Unsealed court filing: HP's Hurd had Vista concerns

Unsealed court filing: HP's Hurd had Vista concerns

Summary: HP CEO Mark Hurd told Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in an e-mail last year that HP's call centers were "being overrun" by customers who were having difficulties upgrading to Windows Vista, a detail that was revealed in the unsealing of a court filing in the Windows Vista Capable lawsuit.Aside from a single quote - "I'm sure you're aware of this," Hurd reportedly wrote to Ballmer - the text of the e-mail was not made public and so the context of Hurd's comment is unclear.

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HP CEO Mark Hurd told Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in an e-mail last year that HP's call centers were "being overrun" by customers who were having difficulties upgrading to Windows Vista, a detail that was revealed in the unsealing of a court filing in the Windows Vista Capable lawsuit.

Aside from a single quote - "I'm sure you're aware of this," Hurd reportedly wrote to Ballmer - the text of the e-mail was not made public and so the context of Hurd's comment is unclear. It's believed that Ballmer replied to Hurd in an e-mail and that the two CEOs also had a phone conversation, according to the court filing (PDF). The exchange was noted in the filing as plaintiffs in the lawsuit argued to the court that Ballmer be questioned as part of the suit.

Details of the filing were first reported on the Microsoft blog written by Todd Bishop, co-founder and managing editor of TechFlash.  In his entry, Bishop wrote that the filing provides deeper insight into the turmoil created in the computer industry leading up to and following the retail release of the retail release of the operating system in January 2007.

Windows Vista has since been beaten up by bloggers and, of course, Apple in many of its "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercials because of the operating system's poor performance and Microsoft's slow reaction to fix the problems. Shortly after the launch of XP, Dell responded to customer demands and brought back the older Windows XP operating system on its line of computers.

Microsoft is moving forward on a Vista succesor called Windows 7, which is expected to be out in about a year.

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Topics: Software, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

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6 comments
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  • Yes, Hurd and about everybody else had (and still have) concerns about

    Vista. Ok, Balmer does not have any concerns.
    DonnieBoy
    • And why should he?

      Microsoft gave out the specs. It is amazing to see that many companies had video cards and such that worked perfectly fine, yet one of the worlds largest PC manufactures could not get their act in gear and build a PC that would accomondate the new OS?

      Yet I read so many reports that Vista ran just fine on Apple's hardware.

      I would guess the fault lies with Vendors trying to build out machines, not to give the consumers a good system, but instead to clear their shelves of old, excess inventory.
      GuidingLight
      • Clearing their shelves of old, excess inventory.

        Why should hardware vendors take a loss because MS produced a bloated, slow, OS that seems to put more effort into flash and flicker than into substance?
        Henrik Moller
  • RE: Unsealed court filing: HP's Hurd had Vista concerns

    Microsoft plays a different game then Apple. It has a huge group of third party hardware manufactures and several computer makers to work with. I am not making excuses for Microsoft. It was obvious that last minute changes to Vista were made and Microsoft gave little time for the rest to catch up. Microsoft needed to get Vista out! But it bit them when they had to fix things on the run. Maybe it would have been better in hindsight to refresh XP and give it better security and improved UI. Then spend another year or so getting Vista right. Even a gradual intro on machines that were designed for Vista would have been a better solution.
    Their is no doubt Apple has the advantage with its ability to control hardware specs. As we have learned with Mac knockoffs. Even OS X runs bad on crappy hardware.
    Its really a shame that companies like Dell and HP try and sell Vista on mediocre hardware. Even now I see single core CPU's on those machines! Its no wonder users are saving their dollars and going to Apple. Its not all Microsoft its what their OS runs on too that gives Vista a bad name.
    jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
    • The monopoly power of Microsoft

      "Its really a shame that companies like Dell and HP try and sell Vista on mediocre hardware. "

      They didn't really have a choice; to meet Microsoft's demands on licensing, they had to sell Vista. They were put in the position not by market demand, but by fiat dictate of the monopoly software provider. The fact that many different system vendors were trapped in the same situation clearly shows that it was Microsoft that caused the problem, not any one system vendor. NONE of them have a monopoly hold on the market.
      terry flores
  • Not surprised

    Purchase an HP laptop as soon as Windows Vista came out; I
    had an HP laptop with Windows Vista Business - the
    specifications screamed the fact that they were getting rid of
    last generations technology. Then again, I'm not surprised,
    HP has hardly ever been an innovative company - more like a
    'bend over and be a good bitch for Microsoft' is more
    accurate description of the relationship.
    Kaiwai