publication of the Microsoft and Intel links, Microsfot employees internally viewed Intel as "intentionally" trying to "hide the ball" on the inability of its 915 chipsets to run WDDM.

    It's pretty clear that Intel couldn't get it's shit together and kept foisting its shitty 915 graphics on HP, Dell, etc., for use in high-margin notebooks. The OEMs were screwed because Intel was the source for chipsets that made the value proposition of low-end notebooks work.

    Microsoft is the one getting sued, but Intel is at least as culpable and incompetent, IMHO.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by foo fighter (151863)

      Shit, hit submit instead of preview.

      Also from the memo, from an Email Poole sent around MS:

      Basically from Intel's point of view, the longer they sell non-glass capable integrated graphics, that is an outdated (osborned part that OEMs won't want to handle as it's non glass capable. Frankly Intel should have thought of this 3 years ago.

      Essentially, Intel knew for about three years that their crappy integrated graphics wouldn't be up to snuff, but did nothing because the 915 chipset was raking in billions in p

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:09PM (#25761019)

    It was hosted by a local IT shop looking to introduce new technologies to potential clients. There was a Microsoft guy there talking about Server 08. He used one of the talking points that really annoys me: "Yeah, I used to work in open source, played with Linux and stuff. But then I decided I actually wanted to make money." Huh? Ok, that argument might have held water years and years back but it doesn't even make sense these days. Yes, Vista was a failure but Microsoft is still here and even the most pessimistic of realistic assessments doesn't have them going away anytime soon. They may be the 600lb gorilla instead of the 800lb gorilla but that's still a whole lotta gorilla. But to dismiss open source so, well, dismissively?

    If watching the tech industry has taught me anything it's that nobody's indomitable and it pays not to get cocky. And the bigger a company gets, the more entrenched the bureaucracy, the more potent the kool-aid, the less likely it becomes to pull out of a tailspin. A company becomes functionally incapable of not fucking up. There's no way to turn the company around apart from firing every manager and starting over but those managers are exactly the ones who will fire everyone else in the company until they are the last ones left in the bunker. We're seeing this play out with the American automotive manufacturers right now, the Japanese are proving it's possible to make cars and make money at the same time while the Americans are busy proving it can't be done. Hell, our whole country is going through this same kind of dysfunctional malaise right now.

    My prediction is that Microsoft will, over the next fifteen years, shrink in preeminence until it is a 400lb gorilla, dominant in certain niches but more comparable in size and power to the other big name IT companies rather than the world-shaker it was at its prime.

    • by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Friday November 14, 2008 @01:30PM (#25762257)
      I wouldn't be so sure. Look at Intel... AMD had it on the ground. The P4 was getting its ass handed to it regularly and everyone knew it. Gaming PCs were almost exclusively AMD. It got to the point where people laughed when you said you wanted to build an Intel based machine.
      ... fast forward a few years and Core 2 has crushed AMD. Intel has not only come back but has completely turned the table. AMD is only just now reaching 3 GHz with their top of the line chips - Intel reached that nearly a year ago. Intel's upcoming i7 chips look to be just as dominant. From what I've seen AMD isn't even going to have a prayer until the end of 2009.

      I wouldn't discount Microsoft just yet. They may be be staggering now but I wouldn't be surprised if they made a come back.
  • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:09PM (#25761021)
    From http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/154340.asp [nwsource.com]

    It's unclear if the revelations will advance the plaintiffs' central claim in the class-action lawsuit -- that Microsoft artificially increased demand by allowing PCs that could run only the most basic versions of the Windows Vista operating system to be called Vista Capable.

    That is where it will all fall apart for them IMHO. I can't see how you can argue that it increased demand. People that were looking for the Vista Capable logo were at least considering getting Vista if not planning on getting it. If you weren't planning on getting Vista than the Vista Logo wasn't a deciding factor in your purchase decision, so again MS can't be blamed.

    At best people could argue that they thought that they bought a premium version of Vista and didn't find out until they were trying to install it that they wouldn't get the Aero Interface, and other candy. But they still are able to run a version of Vista so it is still Vista Capable IMHO. Also, I'm not sure if it was the same everywhere, but at least were I'm from there was always a footnote saying that it would run Vista Home Basic on any advertisements that used the Vista Capable logo.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)

      If you've got $500 to spend on a computer and the ones at that price point say they're Vista capable, you're now going to consider getting Vista. On the other hand, if only $1000 computers say they're Vista capable, you're not going to be in the market for Vista. Thus, letting lower end computers be called Vista capable increases the demand for Vista.

      Now, should a computer that can technically run Vista but without all the features be allowed to be called Vista capable? At best it's purposely misleading.

  • I mean, come on, just because someone slaps a sticker on a machine and says it's "Vista Ready", do you expect that to work?

    For a very long time when Microsoft lists the "minimum system requirements" for a machine to run their stuff, if you only ever had the minimum you're going to have a slow, unusable piece of junk. Windows has simply never really been usable on a "minimum" platform.

    I remember back in the day of the 486 people buying machines with 4 MB of RAM, because they were told you could run Window

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday November 14, 2008 @12:46PM (#25761545) Journal

      And, for those of us who remember the whole 'Winmodem' things from the early 90's know that Microsoft has always tried to get us to buy crippled hardware on the basis that if Windows says it supports it, then it must be good. Or at least, have vendors sell something specific to Windows and let the consumer deal with the fallout.

      Actually, Winmodems and other controller-less hardware represented something much more sinister than that. They largely tied you to one platform; Windows. It took a significant amount of work and sometimes bending the "rules" to get a lot of this hardware to work under open source operating systems.

      • It took a significant amount of work and sometimes bending the "rules" to get a lot of this hardware to work

        "Rules"?

        There is only one rule about Winmodems. You just broke it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Toll_Free (1295136)

        Yeah, no shit.

        Maybe the term WIN in the title of the product means it's meant to run on a WINdows platform.

        Kind of like purchasing a Ford transmission and wondering why it doesn't just slide into your GM.

        Bitching that a product DESIGNED for Windows didn't work on a non Windows system. Man, are you for real?

        --Toll_Free

  • Aero capable (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hey (83763) on Friday November 14, 2008 @01:12PM (#25761951) Journal

    They should have had an Aero capable sticker.

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