The information coming out of Microsoft and Intel camps regarding the “Vista Capable” class action law suit has certainly been interesting. At first glance some of the data might look damaging, such as documents alleging that Intel wanted the WDDM loosened a bit so that their integrated graphics chipsets such as those in the i915 family would be eligible for a sticker.
But all of this happened well after Best Buy apparently gave the thumbs up to a confusing, two-tier marketing plan that seems to have been cooked up by a small group of Microsoft executives -- Vista product manager Shanen Boettcher, marketing director Rajesh Srinivasan and quite possibly Will Poole.
In an e-mail dated Aug. 9, 2005, Srinivasan informs Boettcher that "Best Buy validates your two tier approach." Included in Srinivasan's two-tier plan is a chart listing hardware requirements for what he calls Vista "Capable" and "Ready" systems.
It's not a large surprise that a retailer would push for a plan that would sell PCs, but we're not entirely sure that is sufficient justification to blame them for the “Vista Capable” problems. One might as well blame unreasonable & uninformed consumers who wanted to spend as little as possible while being able to run a demanding OS that had yet to be released.