Yes, the Microsoft "Vista Capable" emails demonstrate a fair amount of bungling within Redmond of the Vista product launch, but they're far more interesting in what they reveal about Microsoft's involvement with reporters and analysts, as TechFlash's Todd Bishop reveals.
Microsoft worried about (and sought to immediately address) the media's fascination with Apple, tried to guide coverage of Vista, and pushed to ensure that analysts felt Microsoft's confidence in Vista.
For example, the summary of Microsoft's meeting with several Gartner analysts in October of 2006 is fascinating, and made more so by Jamin Spitzer, group manager of Worldwide Analyst Relations at Microsoft, who suggests that two objectives of the meeting with Gartner were to create "confidence in the Vista product, OEM/Retail channel, and device/app compatibility," as well as "provide Gartner 'wiggle room'."
Though Spitzer never indicates what he means by "wiggle room," presumably he was hoping to give Gartner room to write a positive review of Vista, despite its problems. In 2005, Gartner suggested that enterprises could take a pass on Vista until 2008. Apparently, the "wiggle room" didn't work, as Gartner continued to advocate holding onto XP rather than going with "Vista Capable," as Vista would not be "all that easy to roll out" and declaring that it simply wasn't ready for prime time.
Strike one for Microsoft.
Microsoft, however, fared much better with Rob Guth, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Sometimes accused of having a pro-Microsoft bias (but one that actually does his homework, regardless), Guth wanted to talk with Microsoft about Windows. The company agreed in order to provide "balance," as Tom Pilla, director of Public Relations, wrote to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in November 2006:… Read more