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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