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Microsoft Internal Emails Show Dismay With Vista

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the you-scratch-my-back dept.

The Courts 662

bfwebster writes "Microsoft is currently facing a class-action suit over its designation of allegedly under-powered hardware as being 'Vista Capable.' The discovery process of that lawsuit has now compelled Microsoft to produce some internal emails discussing those issues. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has published extracts of some of those emails, along with a link to a a PDF file containing a more extensive email exchange. The emails reflect a lot of frustration among senior Microsoft personnel about Vista's performance problems and hardware incompatibilities. They also appear to indicate that Microsoft lowered the hardware requirements for 'Vista Capable' in order to include certain lower-end Intel chipsets, apparently as a favor to Intel: 'In the end, we lowered the requirement to help Intel make their quarterly earnings so they could continue to sell motherboards with 915 graphics embedded.' Read the whole PDF; it is informative, interesting, and at times (unintentionally) funny."

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For more information (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590586)

There's an interesting article on nimp. [nimp.org] Looks like the MS Devs dropped the ball big time.

Re:For more information (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590636)

Are they going to reimburse me for buying extra RAM for my daughter's new Toshiba laptop that had 512 MB of RAM with Vista, officially offered for sale at a store that way, but with 64 MB of it reserved for video RAM, leaving the system with a whopping 448 MB of RAM? And it takes about 10 minutes to start up because the HDD is running virtually nonstop, thrashing as it pages in the minimal amount of stuff needed? And opening a web page or a simple program takes almost as long, for the same reason?

Someone decided that was a valid, acceptable configuration for a Windows Vista machine.

Re:For more information (4, Informative)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590722)

Click Start > Right Click 'Computer' > Advanced System Settings > Performance Settings > Adjust For Best Performance

Runs like a champ in a VM on my AM2 Sempron, with 512MB of memory allocated to it.

Re:For more information (-1, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590800)

"Runs like a champ in..."

Unless you're perhaps using it as a verb, the crowd doesn't think 'champ' means what you think it means, sorry.

Re:For more information (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590988)

"Runs like a champ in..." Unless you're perhaps using it as a verb, the crowd doesn't think 'champ' means what you think it means, sorry.

...or he's from England and that makes perfect sense.

Re:For more information (5, Funny)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591048)

Maybe it's a typo -- "runs like a chimp" brings to mind knuckle dragging with occasional inexplicable detours into incoherent bursts of rage and feces flinging.

Re:For more information (2, Funny)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591068)

Or maybe he knew exacly what it meant. Champ [about.com] - The field or ground of a field. It ran itself into the ground.

Re:For more information (3, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591140)

I'm fairly certain that most people are familiar with the idiom "like a champ" meaning; "to do something very well". Not quite sure what you are talking about though...

Re:For more information (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590830)

"Someone decided that was a valid, acceptable configuration for a Windows Vista machine."

That would have been you, or your daughter since nobody forced you to buy it. Hell, 512MB on a laptop with XP is barely adequate so it should be no surprise that it's barely adequate for Vista. Especially with all the shovelware it most likely came with!

Add some more memory to that beast, it's relatively cheap these days and it will make a world of difference.

Re:For more information (1, Informative)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590890)

unfortunately, the liekelyhood of you seeing a penny is slim. Even at a few billion dollars, a class action settlement would mostly go to the government and the lawyers. At the market value for RAM by the time the settlement ends, you'll probably get about $12 for your 512MB upgrade, if you see anything at all. anything much more than that and it would bankrupt microsoft. They can't possibly refund all the copies, even at OEM pricing, combined with the expenses and upgrade troubles, and the nice chunk for the lawers and uncle Sam.

Also, the courts do have a basic understanding of the fact that if the machine you bought didn't have a graphics adapter, you shouldn't have expected the enhanced graphics interface (machines that run XP pro, but don't have GPUs don't play graphic games or screen savers either). As far as performance, they'll point of that the MINIMUM requirement meas MINIMUM FUNCTIONALITY, not RECCOMEDNED functionality. This is clearly understood by most in the industry, and considdfered common knowledge in computing. Whaterver the specs say the minimum is, you reasonably need 2-4 times that for performance to be fluid.

Look at Pinacle Studeo for example. The miniumum specs, 256MB RAM and 5GB disk space, cover only whats necessary to install and run the program, and edit a "short" video clip (5 minutes of standard TV resolution 15fps, with no audio was the banchmark) A 30 minute HD video with stereo audio, accoring to Pinacle phone support for version 9 when I had it , should only be edited on a machine with striped performance HDDs and at least 2GB of RAM, and a multi-core (pentium D at the time) processor. lawyers will easily argue that, especially early adopters should have recognised this. "Let the buyer beware"

The minimum requirements for Oblivion are 512MB System RAM, 2 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor , and 128MB Direct3D compatible video card. With those specs, at minimum resolution, the game gets aboutn 6FPS. With a $3,500 quad way SLI system, they still can't play it at higher than 30FPS at the game's maximum configurable resolutions. noone has yet built a system that can truly play the game. They reccomend 1GB of Ram and an x800 or better video card. Experts reccomedn 2GB and SLI systems to play at "comfortable quality at higher resolutions" Can I sue those guys becuase it' "unplayable" on my wife's computer even though it meets the minimum specs?

minimum means MINIMUM. Windows 95 could run on 512K of RAM and a 20MB HDD. You can't really use it that way, let alone open a 3rd party application, but it does in fact RUN on it. Why did you expect Vista to be any different? Why did you expect it to require the same specs as XP if it's 7 years newer!?!

Re:For more information (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22591014)

Sorry, I build a Xeon X3220 Quad Core system overclocked to 3.2Ghz with 2.25GB of addressable RAM. With SLI'd 512MB 8800GTS under Vista I can hit 60fps with drops to 45-50fps with a few graphic enhancement mods running at 1920x1200. I think that counts as "truly playing" the game.

Re:For more information (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591144)

anything much more than that and it would bankrupt microsoft. They can't possibly refund all the copies

How should that be any concern of mine (the customer)? If they provided a faulty program, they should have to pay. I'm not going to pick and choose who can give me a refund on certain products. If you buy a faulty food, vacuum cleaner, car, etc. you have the legal right to get your money back within a reasonable time period. (at least in my state) It would be incentive for all these half baked programs hitting the market in "Beta mode" but labeled as release. Labeling it a beta is one thing, releasing it as a "release version" when it's clearly flawed (as noted in the internal conversations) is not.

Re:For more information (2, Insightful)

Centurion5 (1180605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590940)

I would rather be provided drivers to downgrade to XP than any refund rebate. They deliberately do not supply the drivers to keep you from abandoning Vi$ta. I own a license for XP, just let me use it!

Integrated Chipsets and Marketing (3, Insightful)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590980)

That was always the gripe I had with integrated graphics chipsets. IGV take away the system memory and the OEM's "innocently" forget to do the subtraction when quoting the actual system memory in their marketing material.

Re:For more information (1)

Sir_Dill (218371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590984)

I am going to play devils advocate.

Sure M$ lowered the requirements to provide a little backscratching to Intel, a company which has historically given a tremendous amount of support to them. It makes business sense to keep your partner companies happy. They should have held back vista another year at least. This would have given them more time to make sure its right, allowed Intel to have an extra year on the 915 chipset and might have prevented this current backlash.

That being said, its not like someone at M$, or Intel for that matter, spec'd that machine for Toshiba. If you're looking for reimbursement for having to pick up the slack from toshiba's poor design, you aren't going to get it from M$ and seeking it from them is misguided.

And lastly, who the hell buys a computer with less than at LEAST a gig of ram if not 2? Personally I would never purchase a machine that came with less than 2 gigs of ram these days, laptop or desktop irregardless of what OS I plan on running.

No (0, Flamebait)

mfh (56) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591000)

Are you serious?? You bought the cheap system and you knew it would run like crap, but you wanted to save $100. GTFO! :P

Re:For more information (3, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591018)

Dismay, when contacted, said she was not even in the country when the photo in question was taken. Vista could not be reached for comment, but her publisher insisted that all struggling new talent has photos in the closet that invariably surface when they become popular. When asked, the man-on-the-street responded with a shrug and said "Good thing neither of them has dentures - someone could have lost a labia!"

Re:For more information (1)

seandiggity (992657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591058)

Someone should decide to run another OS rather than put up with such crappy performance. You can make your life a lot easier if you take a look at Ubuntu [ubuntu.com] or the many other options [distrowatch.org] .

btw, even the "Vista Premium Ready" specs are a bit low for the bloated mess that is Vista.

The most damning email: (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590590)

From bGates:

To sBallmer:

Steve, Why is it taking forever to send emails?

From sBallmer:

To bGates:

Bill, 640 minutes for roundtrip for email should be enough for everyone.

Kudos with the 640K ref (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590836)

Heh, I got a chuckle out of that one.

Oh boy (0, Redundant)

PacketScan (797299) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590592)

This could get quite ugly.

Best quote... (4, Interesting)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590598)

"I'm just grateful I kept XP on this machine."

Re:Best quote... (0)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590938)

I speak for at least me when I say that we've all been waiting for that much of a smoking gun for a long time. Queue the endless stream of tags about gratefulforkeepingxponthismachine, in soviet microsoft vista uses you, etc.

Re:Best quote... (2, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591082)

"I'm just grateful I kept XP on this machine."
I'm grateful I upgraded my system to Linux. [linuxmint.com]

Reminds of the old quote I used to read around the web.

The requirements called for Windows2000 or better, so I upgraded to Linux.


Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590600)

.| |
mircosoft internal emails show disdain for goatse [goatse.ch]

LOL with

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ (0, Offtopic)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591166)

Does anyone else find it funny that this same troll posts almost the exact same ascii art goatse guy and link on almost every story, and yet slashdot seems completely powerless to filter it? I dunno, for a technology site, this seems pretty pathetic.

Shocked (-1, Redundant)

CDOS_CDOS run (669823) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590602)

Wow M$ made a decision based upon profit? I am shocked!

Re:Shocked (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590632)

Don't by so short sighted.

It's not about making a decision based on profit, it is about a decision to deceive and lie to make a profit. Big difference.

Re:Shocked (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590932)

Well, did Vista capable mean it could run ANY version of Vista, or a version of Vista? I'm not sure things are so clear. I suspect the managers got what they wanted; the dev team make many improvements, but at the cost of compatability in some cases. Fortunately, I haven't hit any of those issues.

Re:Shocked (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591074)

It was confusing, all their partners showed that it would be.
All there commercials advertised Vista Ready stickers meant it was Vista ready and was shown with a computer running Aero.

The market clearly wasn't ready for it, but MS sure implied everything you have would work fine.
Knowing it wouldn't.

There where some people that wanted to advertise Vista Basic and Vista capable but MS decided against that.

No, they shoved a product that wasn't ready out the door, knew they where doing it and hoped customers wouldn't complain too much.

Re:Shocked (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590668)

whats actually surprising is that the profit wasnt exactly theirs. they were allowing intel to continue using the 915 chipset and calling it vista compatible.

Re:Shocked (-1, Troll)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590922)

And by so doing, they sold more licenses and thus _profited_.

That shouldn't come as a surprise...that's how it works...what do you think the thought process was? "Do it: profit from it. Don't do it...don't profit from it. Someone help me with this...." duh.

Sit down and we'll let someone else give it a shot. Everyone [slashdot.org] ...feel free to point and laugh at 188401 [slashdot.org] .

Re:Shocked (2)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591142)

MSFT would likely have sold the same number of licenses either way. Keeping intel happy by allowing them to sell less expensive parts as compatible was not directly profit driven - it was keeping a partner happy.

Ergo, this decision did not directly line their pockets. meaning it wasnt exactly thier profit.

additionally, youre a bit of a douchebag - even for the internet.

At least... (4, Insightful)

wellingtonsteve (892855) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590618)

.. this shows that Microsoft are not misguided/stupid enough to genuinely believe Vista is a Good Operating System.. Let's hope they learn from these mistakes before Windows 7 comes out.

Re:At least... (3, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590972)

There's a difference between "we'd like it to be more compatible and run on lower hardware specs" and "Vista just sucks."

Enough.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590628)

Start to posting about something else than Vista and Microsoft.....

This pathological obsession with Windows and Microsoft isnt doing anything for the majority of your visitors.

Re:Enough.... (1, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590698)

considering that this is a tech/nerd site.. and considering that MS has a very very large portion of the OS market. i would assume it logical that the number of articals on this site be in the same proportion about them.

sorry if it bothers you .. jsut filter it or stay in the linux or other sections

Re:Enough.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22591114)

Just feels like slashdot is turning into a sleezy tabloid, posting sensational "news" about the shortcomings of Microsoft. Just count the enormous amount of posts about Vista alone, that if you read the comments, nobody even use.

Ballmer's first response (5, Funny)

CDOS_CDOS run (669823) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590634)

"I going to f---ing kill the 915 chipset!"

Well, I think Steve Ballmer... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590638)

Some of my readers ask me what a "Serial Port" is. The answer is: I don't know. Is it some kind of wine you have with breakfast? - This made me lol.

Penis penis penis lol. (_)(_)lllllllllllllllllllD -- that's my penis lol. not to scale, I couldn't hold it against the monitor long enough lol.

(Footnote: I would have got first post if it wasn't for this piece of shit proxy XD.)

Are there any MBAs at Microsoft? (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590642)

Intro Managing IT Low 500 level class. First Day of class. They show us a chart. Showing the statics of the more money quoted for an IT Project the higher chance of it failing. Vista tried to hard to make the Ultimate OS of all times and ended up with one that looks fancy but people rather use the old version. They tried to put a lot of money to make the Best OS Ever and ended up making a relitivly bad OS. Vs. Apple who did incremental changes over time. Then Unfreezing Changing the Code for new features then freezing agian to assure that things don't get to out of hand. If Microsoft after XP did a smaller approach of making incremental changes in the OS right now we may have a fast and efficient Vista, that could give OS X a run for its money.

Re:Are there any MBAs at Microsoft? (0, Troll)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590688)

Intro Managing IT Low 500 level class. First Day of class. They show us a chart. Showing the statics of the more money quoted for an IT Project the higher chance of it failing. Vista tried to hard to make the Ultimate OS of all times and ended up with one that looks fancy but people rather use the old version.
Hey, it works for Gnome too.


Re:Are there any MBAs at Microsoft? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590914)

A lot of the open source products have moved to this model. Mandriva and Ubuntu both get updates every 6 months. I think it works a lot better. I think windows would be a lot better if they did smaller updates.

Re:Are there any MBAs at Microsoft? (2, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591004)

Oh, you know what would happen. People would complain about an "upgrade treadmill everyone is forced upon."

yep this is an example of... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590650)

Marketing gone wild...

Shitty Lawsuit, Bad Priorities (3, Interesting)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590662)

First of all I think the 'Vista Capable' suit is ridiculous. Microsoft deserves to win that one, because I am well aware of what was on the shelf on the low to mid range during that time frame. And those machines should of been fine, I had Vista RTM up and running on my P3 1Ghz w/ GeForce 6600. And it ran with Aero, and was certainly 'capable' in classic.

However I can understand Microsoft's dismay at it's performance, for relatively little gain you are incurring tremendous performance hit's across the board. File transfer and gaming come to mind most quickly however. But during it's development cycle I got the impression they really had no idea what they wanted out of Vista, dropping key features over the years. And seemingly concentrating to hard on a 'shiny' UI, that although slick in some respects still feels like a mangled XP GUI, with simply a reworked folder system. And a much lauded search to run feature that should of simply been in XP SP3 to hold users over while something, smaller, better, faster, stronger was being developed.

But in the interests of full disclosure, I have Vista running in a VM... A couple more trips to newegg.com and I might finally install it, DirectX 10 is still exciting to me.

Re:Shitty Lawsuit, Bad Priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590756)

And those machines should of been fine, I had Vista RTM up and running on my P3 1Ghz

I have Vista running in a VM... A couple more trips to newegg.com and I might finally install it

Thanks for that. :)

I don't get what the problems are (3, Informative)

VampireByte (447578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590844)

I'm running Vista Ultimate with Aero & dual monitors on an old 875 motherboard, 2.4Ghz Northwood, 1GB ram, Radeon 9600 AGP. No problems whatsoever and performance is fine for work apps (don't play games). I'm thinking of getting a couple of radeon 2400 cards (one AGP one PCI) so I can run three or four monitors.

Re:I don't get what the problems are (2, Informative)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590960)

(don't play games)
That's the deal breaker for me, I can't be comfortable knowing I'm seeing an average 10% reduction in frame rates by simply using Vista compared to XP on identical hardware. But I felt the same way in regards to 2000 vs. XP. And I suppose it (Vista) will eventually get installed when/if DX10 reaches critical mass.

Re:I don't get what the problems are (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591034)

Me too, and I have less of a machine. 3800+ X2, 1gb ram, fx 5700 card. Plays doom3 just as well as xp did.

Re:I don't get what the problems are (4, Insightful)

jerkychew (80913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591126)

It's not just the chipset per se, it's the chipset + embedded graphics. You're getting good Aero performance because you're running an AGP card.

Re:Shitty Lawsuit, Bad Priorities (4, Insightful)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590896)

I've been using Vista since it came out and have helped to install it on several machines in our office. I can honestly say now that all of those machines I have had to reinstall XP on and with good reason; hardware incompatibilities, software incompatibilities, slowdowns, crashes, freezeups.

I love the new Vistas look and feel but unfortunately it just doesn't perform the way it was promised and they did rush it to market. I think that any company that rusahes a product to market and the consumer ends up paying for it, should be punished for such negligence. If this were a car manufacturer or a drug manufacturer, you would see the same thing. So why should Microsoft be any different?

Re:Shitty Lawsuit, Bad Priorities (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591194)

hardware incompatibilities, software incompatibilities, slowdowns, crashes, freezeups.
I can certainly feel your pain there, I'm somewhat of the computer goto guy for friends and family. And recently a friend went to a local big box for a computer, walked out with a Gateway machine built on a 3800+ x2 on a nForce 430 w/ integrated 6100. I had urged him to let me order him one up, but he refused (which is funny cuz I just ordered a nearly identical machine for $330 (minus monitor, speakers, keyboard/mouse) with him watching just to rub it in, he payed $1200 about a year ago). Either way even though his computer has some of the most common hardware on the market, Vista will not run stable... Been troubleshooting it for a few months now. Only thing holding back XP from being installed is the fact Gateway has only released Vista drivers and I can't manage to force the install of stock Nvidia 430 drivers.

I warned him... And I'm not saying it's Vista's fault in the case, I'm more inclined to think shoddy implementation of Nvidia drivers and/or poor hardware from Gateway.

I think that any company that rusahes a product to market and the consumer ends up paying for it, should be punished for such negligence.
http://www.badsoftware.com/support1.htm [badsoftware.com]

Re:Shitty Lawsuit, Bad Priorities (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590974)

I have a laptop that's "Vista Capable". It came with Celeron 1.4 GHz, 512 MB of RAM, and Intel GMA. It cannot run Aero. It's quite slow even running without Aero. Granted, I bought the computer because it was cheap, and runs Mandriva just fine. It does run the version of window that came with it (Windows Home Basic), but it doesn't run it very well. I could very well see cause for complaint. I disabled every service and start-up process I could, and I still find the machine quite sluggish.

Re:Shitty Lawsuit, Bad Priorities (5, Interesting)

texas neuron (710330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591102)

First for possible bias - I have a business with 6 machines running XP exclusively (2 Fujitsu, 4 Dell) and 2 Macs running Tiger (soon to be Leopard) and XP. Second, I am a physician and in general I hate lawsuits.

If you read the emails, they allowed labeling that had Designed for Windows Vista Basic Logo, Designed for Windows Vista Premium Logo, and then then a Vista Capable logo. Microsoft thought the requirements for the Vista Capable logo is that users "will have a good experience, at least equivalent to Windows XP, when upgraded to Windows Vista."

I think Microsoft will lose on 2 fronts - their technical requirements apparently are having machines that run Windows Vista to perform worst then Windows XP when they indicate their Vista Capable logo should be equivalent. Second, since they were the ones telling the OEMs what the labels were and the requirements for them, then they needed to communicate this to the end user by having a sanctioned straight forward information sheet available at each sales point.

What surprises me most about the emails is how they apparently caved in to Intel when they were aware that they were sacrificing the "Vista Experience" for their future buyers. It is no wonder only 1/3rd or so Window Vista License holders are actually running windows Vista (estimate based on combining netapplications market share for Mac OS X and Windows Vista combined with Steve Job's statement of total Mac OS X installed base and Bill Gates statement of 100,000,000 licenses sold.)

Re:Shitty Lawsuit, Bad Priorities (1)

z80kid (711852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591198)

First of all I think the 'Vista Capable' suit is ridiculous. Microsoft deserves to win that one, because I am well aware of what was on the shelf on the low to mid range during that time frame. And those machines should of been fine....

Maybe you were well aware. Consumers with little computer knowledge were depending on the "Vista Capable" designation.

However I can understand Microsoft's dismay at it's performance...

You acknowledge that Microsoft was unhappy with Vistas performance. The internal emails show that Microsoft managers were unhappy with Vistas performance, and yet still lowered the Vista-capable specs. And you still say the lawsuit has no merit?

Where's the -1 shill option?

I want my XP back (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590682)

I want XP to be re released, it was actually a decent program. I could run every game I own and the new ones off it with out any trouble at all. This will hopefully push it's return.

Is it just me? (4, Interesting)

sconeu (64226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590706)

OK, I'm officially a Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist(tm).

I read the title as "Disney", not "Dismay".

Re:Is it just me? (1)

carleton (97218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590872)

If it helps, no... I saw the exact same thing.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590950)

Count me in too. It's just expected on Slashdot, dontcha think?

Re:Is it just me? (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591084)

Same here. Looked like Disney at first glance. I'm going to register dismayland.com or dismayworld.com. Seems like a good idea. I hope M$ can fix their time machine and go back a year and undo this mess they made. Although it would not hurt to claim Vista was just a HUGE, elaborate hoax and that it was all meant to make us love our XP boxen that much more. Like Coke did with their "Classic Coke" hoax.

Re:Is it just me? (1)

sjaguar (763407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591012)

No, I did the same thing too.

It's never a good sign.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590710)

.. when, as one of our customers found out, The Sims: Castaway tells you the Intel graphics card in your laptop isn't a Direct 3D capable one. Despite Castaway's own box specs and websites listing it as compatible. The customer in question ended up swapping it for a bog standard ATI graphics card based laptop that ran it fine - for the same price.

Vista on minimal HW (4, Informative)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590740)

As my handle notes, I work at MS. I worked on Vista security during its development and was frequently at ship room concerning security issues. My focus is not on neat consumer feature and great graphics. I have found that Vista runs well on old hardware that is not really adequate for the new visuals. -- I turn off the Aero interface (which saves a lot of RAM as well), running "Windows Classic" for my UI. I then go to system advanced properties and optimize for performance. The resulting system works quite well. I have an old XP box (Dell GX620, ~ 3 GHz processor with 1 GByte of RAM) that I am running Vista business on. I added a 330 GByte drive and use it as an index server for ~ 150 GBytes of source code that I search. Except when it is syncing its files with the master, when ~ 40 command line processes run synchronization simultaneously, it is reasonably responsive.

I have found that Windows server 2008 runs very well on a ~ 3 year old Dell 610 notebook, even when the system is locked into maximum battery life (and minimum performance) mode. It has a ~ 2GHz processor and 2 GBytes of RAM.

Playing graphics games costs CPU and GPU processing power. From my point of view, the reason to upgrade to Vista is its significantly higher security than XP, let alone the earlier OS's. Search is also very nice and quite useful.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (3, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590816)

"From my point of view, the reason to upgrade to Vista is its significantly higher security than XP, let alone the earlier OS's"

If higher security is the reason, wouldn't it be better to switch to Linux or OSX? Just asking.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (-1, Troll)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590998)

OS X is definitely not more secure than Vista. Standard Linux consumer distros are not either.

The thing to remember about the PC market is that it is driven by the hardware vendors who are looking to sell a "new, improved, with neat features" PC to somebody who already has a PC. Given the low cost of memory and storage, there is little incentive to try to minimize size. Vista is big, but so to are the major consumer distros. This is actually reasonable. Even if the value to the consumer scales as ln(feature_count), a reasonable value proposition can still exist.

You don't find many still using vi or emacs with tex or nroff formatting.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (3, Insightful)

WhiteWolf666 (145211) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591066)

What metric are you using to say Vista is safer?

The best metric is per-system average number of security failures. Not potential vulnerabilities; "Real-World" functionality. Otherwise, you can't hold up the "MS" software ecosystem as a feature of Vista.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22591116)

Call me a troll or flamer. But come on, even tho I know you are very possible trying to be funny and serious at the same time. But not everything is fixable with *nix or OSX. People look into upgrading their Windows system to a more secure Windows. Not totally changing platform. So please stop suggesting other OS. I have checked out Linux (and I do like it) but some times I just have to log into Windows to get some stuff done right. No OS is the magic wand.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (2, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590838)

With all due respect, if the only improvements are 'security' and 'bling'--then why not just lock down XP with some 3rd party software, or run a different, more secure, OS altogether?

Why go through the expense and bother of upgrading to a brand new OS, one with significant growing pains?

Reasonably ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590928)

..., ~ 40 command line processes run synchronization simultaneously, it is reasonably responsive.
'Reasonably' compared to what? You statement is meaningless and sounds like marketing junk.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590992)

If an operating system doesn't work well in a machine with 2GB of RAM it would need to be shot. Even I only tend to 1GB or RAM. I had CentOS5 running on a machine with 256MB of RAM all because I forgot to put in the memory I bought for it.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (1)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591054)

It does work well on 2 GBytes. I run an index server on 1 GByte running Vista Business, and have no problems with it. The cheap USB stick in my pocket has 8 GBytes.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (5, Insightful)

mzs (595629) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591092)

3 and 2 GHz procs and 1 and 2 Gigs of RAM are minimal HW!? I run Leopard happily on a 1 GHz eMac at home and Tiger on a 450 Mhz G3 tower at work both with 768 MB of RAM. FreeBSD and XP run great on a 750 MHz PC with 512 MB RAM at work as well.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591098)

Three words for you.


I mean c'mon! I have a new (less than 6 months old) Dell 1550 laptop with max specs available from Dell. It's running Vista Ultimate. Or at least it's trying to. I have the GUI stripped down to the bare bones, and it still take >2 minute to go from power-up to a stable desktop environment (compared to my 4 year old XP boxes boot time of 45 seconds). And security? Bitlocker is a neat idea, but since I don't have a TPM chip on my board (not listed as a requirement BTW) I can't use it without a USB dongle constantly attached.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22591120)

Yeah, well, I'm running Slackware on a box with only 512 MB of RAM, and I have Compiz-Fusion running as well, and it runs just fine. My point is that if Microsoft knew how to properly write an OS, they wouldn't be getting sued.

Re:Vista on minimal HW (1)

belthize (990217) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591154)

Fair enough ... two questions (with comments).

1) How does your GX620 fair running XP ... same responsiveness or faster ?
For organizations with a 5 or 6 year hardware turnover budgets, discovering Vista
will only run on 50% of their hardware (2.5 years old) is rather daunting.

2) Vista is more secure as is than XP as is ? Is there really an objective
argument to back that up or is it just that fixing discovered problems in Vista
will be easier for Microsoft than XP is because of framework/design issues.

      At the risk of sounding like an MBA it's pretty much about risk reward.
The pain of upgrading hundreds/thousands of boxes plus the cost of replacing
en masse 50% of the hardware has to be offset by some very clear gains.

      I still have a very hard time seeing the benefit.


Re:Vista on minimal HW (1)

zermous (1196831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591160)

Sorry, sir, vista's search is so terrible that it prompted me to select and purchase 3rd party searching software (FileLocator pro) for the first time in my life. I have noticed a steady degradation in the quality of text search results from windows 2000 onward.

no Aero on minimal HW (5, Insightful)

d23tek (1208848) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591182)

While you may be correct that the best reason to upgrade to Vista is the improved security, that was clearly not how the product was primarily advertised to the general public. People were shown ads with amazing Aero eye-candy, and told that Vista was the way to get it. When purchasing a computer that says "Vista capable," it's a reasonable assumption for a non-technical user (to which those ads were targeted) that buying a "Vista capable" computer will deliver the most prominently advertised feature of Vista. I'm not saying it's a bulletproof case, because the small print was there, but it's rather self-contradictory to advertise Windows Vista as being easier than ever for novice users, but also expecting same novice users to understand the system requirements of a GUI that is an optional component of an OS.

Microsoft only tried to please eager public! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22590776)

Give MS a break! This sort of thing happens when the general public just can't wait to have the "newest" technology, operating system, what have you.... so thereby causing companies like Microsoft, and others, to "push" out thier newest prodcts in an attempt to try and please the general public.... now, now.... I have to say shame on Microsoft for marketing thier newest OS to computer producers as "Vista ready", or "Windows Visa capable". On the other hand, let this be a lesson to the general public that waiting for something can be a "good" thing and, not nessessarily nice to have the newest of anything,(Vista or whatever the case), as quickly as it can be had, which can cause many companies to be sloppy in thier final products rushed to the retail world. Let's all try waiting fo a change an encourage quality..... not quantity!
Here's a very informative discussion/blog that I've been following on the lawsuit. Much interesting information here:
yhttp://yro.topix.com/tech/judge-rules-vista-capable-lawsuit-can-proceedarticle.pl?s/ [xrl.us]

The low "requirements" aren't the problem (3, Informative)

forgoil (104808) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590806)

The problem is that the OS is so badly designed and un-optimized that you can't run it on that kind of hardware. There isn't any good reason why Vista should have been slower than XP really, and fancy FX should have been turned on only on premium hardware. Many other OSes can do it after all. Leopard is doing just fine on a core 2 duo with GMA 950 GFX after all...

A pity, truely (5, Insightful)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590818)

Microsoft dropped the ball on this one. It is not a Bob, or ME situation, with a strong alternative sitting in the wings. This time, they bet the farm, and now have a lot of crow to eat.

What saddens me is that I want to like Vista, but I can't. My sister loves it, but to get to run it she has now 8x the PC that I do (Athlon64 x2 vs my ancient Socket-A Sempron), and I still crunch her into the ground for performance in many cases. Microsoft has managed to become the victim of it's own success, I believe. They worked on the premise that hardware would progress faster than it did, but people have hit the point of "good enough." More and more I don't see people upgrading their PC's. I used to pick up used machines easily that were just 2-3 years old. Now, this Sempron 2800 is the last one I got this way, and I've had it for years. People just aren't upgrading. Bodes poorly for Vista.

Re:A pity, truely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22591080)

"They worked on the premise that hardware would progress faster than it did"

I think the bigger problem is they worked on the premise that clock speed would continue to go up. They now have an OS that is optimized for one really fast processor in what is an increasing a multi-core world.

Re:A pity, truely (1)

coop247 (974899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591086)

"It would be a lot less costly to do the right thing for the customer than to spend dollars on the back end trying to fix the problem", thats a quote used when discussing Walmarts apprehension to Vista Capable.

That's not MS's style, see Xbox 360.

Can AMD use this? (5, Insightful)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590860)

I wonder if AMD can use this in a lawsuit of their own due to anti-competitive practices (On the other hand, it would be burning a bridge with the largest OS manufacturer, but since Intel appears to be getting preferential treatment, there may be something much more sinister below the surface). Not only that, but shouldn't Microsoft's shareholders be kinda ticked? By allowing this to happen, Microsoft opened the door to this lawsuit (something that will not help their investors), while helping out another companies investors, which it would appear was not in Microsoft's investors best interest.

Shows how Microsoft lost its way (5, Insightful)

ahabswhale (1189519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590870)

I just read their internal emails and it appears that they changed the drivers required for Vista such that due to new DRM A/V requirements in Vista, most existing drivers were made inoperable and, in many cases, would never be fixed. They then colluded with Intel to say that machines based on the 915 chipset were sufficient to run the OS so that Intel would have good quarterly results.

To summarize, they just don't care about the customer. At no point do the emails indicate them making any decisions based on what's best for their customers. It makes it pretty obvious why Vista has been such a failure so far. They can't even get the service pack right.

I'm not big on the idea of predicting corporate downfalls but you really have to wonder whether a company that makes such incredibly bad decisions is long for this world.

Define cabable? (1)

ewrong (1053160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590910)

Where these chips "incapable" of running Vista or did it just run donkey slow?

Former, bad. Latter normal service.

Mike Nash (5, Informative)

mfh (56) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590942)

LOL @ Mike Nash's complaint that his $2100 Sony was an email-only machine because it had the Intel 915 chipset that can't run glass or movie maker. Mike Nash is the Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management [microsoft.com] .

Kind of what I have been saying... (2, Interesting)

lantastik (877247) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590956)

I don't mind Vista, I have been using it for a while at home since I do a lot of gaming. My machine is completely capable though. The hardware vendors did a very shitty job of preparing their drivers for Windows Vista and some to this day are plagued by horrible drivers. For the same reasons I would imagine that they have horrible driver support on Linux.

Fault lies with Microsoft in this case because they bowed to the pressures of the OEMs, namely Intel. That was a horrible move on their part and will lend a lot of credence to the recent class action lawsuit. I still place a lot of blame on the hardware vendors and their terrible drivers.

Re:Kind of what I have been saying... (1)

ewrong (1053160) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591078)

That's a bit unfair. Microsoft moved the goalposts and very likely were somewhat secretive about where they moved them too. Writing a new set of drivers for a piece of software that is largely closed and still in development must be a nightmare.

Performance. thats it (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#22590958)

When people are able to run Lord of the rings online in medium graphics level setting with a mid range graphics card, 1 Gb ram and Xp whereas getting almost the same performance with people on vista and high end gear, you can say that the latter os fails in performance.

and dont feed me the 'but those are games' bullshit. for, games and entertainment comprise almost half of the activity on computers, and even for business, only idiots would want to put vista on a client/standalone computer in the office, having the need to pour a few hundred bucks just for being able to run vista so that the computer is going to conduct the same work it did with xp.

on gaming front microsoft tried to push vista with the 'high performance' bullcrap to gamers with dx10. correcting - they FORCED it, and almost noone took it. now they have to oblige with nvidia's needs for putting dx10 capability for xp, because people are just evading not only vista, but high end graphics cards too, because they need dx10 to deliver the latest, but noone wants to take the vista sh@t just because of it.

sorry people. you in microsoft have utterly failed with vista, and you need to go back to drawing board, even, put on your thinking caps and reevaluate your approach to customer and their needs.

we are not the witless herd of the 90s anymore.

My Vista came with a warning label (4, Funny)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591002)

In case of performance issues, look! Over there!
Isn't that Britney checking into rehab?

Microsoft's REAL error (5, Interesting)

d23tek (1208848) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591020)

Microsoft's REAL error was actually retaining these email messages instead of following their "do-not-save-e-mail directive" and "30-Day E-Mail Destruction Rule", like they did to thwart previous lawsuits [internetnews.com] .

Quite revealing... (5, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591044)

Has anyone else noticed that Steve Ballmer barely ever uses punctuation?

Punctuation is a sign of weakness and indecision. (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591230)

Hardly the stuff of a great leader like Ballmer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk [youtube.com]

Warned not to buy (3, Informative)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591062)

My company just bought a dozen new machines. Before buying I checked with our vendor that provides one of our business software products and was told that since we use Samba on our servers, Vista can not work with Samba. So we bought XP and have had not a single issue.

Hate to say We Told You So (1)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591072)

"We told Poole what would happen on this issue, and we did"

...and it happened. I feel sorry for the people that work for Microsoft that actually have a degree of sense about them. Unfortunately, as a company gets larger, the chance that someone in that company will make a fool decision (or is a fool) increases.

Other similar cases: Ford, Fender. Both used to make great products, but as they got larger, someone got into the mix and absolutely screwed everything up. Now both companies face competitors that make twice the product at the same cost- or half of it. The reason why? They are smaller. Smaller companies have more to prove, along with fewer cooks in the kitchen, so the product is usually better.

One big reason why few want Vista... (4, Interesting)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591172)

From the article--an e-mail from Steven Sinofsky to Ballmer...

People who rely on using all the features of their hardware (like Jon's Nikon scanner) will not see availability for some time, if ever, depending on the mfg. The built-in drivers never have all the features but do work. For example, I could print with [my] Brother printer and use it as a stand-alone fax. But network setup, scanning, print to fax must come from Brother.
There it is, in plain English. This is what's killing Vista, and Microsoft already saw it a year ago! Ignoring Vista's perceived issues with DRM (which can be circumvented), speed issues & app compatibility (which can be improved with a service pack), and UAC (which has been improved with SP1), many people don't want to throw out even one item of hardware so they could use Vista. And they're right not to do so...

Microsoft got cheap. Instead of paying reluctant vendors to write Vista drivers for older hardware (supposedly this happened for Win95), they ended up turning Vista into a bitter pill. Case in point, I have an HP Photosmart 7350 printer that I bought in 2002. This printer is great because it was one of the last printers to not have HP's customer-friendly "your printer cartridge is too old so I won't print" mechanism. For a few months after Vista's release, HP kept saying that the printer was incompatible with Vista. Suddenly, the printer is compatible with the "HP Deskjet 5550" driver included with Vista. Huh? Of course, HP says that some features are unavailable, but doesn't say which ones...

Even Vista fanbois have to agree that hardware incompatibility/driver issues are the biggest problem with Vista. Microsoft's Vista Upgrade adviser, while offering great disclosure, doesn't help promote Vista. So that leaves people like me stuck between having perfectly useful hardware with no fully-functioning Vista driver (or no driver at all), and moving to Vista... So I'm sticking with XP.

Dear Mr Ballmer, (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591176)

Please hire me to advise you on your products before releasing.
If you give me political amnesty from others within the company, I an give you an honest view of the quality of a product.

Based on these email, it seem that upper management is unaware that some of their employees have had their jobs threatened from people in middle management for getting to 'loud'. Nothing direct, but a lot of implied threats.

I need 120K a year, 100,000 shares, and to work remotely most of the time. I will need to be extracted from the daily 'in the office' routine in order to maintain objectivity.

I work in the strictest confidence, and I assure you know email will be leaked from my office.


ans here is an excelllent example of why proof (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591224)

reading is critical:
what I typed:
"and I assure you know email will be leaked from my office."

and what I meant to type:

"and I assure you, no email will be leaked from my office."

two good sentence, to different meanings, one typo*.

Wouldn't it make more sense to spell typo 'typi'?

Question: Has Windows Update ever had a driver? (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22591178)

I see Windows Update mentioned a lot in the PDF.

Has it ever had a third party driver on it? I've never seen one. I always assumed it was like Windows Media Player which always says "looking for a codec" then "codec not found" - even if it's the most common codec ever which is missing.

Microsoft could fix an awful lot of problems by making Windows Update actually do something useful. I don't know why they don't do it...

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