You know this stuff goes on. But you're still gobsmacked when the proof turns up. According to an email sent last February by Microsoft general manager John Kalkman, the software giant lowered Windows Vista's minimum hardware requirements to ridiculous levels only because Intel needed to sell more graphics chipsets. The email …
Don't Care Corporations
Suddenly the pieces of the conspiracy fit together, because that's what I'm now convinced it is.
I've got a newish (June 07) Toshiba Equium laptop. It's got an "Intel Pentium dual core inside" and "Windows Vista" sticker on it, staring at me from the keyboard. I'm miles from any assistance with a slow 3G internet connection so downloads take forever unless I borrow a broadband line. so I feel treble-whammied by the industrial power of the Corporations and intimidated by the technical problems which face me daily from the blue screen.
"Windows can search for a solution next time you go online" has never come back with a response of any sort. And that sums it up: the silence of couldn't-care-less, turn-our-backs-on-their-problems, we've-got-Corporations-to-run management.
The problem here isn't REALLY that Microsoft claimed that the 915's gfx hardware (and similar) was enough to run Vista... The problem is that Microsoft bulled ahead and released a piece of shit OS that ran like crap on chipsets with "broad availability in the market." You know - the majority of PCs in the market (both business and home) can't run Vista NEARLY as well as they run XP or 2k (or any flavor of *nix you happen to love, like Ubuntu as an example).
...When there was absolutely no need to do it. Now we have businesses with new Vista machines and employees thereof that can't even do simple things like print to a network printer. People with "Vista capable" machines that act like XP installed on a 64mb p2 machine. Let's not even get into the clusterfuck that is Vista's DRM. Good going Microsoft, way to meet your market.
But doesn't it actually show MS wasn't responsible?
Well, atleast for the 915 anyhow. As they said in the quote that the graphics chipset was compatible in beta. How was MS to know that Intel wouldn't release any drivers upon release. It's all cloak and daggers though, but think Intel has as much if not more to answer for in this.
Go AMD Go!
and take out another lawsuit; add to the growing list.
Anybody want to guess...
...how long it will take some sanctimonious twit to make a specious link between Microsoft's unsavory business practices and the viability of linux on the desktop?
Extra points for predicting an instance of "Micro$haft". Double-extra points for owning their linux box, turning on their web cam, and finding out if Dad has a dusty bag of golf clubs in the basement.
...All right, I'll cop to an ad-hominem there, but it was worth it.
The unfortunate bit is that I'm not pro-microsoft here - although I'd like to find out exactly how this is anticompetetive, if it is (artificially propping up Intel's chipsets would seem to be bad for DAAMIT) but the vanguard of linux faithful have forced the debate on all levels to a religious flamewar, rather than allowing a real discussion about the limits of business practices.
In It For The Money
MS have been doing this sort of things for years. Give unsuitable hardware specs so manufactures can sell chronically slow PCs. Who cares about the quality of the user experience, think about the MONEY!
I thought the idea of a new Windows release was to force people to upgrade their hardware and keep the hardware vendors happy?
Lowering the standards won't help that, it will just mean more people are able to stay on their current machine.
Yes it does, they controlled the spec. Intel didn't write it for them. If MS re-wrote it for a third party, they still re-wrote the spec.
Well I think this just goes to show how unsavoury Micro$haft's business practices are and makes linux that bit more viable on the desktop!
Mine's the fishy smelling dinner jacket
For what it's worth
I've put Ubuntu on a few of these 915-chipset machines and compiz-fusion runs like dogcrap on them as well. They're just not a very good chip. I agree with Giles, the whole thing doesn't make a lot of sense.
Oh yeah, great stuff
If you want to run this sucker then spring for the hardware, regardless of what the "minimum requirements" are. Everyone has known for years this spec is fiction for every o/s MS has ever released, just so they can flog it to some unsuspecting customer and drive up their bottom line. You wanted Vista again why? Oh yeah, sorry, for the extra stuff it can do for you.
Not an anti-competitive move in the slightest
if anything, quite the opposite: the more people decry Vista's performance on bottom-end kit that will struggle to run it while being proudly stickered "Vista capable", the more are driven into the arms of alternate vendors.
The cynic in me is tempted to ladle an extra layer of conspiracy theory onto this particular trifle, and eagerly awaits the day that Microsoft stands up in court and admits to releasing crappy underperforming software as a defence in any of its numerous ongoing legal battles, claiming "We're releasing crudware and still people buy it, we can't possibly be anti-competitive!".
This situation isn't over claims of anti-competitive practices, it's over claims of deceptive and misleading advertising practices.
I'm going to open a gas station, fill the pumps with 70 octane "gas" and label them "90 octane compatible."
Your car will still MOVE, you just won't like the experience. The flip side is opening up a car dealership and selling cars that require aviation gasoline and telling people they can use 87 octane.
I don't care if Microsoft did this "to help Intel out." That's beside the point - THEY would clearly benefit with a likely sale of the Vista OS at some point as well, all based on a faulty premise of "it will work well!"
When you see a "Vista capable" badge or sticker on a machine you're considering purchasing, the natural assumption is that it will run the OS with no hiccups or problems, not be sluggish or require you to turn off large feature sets of the operating system.
You can waggle the fist over here to David, Linux rules ;)
Think I'm way off the mark with this one but when linux device drivers 'write themselves' (BTW, many thanks to the dev's involved) while windows drivers require constant maintenance then why the hell should intel want to get huggy-feely with MS?
Add to that the ridiculously slow pace that MS has moved with new tech like 64bit and multithread apps then, at this stage, they are as much of a hindrance to development as they are a major market force.
Could intel be of the opinion 'If your going to call that thing an OS then you can write the bits of the system that operate the hardware' ?.
Won't anyone think of the carbon?
For the full Vista experience you need video hardware that really burns the watts. Watts that are 50% or more made with fossil fuels.
Your kilowatt Vista gaming rig burns more carbon than a Hummer. Knock it off fragboy.
@Stan - driver support
"[W]hen linux device drivers 'write themselves' [...] while windows drivers require constant maintenance then why the hell should intel want to get huggy-feely with MS?"
Unfortunately the situation with drivers is almost the reverse of what you describe. Most of Intel's Linux drivers are maintained by ... Intel. I think the core chipset stuff does get a lot of external contribution, but things like their graphics drivers are almost all their own ongoing work. As Linux has no API or ABI stability (let's not get into that discussion, OK?) they must fairly regularly do extra work to fix their drivers up for the latest X.org release / kernel release/ MESA / GLX / etc. That's on top of the usual work for new chip revisions, broken hardware workarounds, etc.
By contrast, Windows releases are infrequent and both the ABI and API for drivers remains almost totally unchanged for the life of the product. Sometimes it's so stable that a single driver can work on versions separated by as much as 10 years (one driver on NT4, 2k, and XP, like with NDIS drivers). Once drivers are finished, most of the work is fixing occasional bugs, tweaking the drivers for new revisions of the hardware, and implementing workarounds for the latest bunch of motherboard manufacturer and BIOS vendor screwups.
So... unfortunately I'd say it's probably much easier for Intel to maintain Windows drivers. As a Linux user this frustrates me, but at least I understand why.
Yes but no but
Everyone knows that "minimum hardware requirements" for anything is a load of dog poo-poo. It's like budget airline adverts "fly to xxx from only $xxx". Who has EVER got that price. No one man, no one. I also wonder how "capable" "capable" has to be. Ah dang I don't really care.
Bring back DOS 3.3
Like it sez
How does this new way of validating drivers in vista affect intel (with the i915) though? I was under the impression that hardware manufacturers where kicking up stink because they had to write a new driver for every configuration, for instance that ATI could no longer send out a 'one size fits all' driver but had to have one for each model of card.
If intel are expected to made individually validated drivers for every model of motherboard the 915 is used on then its a crazy situation, I'm guessing each variation of the chip needs a separately validated driver though.
As for linux drivers, firstly thanks very much to intel for making the effort to support linux, using the intel xorg driver in place of the i810 driver has solved a lot of issues for me (and caused a few, but they are only little ones :) ).
Secondly, yes I would agree with you that constantly changing kernels and API's must be a pain in the arse for manufacturers, but they aren't really expected to jump on the latest versions and start coding. If there are enough users and the existing drivers are open source (that's a finger pointing at you ATI and nvidia), then the existing drivers will get worked on to adapt them to the new API's, these modified drivers will get some testing and the manufacturer will have a lot of the legwork done for them. Plus if new chip features are documented then open source dev's will try and include them, something that motherboard manufacturers can be slow to try in case of bugs and instability.
Anyway, I have gone way off the point of the article. MS claiming 'they made us do it' when the finger is pointed at the bloat is way out of line.
Lipstick and dogs...
Hmmm Vista... funny that no matter how much lipstick you put on it... Vista is still a dog with lipstick on it...
penguin, cos I dumped windows years ago and find the current Vista woes so hilarious...
I'm with Craig on this.
I'm with Craig on this, could Xorg and the Kernel devs please stop changing the ABI's/API's every bloody point release. And is it just me is XOrg 7.1 up and down more often then an Essex Girl's panties?
I can answer the board member's question in three letters
Starts with D ends with M
@ everybody knows
Everybody as in "only hard core techies" know that minimum specs are crap!
Most of you know that in general people are just umm STUPID. They intrinsicly believe whatever BS is told them by someone they think knows more than they do. For example Micro $haft.
When you buy a car the label on the window says $$List price and EPA milage which are relative comparisons. The VISTA capable label is another MIS LEADING way to sell computers. There is no other relative comparison for Windows to the masses because that is their only option at Last Buy, Circuit Pity and other retail outlets.
If you don't think M$ is in bed with the hardware manufacturers, then I bless you my son. I was ordained in the "this is a bunch of crap" Church.
We know that no business is innocent from these "deceptive and misleading" practices. How many of you got "free software" from western digital over their labeling of hard drive capacity?
The whole issue is, for the massess, did they misrepresent or decieve the public into buying computers that do not comply with the VISTA requirement?
The answer is, unequivocally, YES!
Microsoft does it again...
...by giving us two fresh oxymorons, as it seems that Vista is neither Ready or Capable!
I'm sure that's an old joke already, so in the spirit of teachers trying to be cool by telling crap old jokes, mine's the tweed jacket with leather patches on the elbows.
915 and ubuntu
I have a 915 based Dell laptop running ubuntu just fine. There is a specific 915 driver package that sorts a lot of issues out, search for Intel 915 on package manager. (assuming you haven't already of course...)
It's all about overhang
Overhang is the horrible market effect that causes people to stop buying stuff because the next generation is on the horizon and they wait for the new stuff.
Overhang sucks for sellers because they lose revenue. It's worse for hardware sellers because they get stuck with dead stock.
The whole Vista Capable stickering is all about combatting overhang. Getting people to keep buying stuff by telling them it will be OK for Vista.
Being cleam and honest would not have served this purpose. To Joe & Jane Sixpack, Vista == the new shiny pixels. "Vista capable" means capable of showing the shiny pixels and J&J would feel tricked if their spanking new machine could not do this.
MS has been deliberately muddying the water to counteract overhang.n I doubt they'll get away with this.
MS has done nothing illegal here (first time for everything I suppose!!)
The machines that were labled as "Vista Capable" were indeed "Vista Capable", however, that is like Ferrari selling a brand new car which only has a 2 stroke engine in it. It's advertising and advertising is all about the wording.
The minimun spec for Windows XP is a 233 MHz processor with 64MB Ram. Would ANYONE even think of installing XP on something like that? (Note to self: find 233 processor and 64 MB RAM)
I wouldn't be surprised if in fact XP will run on a lower spec machine but MS decided the minimum limit. With Vista, they have set it too low. If it was to help out Intel then they have had their fingers burnt but it's a bad business decision, not an illegal one.
Of course, after saying all that, any machine with a Vista capable sticker on should be able to run all versions of Vista 32 (maybe not brilliantly but still run). If they don't, then there is a case for false advertising, but even then the defence would be:
"It runs Vista Home Basic, therefore it's Vista Capable"
I have spotted these advertising tricks before, I complained about DELL having a voice over saying "Dell PC's contain Intel Pentium 4 processors" despite the fact they had advertised in the same advert a PC with a celeron processor. Their defence (and i have the letter from the ASA to prove it) was that they didn't say "ALL Dell PC's contain Intel Pentium 4 processors". Very subtle.
"The minimun spec for Windows XP is a 233 MHz processor with 64MB Ram. Would ANYONE even think of installing XP on something like that? (Note to self: find 233 processor and 64 MB RAM)"
Believe it or not, where I work there WERE a few machines almost that slow that had XP put on them when the migration was first done. I think in fact the slowest was a Celeron 400Mhz. None of them were using 64MB of RAM though........
I don't get what MS are up to (aside from TRYING to pimp Vista to more people). Telling everyone the minimum spec is lower won't actually make it run any less like crap. Vista IS basically the most effective way of slowing down even a good PC, and I still see it being a long time before many companies adopt it, which is the only way MS will make the big money from it.
Sure, XP WAS slower than its predecessors and designed for faster processors, but you could still run it quite happily on a medium spec PC out at the time it was released (without having to turn off all of the effects).
Windows can search for a solution next time you go online"
Always returns with a soultion for me
its "will be available in a future upgrade of Vista" (words to that effect)
turn on automatic updates
nothing at all about what caused the blue screen of death.
Scandal summary in a limerick
There was a newbie called Nash,
Bought a 'capable' laptop with cash.
With INTEL inside,
VISTA BUSINESS replied:
"I'm sorry, I'll just have to crash."
Quote: "One word - Linux"
Having spent (wasted) a weekend trying to get Ubuntu to see my network, I have two words for you... (yes, the second word is "OFF").
I like this report
Not the one about Intel profits, the one about a board member telling ballmer he won't upgrade.
That is genius...
I have filled too many forums with how pants Vista is, but I wanted to say thankyou to whoever released that information about the email... I am happy someone in redmond towers actually realises what a piece of junk their own product is and why.
I salute you that board member. (assuming it's true)
How does this help anyone
Don't these companies realize that customers who have bad experiences with products are put off buying from the companies again?
If I buy a graphics card or motherboard with integrated graphics card and for some reason put vista on it, and then found it ran like a pet rock id be put of buying both that manufacturers cards/boards and the OS.
In fact this is why I don't by Intel graphics because they suck badly, I don't use vista because its sucks even harder. Intel shouldn't get a helping hand with sales because its hardwares rubbish, it dupes stupid users into thinking it will work as expected. What ever happened to the crazy idea of making hardware thats good to get sales?
"Your kilowatt gaming rig burns more carbon than a Hummer"
That's true, but my kilowatt gaming rig doesn't have a 42" plasma screen in the living room with accompanying surround sound and Blu-Ray player, a hi-fi stereo and maybe second TV in the kitchen, no xbox 360, Wii, PS3 or whatever in the bedroom hooked up to ANOTHER TV.
One device fulfils all needs.
Old Skool planning for the life-cycle of software used to be that:
1. On release it runs on high-spec hardware
2. Within less than a year most mid-range hardware will run it.
3. By end of life-cycle it will run on virtually everything out there.
If they designed for the machines that were around at the time then they might have to leave out some of the gee-whiz stuff that everyone loves so much ;)
The hardware people are happy because it drives sales, the software people are happy because they don't have to bother too much about efficiency.
This is all very well as long as the hardware is rapidly getting better but this is no longer really the case. The lastest machines are not light years ahead of kit which is a couple of years old.
The jump from desktops to laptops has probably lead to a decrease in average graphics capabilities.
Also for the first time there are low spec machines which are starting to give a half-decent user experience and the latest version of Windows won't run on them.
It takes a while for a lumbering giant to change direction. I'm guessing that they're working on something, perhaps even a cut-down version for the next release. When that arrives I might even prefer to run on it on my more powerful hardware.
Apologies for the slight tangent.
Here is the question that springs to my mind. Vista runs like a dead dog on a 915 chipset, fine. But considering the huge, bloated, development cycle and the next version of Windows appearing 2009... does Microsoft actually care about Vista?
Lack of drivers with new hardware
The thing what gets to me is the lack of any drivers other than Vista for new hardware.
I've now had my fingers burnt twice - once with Acer and once with HP, with desktop computers that don't have any XP drivers.
In the past, whenever you bought a machine, you could pretty much guarantee to find drivers for the current OS and at least two or three prior to that. So if XP was the latest, you'd see 98, ME and 2000 drivers. Now there are none at all - just Vista. Is this more Microsoft bullying to force people to use Vista, or poor support from the manufacturers?
If Microsoft get us to buy computers with a Vista sticker on the computer having told Intel that certain specs were needed when they needed more in fact - then is Microsoft then to be accused of fraudulent misrepresentation to get us to buy computers with Vista?
@David Wiernicki & Linux & Claus & Re: claus
No-one mentioned Linux was better until we were prompted. Linux is better and this story is just another reminder of how important you are to MS (i.e. not very).
Please slate linux all you like, it doesn't bother us linux users, because 1) we didn't get ripped off by MS on Vista (and really after all this time anyone who expected to get something worth having was a fool) and 2) we don't have to live with ongoing lies and issues with Vista day in and day out.
The vitrolic anti-linux-users are fine since we (linux folk) can be an arrogant bunch, but we're only trying to show you how much easier your life could be. Don't blame us for being more enlightened than you!
I don't have a problem with the minimum requirements for Vista, just benchmark it. You wouldn't expect a Yukon S.U.V. to run effectively with a small 4 cylinder that came from my old '89 Sunbird (a hamster would have had more power). Maybe M.S. should give the startup time on their minimum system (in seconds) from boot until the login screen appears and the time it takes to go from login until the o.s. has completely loaded itself. It would also need to be independently verified and they could remove the time caused by the hardware boot (to be fair).
There is a simple reason that Intel decides to maintain the Linux drivers: they run their official benchmarks on Linux, so they want the drivers to get the most out of their chipsets. Writing their own drivers ensures they can use all the features of the chipset. So it's not really that they have to; they just choose to. And AFAIK many of the drivers don't change between releases of X.org; most are constantly being tweaked by the community though. Compare to ATi/AMD's Catalyst; they're almost as "bad" with up to 12 new versions per year.
you scratch my back....
This is the way its always been between Intel and MS, why do you think they call it the Wintel alliance?
Intel tells MS what it needs to sell more of and Microsoft ups the bloat to drive the customer to upgrade that component or replace their motherboard in the case of a chipset.
In return Intel does a load of marketing to trumpet how much better your better your system will run if you buy its new Hyper CPU running at 20 Ghz complete with its own HVAC which of course needs a new motherboard with chipset to handle the 200,000 data lines coming out of it along with a new connector for the CPU.
If people resist the urge to upgrade and stick with what they have (which is as capable now as the day you bought it) MS and intel will come unstuck and MS might have to think more carefully about the quality of its software.
Just like the Good Old Days
Reminds me of the early '90s, and the advent of the Multi Media PC. At first, not many were pumping for this, aside from Intel and Microsoft. Intel even released one of the first video codecs with Indeo. Turns out one of the big "why-fors" was to popularize more processor intensive tasks, such as audio and video reproduction, as a method to drive sells of the '486.
The more things change...
full of crap
OK, so I went to the server 2k8 release here in LA and found the Vista Ultimate surprise at the bottom of my bag.
installed it on a spare HD to look at it, I got a Vista score of 5.9, got it for free, will hoc it on ebay
Installed server 2k8 to do the same as above: hoc it on ebay
went back to my server 2k3 install: much smaller and faster blah blah blah
and of course there is a penguin riding on the laptop
Whizzy features are neat to look at but give me my CLI and basic interface that recognizes my 16 GB of RAM.
and finally if it takes a Hummer of a computer to run Vista then I guess mine is a cruise ship.
...and I am happily paying the bill
I've just put Fista onto a P4 with the 915 chipset for experimental purposes. Had to double the amount of ram to 2 gig to get Vista useable. even so, the hard disk just goes on. and on. and on. I'd be worried about hard disk/bearing with this heap of shite.
OO and operating systems.
In my world the operating system is just a slim system, that facilitates the running of he programs I choose to use, the Operating system it self should have near zero resource usage (relative), which means all the resources are directed to running my applications. However as when NT arrived a decade or so ago, people noted that just moving their mouse would result in the operating system swapping to disk, to now where by 1990 standards we are using supercomputers, and still we are throwing a lot of resources away the operating systems are using 2GB, and still swapping to disk, and systems run slow (exaggeration). Of course we can argue that we have forgotten how slow computers were then, well I do have a computer from around that time, and no it's not that much slower to use, though you can't have all that eye-candy which is chewing the majority of the systems power for the majority of people.
Even Linux is moving towards running lots of programs in background - something I'm very opposed to. Fortunately you can choose to strip that system down, and remove those parts.
However why would someone launch an operating system which in it self has crazy hardware requirements, the operating system should not have a significant impact on system performance.
Of course I understand that API's developed for the operating system, requires certain libraries to be loaded, when they are needed, and therefore the memory usage would increase dramatically. However bundling lots of functions down deep in the system, makes it easy for the programmer, but also blows a lot of resources.
I am afraid that this is the culmination of the Object Orientation movement that started around 1990's, where reusable code is more important than the effectiveness and efficiency of the code, thus code bloat is designed into the systems, and lead to what we are seeing today - Operating systems that consume insane amounts of hardware resources, that really should available to programs, and not the operating system..
I myself am a software developer, and I know most hardcore OO developers will claim that I'm on a wrong track, however look at the size of a small text editor, and compare it to what was available back in the late 80's, it doesn't have significantly more feature (if any), however a standalone text editor in the lat 80's was about 26kB in size, now-a-days they consume megabytes, and rely heavily on system libraries, which them selves consume lots of memory.
Perhaps it's time we focused more on code efficiency, than just re-usuability, and reconsider the OO design philosophy.
I know that OO, and high level programming languages have reduced the time-to-markedet, and has reduced the development time - I work with it myself all the time, however at the cost of much higher resource use, so we use more memory and more CPU which converts almost directly to more electrical power, and in a time where the majority of people are claiming that Androgentic climate change is such a huge problem.
Perhaps a back to the drawing board is in order for the industry as a whole.
"Dell PC's contain Intel Pentium 4 processors" despite the fact they had advertised in the same advert a PC with a celeron processor. Their defence (and i have the letter from the ASA to prove it) was that they didn't say "ALL Dell PC's contain Intel Pentium 4 processors"
Whatever happened to the rule that the phrase would be interpreted as the common man would read and understand it?
Perhaps ElReg could organise a poll along the lines of:
What do you understand by the following advertising slogan? "Dell PC's contain Intel Pentium 4 processors"
[ ] All Dell PCs contain Intel Pentium 4 processors
[ ] Most Dell PCs contain Intel Pentium 4 processors
[ ] Some Dell PCs contain Intel Pentium 4 processors
[ ] Dell PCs might contain Intel Pentium 4 processors
[ ] Who the f*** are Dell?
[ ] Who the f*** are Intel?
[ ] Why would I bother anyway?
Interestingly so !
Now Vista once acclaimed to be one of the best when realease has dropped from the roof.
I am one of the least puzzled if this has turn out to be so.
If Microsoft release Vista the way it was, then, MS had a reason.
For now we are looking forward to SINGULARITY....
As acclaimed, this new OS would have more software power under its hood.
Don't forget MS has been working ever since 2003--
Codes are written with Dependability in Mind' throwing aways the consistent trend of Backward compatibility and ease of use.
Virus and Worms prevention using C#. SIPs.
So We buy to buy again, and now SINGULARITY is on its way and as its been said it would not look like Windows. Interesting !!
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