Feeds

Microsoft dropped Vista hardware spec to raise Intel profits

'Gotta sell those chipsets'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

You know this stuff goes on. But you're still gobsmacked when the proof turns up.

According to an email sent last February by Microsoft general manager John Kalkman, the software giant lowered Windows Vista's minimum hardware requirements to ridiculous levels only because Intel needed to sell more graphics chipsets.

The email was just one of many released in response to a federal class action suit that accuses Microsoft of misleading the world with those "Windows Vista Capable" logos it slapped on new PCs in the run-up to the operating system's debut. The logos appeared on system more than nine month before the OS was unveiled.

Judging from these emails - unsealed by the court this week and spewed to the digerati by Todd Bishop of Seattle Post-Intelligencer - the case has a pretty good chance.

"In the end, we lowered the requirement to help Intel make their quarterly earnings so they could continue to sell motherboards with the 915 graphics embedded," John Kalkman wrote to Scott Di Valerio, who oversaw Microsoft's dealings with PC partners.

Intel told The Wall Street Journal that the bit about its earning was not true, arguing that Kalkman "is not qualified in any shape or form to have knowledge about Intel's internal financial forecasts related to chipsets, motherboards or any other product".

Meanwhile, Microsoft informed the paper that it included the Intel 915 chipset in the Windows Vista Capable program "based on successful testing of beta versions of Windows Vista on the chip set and the broad availability of the chip set in the market." And it said the unsealed emails showed how its execs "were trying to make the marketing program better for Microsoft partners and consumers".

You could argue, however, that Kalkman's email is far from the best of the lot. In another message, a Microsoft board member tells Steve Ballmer he's decided against "upgrading" one of his machines to Vista. "I cannot understand with a product this long in creation why there is such a shortage of drivers," he says. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.