Microsoft's 'Vista Capable' changes outraged HP, insider e-mails show

By helping Intel, Microsoft 'severely damaged' its credibility with HP, exec said

Poole, a 12-year veteran of Microsoft, was assigned in mid-2007 to head a group devoted to emerging markets, but left the company this past September. He is now the co-chairman of NComputing, a California company that makes hardware and software that lets multiple users share a single PC.

According to analysts, the departure of several Microsoft executives responsible for Vista after its lackluster start came as no surprise.

HP was not finished telling off Microsoft, however. In another message -- also included in the Thursday motion -- an unidentified HP executive blasted Microsoft some more.

"It's not very often you get pulled out a meeting by a group of engineers who feel that they have had the rug pulled out from underneath them so that any competitive advantage we may have had in the marketplace is taken away, enabling any Tom, Dick or Harry with a PC containing a non-compliant processor/chipset to play at the same table," the e-mail read. "It begs the question when is a PC really Vista capable."

It is possible that the author of the e-mail included in the Thursday motion was also written by Walker, since it references a previous message to Johnson and Allchin. "As I said in my note to Jim [Allchin] and Kevin [Johnson] it appears you have bowed to pressure from a partner who would have been embarrassed in the April timeframe because their line up was not completely compliant," the message said. Microsoft and its OEM partners launched the Vista Capable program in April 2006.

Last week was the second time that a number of insider e-mails have been made public during the case. Last February, Pechman unsealed several hundred messages that, among other things, described the problems that some top Microsoft officials had with Vista shortly after it was released and, as in the newest disclosures, revealed serious disagreements by some over the program.

The lawsuit, which began nearly a year and a half ago, was granted class-action status last February. It is current set to go to trial in April.

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