Microsoft fails in blocking Ballmer’s testimony in “Vista Capable” lawsuit

Back when Vista was announced, everyone was upset that they’d have to make significant hardware upgrades in order to accommodate the new operating system from Microsoft. Many faithful Windows users had to buy new computers because it was less expensive than making the upgrades necessary to their then-current notebooks and desktops. However, there was a slight problem involved. The original date for the “Vista Capable” campaign was slated for June 1, 2006. For one reason or another, Microsoft decided to launch it three months earlier on April 1. Some of the folks over at Intel were upset because the premature release would not give them enough time to make the chipsets necessary to run properly on Windows Vista. Now it looks as though the two company’s CEOs allegedly had a little agreement of their own – one that would misleadingly label machines with the inadequate Intel chips as “Vista Capable”. Though Microsoft and Intel employees were aware of the situation and were unhappy with it, the issue seemed to be controlled further up the corporate ladder.

Microsoft is now facing charges for misleading consumers and a class-action lawsuit trial is set to begin next April. Steve Ballmer has been assured by Microsoft that he wouldn’t have to be deposed but the judge handling the case thinks otherwise. Ballmer has 30 days to meet with plaintiffs’ lawyers for his deposition and will be forced to testify when the case goes to court. The plaintiffs insist that Ballmer is well aware of what happened with the Vista Capable campaign, even though the Microsoft CEO says, “I was not involved in establishing the requirements computers must satisfy to qualify for the Windows Vista Capable program. I was not involved in formulating any marketing strategy or any public messaging surrounding the Windows Vista Capable program.”

Apple has been gaining a lot of ground on Microsoft and the last thing the makers of Windows need is to further tarnish its reputation by showing how deceitful it had allegedly been to consumers. This possible misplaced effort by Microsoft has been viewed by many as a sign of fear of how Vista might stack up to the Mac OS.

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