Microsoft's 'Vista Capable' changes outraged HP

By on November 17, 2008, 2:45 PM
More emails have surfaced in an ongoing class action lawsuit against Microsoft, revealing how a Hewlett Packard executive was irate over Microsoft’s decision to loosen the minimum chipset specifications for a PC to carry the ‘Vista Capable’ label in order to help Intel. Microsoft’s Jim Allchin, in charge of Vista’s development and delivery was also left outraged.

As it turns out, up until the end of 2005, WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) was listed as a requirement of Vista, but a last stage decision mandated a downgrade of the program’s requirements to include Intel's outdated 910 and 915 graphics chipsets.

The decision of course pleased Intel as it saved them billions of dollars in potential lost revenue – the non compliant Intel i915 chipset was being deployed in a huge number of laptops back then – and a shift of business to AMD and Nvidia. On the other hand, HP was enraged given the significant investments it had made to upgrade to newer PC graphics technology based upon Microsoft's initially more demanding specs.

Ars Technica has summed up the contents of the emails in a recent article – quite an interesting read. The lawsuit, which began nearly a year and a half ago, was granted class-action status last February and is currently set to go to trial in April.

User Comments: 1

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DarkCobra said:
I think this HP executive needs to lighten up, grow up and understand that even in the corporate electronics world there is "politics". So Microsoft adjusted their specs a little to help Intel out. Get over it HP. In fact, specifications for electronics have ALWAYS been a fluid and dynamic realm. They are rarely static. The specs for HDMI have been a work in progress ever since they were established and we're now seeing the "supposed" finalization of USB 3.0 stats. However, don't be surprised if they tweak those stats again before we see them in mid-2009. So to the HP exec . . . swallow your outrage, make the adjustments that you need to make and get back in the game.
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