I found this article under the NYT’s most emailed (or blogged) articles. I don’t follow the twists and turns of the software business very carefully, and it is easy to beat up on Microsoft. like shooting a barnside.
The basics seems to be that Microsoft tried to weasel around the hardware/software incompatibility of its new Vista OS by labeling machines Vista capable instead of VIsta ready. The capable label was supposed to mean Vista might work. Sort of. Eventually. Maybe. Caveat emptor and all.
A class action suit in Seattle is proceeding.
95% of my students, faced with a product that does not work as advertised, would now that a world of headache is coming down the pike. But, the sagacity of the young is transmogrified into the idiocy of the powerful by money and organizational culture.
They Criticized Vista. And They Should Know. – New York Times
In February 2006, after Microsoft abandoned its plan to reserve the Vista Capable label for only the more powerful PCs, its own staff tried to avert the coming deluge of customer complaints about underpowered machines. “It would be a lot less costly to do the right thing for the customer now,” said Robin Leonard, a Microsoft sales manager, in an e-mail message sent to her superiors, “than to spend dollars on the back end trying to fix the problem.”
Exactly. Big DUH.