Microsoft dismissed enthusiasts in Vista marketing

Spelling out which features of Windows Vista would work on a given PC might be useful to early adopters, but it would only "confuse the masses," a high-level Microsoft Corp. manager argued more then a year before the operating system shipped, according to internal company e-mails. In a short exchange in November 2005, Brad Goldberg, then the general manager of the Windows product management group, dismissed a colleague's suggestion that Microsoft create documents listing what components and features of Vista would work on specific PCs slated to go on sale the following year.

"The average consumer would not know whether [s]he needs Aero-Glass or Windows Defender or not," Goldberg said in a Nov. 9, 2005, message. "Retail sales person[s] cannot explain what Aero Glass is or what it will do for them four [to] six months prior to Vista."

The message was just one of hundreds made public last week in a class-action lawsuit over the Windows "Vista Capable" marketing plan.

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