Vista Development Chief Wanted a Mac

Dennis Faas's picture

That's gotta hurt!

As if being portrayed as a rigid dork in Mac commercials isn't enough, Microsoft took another blow when an email sent in January 2004 was made public at an antitrust trial. The email, which was sent from Windows Development Chief James Allchin to CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates, said "I would buy a Mac if I didn't work for Microsoft." Ouch! (Source:

Allchin published an entry on a Microsoft blog on Monday which stated that he only said he wanted a Mac "for effect." His intention was to convey the severity of Microsoft's problems and push for change. He also pointed out that the email was nearly three years old. (Sources: and

In the email, Allchin stated the following: "I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products." (Source:

Allchin, who is now co-president of Microsoft, has been with Windows Development since the mid-1990s. He has overseen the Vista development, and plans to retire after its launch in January. (Source:

Allchin has previously commented that Vista's delays were due to extensive rewriting of code that the company decided was necessary in order to make Vista more secure and bug-free. (I guess Ballmer and Gates read the email.) (Source:

Allchin took the opportunity to plug Vista on the blog, claiming that it triumphs over previous Microsoft operating systems and is superior to any piece of software available today. (Source:

This email debacle seems to further the thought that Microsoft is in need of an image makeover. It also goes to show that you better be careful what you say ( or write) -- especially if your comment flatters your biggest rival.

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