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back to article Microsoft nobbled ‘Vista-Capable’ for Intel

High-ranking Microsoft and Intel executives were involved in a plan to re-write the Windows Vista Capable program to save both companies - and OEMs - millions of dollars, according to unsealed court documents. Microsoft removed a key requirement from the Vista Capable program so PCs running old Intel chips suited to Windows XP …

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Moore's law

Even years behind schedule, Windows outruns Moore's law.

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Linux

Can't see a problem

Whats wrong with the Intel 915 chipset?

Compiz runs fine with it.

Tux, Because people are wakening up to the fact that there really is an alternative

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Paris Hilton

The global economic crisis writ small.

Someone tell me that a computer that was worth hundreds of pounds a few years ago is reduced to junk by the addition of a programme that is contained on a CD.

As far as I am aware a number of recently released operating systems will run on Pentium threes and offer as much as Vista aught to be capable of. And the CD has room for a bunch of other software choices of software.

Is it really so? What is this aero of which you write? What is so special about it that the code can not be written to allow it to run properly on fairly high powered machines?

Does anyone have a link to a list of alternatives? Something which isn't so interested in cutting edge tech so much as a database of what will work with what.

All this is like the bank of Iceland going into recession. The Iceland government has a duty to protect its population from the maladministration of the company. It has no remit to levy taxes on its citizens to pay out the British customers whose tails got caught in the cracks.

But a few phone calls later and a miracle of economic process sorts all that out.

And if the papers are shuffled fast enough nobody stops to think it's a shell game.

It is "The Government" so what is the alternative?

It must be Microsoft so what is the alternative?

Another Paris Hilton moment. I have a penchant for these items. She is young rich and blonde so she must be pretty right?

Just don't look too closely.

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Linux

Wot?

I'm with Tony here, the 915 chipset runs Compiz-Fusion fine, too.

And the whole experience is a lot more snappy than Vista Basic.

Perhaps Windows 7 will be climbing the curve, rather than walking behind it as is usual with Windows nowadays.

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Linux

Yes

@Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects: Linux, BSD, and others. You can run whatever GUI you want, and like stated above, Compiz does far more than Aero ever could but can still run fairly smoothly on an ancient machine with an ancient gfx card.

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Boffin

What?

I don't know why they say Aero doesn't run properly on a 915 chipset. It runs fine on my backup system's Gigabyte GPNXP Duo which has the 915 chipset.

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Coat

Riiiiiiggghhhhttt...

"We need to separate what the "Vista Capable" logo requirements are from the concept of being able to run Vista..."

Now THAT is a quote so totally worthy of Microsoft... why don't they go a step further and separate the "Microsoft" logo from the capability of any CPU to run the software... oops, they already did...

Mine's the tux...

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Vista capable and aero

I don't even know what "Compiz" is. Does it have Aero?

VIsta runs just fine without Aero activated. Mentioning other OS alternatives that do not come with Aero seem misplaced to me. Why don't you guys join a motorcycle newsgroup and start discussing cars or wheel barrows?

This case is not about other operating systems or their capabilities. It is about helping people make sure they have the necessary hardware to get to the features they think they want. In this case people hope to have the _choice_ of running Aero, and if they were stuck with the 915 chipset, this choice would disappear. Hence the outcry when it turns out the 915 was wrongly labelled.

IMO, Intel was the active part here. They were the one nagging to get their product labelled as 'Vista Capable'. MS turned them down at first, but eventually let them dig their own grave. Maybe they should both burn for this, but... Intel pushed for this and cried their little hearts out. Let them take the heat.

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jai
Silver badge

warning: pdf??

why the warning? pdf's display just fine inside Safari without the need to launch a seperate applicaiton

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Unhappy

To the average Joe what did capable mean?

Its easy for people who read the register and other tech info to say they knew what vista capable meant. The fact is, it was not clear to the average joe who walked into a bestbuy and browsed at new laptops back in 06 seeing that sticker. I knew people that bought machines with the 915 chip and none of them understood what that really meant. And you can believe the kids that worked at bestbuy misled customers to believing those systems were totally ready for Vista.. just to sell a system. The bottom line is the big selling point for vista was its graphical interface. To add insult allot of those machines that initially shipped with XP only had 512 or a gig of ram and they ran like absolute crap when they received their vista basic upgrade disc. And MS knew these systems would not work well with vista and they basically put customer satisfaction in the backseat and thought only about short term sales of their new OS and satisfying their OEM partners. MS should and deserves to burn on this one. Sure, MS did disclose what capable meant. But they keep it low key intentionally since they knew if they advertised more agressively about the cons of vista capable.. then people would have waited for real vista systems.. And Intel and MS wanted to sell systems in O6. They intentionally disclosed in a low key the cons of capable but not enough to deter sales. And this was a 11th hour change in requirements after boasting for over a year the wonders of the new GUI. MS will loose on this one. The only way I see that they could have avoided this is if they had put a sticker on those systems explaining that they would never be able to run aero. By simply stating a system is capable is not clear that it is missing the biggest component that Vista offers.

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Linux

Glad I opted for AMD...

...for my Linux machine.

Mind you, I dislike those awful Intel "graphics chipsets" as they don't seem capable of displaying anything but 2D applications.

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Paris Hilton

Re: The global economic crisis writ small.

A computer bought for hundreds of pounds a few years ago will depreciate over time. That much is true even without the onset of new code, whatever the source. I do, however, agree with some of the thinking behind this.

Yes, there are other operating systems out there which run on lower spec machines. Let's face it, it is a running gag given that Microsoft cannot make its current desktop flagship OS run on the systems that are catching on the most right now. The bloated, cripplingly expensive laptop has finally been shown up for what it is by the low-cost netbook type computer, yet Microsoft can only continue to wheel out its ageing XP to challenge the mighty penguin.

As for aero, well, I don't know how to tell you this. It's all hype, bloat and candyfloss. As somebody else already said, alternatives are available that run on much lower spec machines than those required for Vista. I run a few of them myself. One of them is a 450MHz PIII, which happily states its Vista credentials even though it is actually running XP.

As far as the alternatives go, they are out there. I've tried a lot of them, with varying results and, in the main, the answer is that Microsoft Vista is a poorly thought out marketing ploy. It could have been better.

XP isn't dead yet. It's just pining.

And as for Paris Hilton, um... right!

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re: best buy...

We salesmen were lied about it just as much as you were - we were told that it WAS perfectly capable of running Vista, that the system requirements for Vista were roughly equivalent to a decent (not top-end) PC of the time but no actual hard numbers regarding the system requirements were given to us, and if I recollect correctly the information came directly from Microsoft, NOT the computer manufacturers and not Best Buy itself.

Though had I known then what I know now, I would've advised 'em to keep with XP instead of Fista.

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Anonymous Coward

Intel crap

Looks like Intel, having used their marketing scale to flog crappy integrated graphics chipsets, should've been caught out and burnt here by not being capable of running "the next big thing". But MS rolled over and shafted their customers for instead. Now they're both getting nailed for it.

As for the carbon copy Linux smugtards, well I've installed a dual-boot of Ubuntu onto my PC so I can learn to love the Penguin just like you boys, but it won't work with the integrated Radeon 9100 GPU...

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MS doing well litigating this case

MS's lawyers are doing a good job in litigating this case. But it sounds like there will indeed be a trial.. no matter how many or how good their lawyers may be. Sometimes I think Judges frown on huge Corps that throw endless teams of legal support at there whims. MS with all their might and money could not keep this from trial.. which tells me there must be some merit to the plaintiffs case.

I'll agree that Intel should be blamed as well but in this case I feel MS should take the blunt of responsibility. MS made the decision to lower the requirements. The 915 chips should have been allocated to XP systems or huge warning labels placed on those systems explaining what they would NEVER do. But MS and Intel took this into the grey area and now the courts or a jury will decide whether they crossed the grey and into the red zone. MS absolutely knew this would happen. They themselves boasting for months how brilliant aero would be and then ship a ton of 915 systems that would never be able to run it. And now they just want to shove it to the consumer. Its not going to happen.. This is going to be a huge settlement coming forward.

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Boffin

@AC: LInux on Radeon 9100

"but it won't work with the integrated Radeon 9100 GPU..."

That's because AMD's proprietary driver hasn't kept up with the kernel - the money is elsewhere, after all.

It will work actually - but in a basic way, using the "vesa" or perhaps "ati" drivers. The stupid thing they did is not catch that situation - I did a an online distribution upgrade from Kubuntu 8.04 to 8.10 and suddenly no X-windows. Very disappointing but doesn't make your "Linux smugtards" comments look any the less childish.

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Bronze badge

fraud

Advertising: Vista is all this stuff especially Aero. Aero is what Vista is all about! Buy us now!

Reality: Systems certified by *Microsoft* as "vista capable" didn't run what they were advertising.

Hence the lawsuit.

It's nice to see that Microsoft hasn't changed in all these years. They're still out screwing major partners, as they did back in the IBM OS/2 days. Hell, they've even managed to trash ISO's reputation recently. What's amazing is that these stupid masochists keep coming back for more abuse from the poster child for unethical, backstabbing corporate behaviour.

As I read somewhere: "Play with Microsoft, get burnt."

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IT Angle

Its all about Pixel Shader

Vista Aero and OSX Aqua for that matter require Pixel Shader 2.0 atleast to render the cool visual effects. Compiz is no match (Linux fanboys, shut up) as it does not use Pixel Shader and does some lame ass visual effects such as wobbly windows, the CUBE..... etc

Intel 915, the Graphics component (not the main chipset) does not have hardware to support Pixel Shader 2.0.

On a Machine based on Intel 915, you could get Vista running without Aero, or if you install anything above GeForce 5200 display card (can't remember ATI equivalent), can run Aero flawlessly.

Mine's the one with "Idiot Inside" marking

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Linux

@Fred Mbogo

"I don't know why they say Aero doesn't run properly on a 915 chipset. It runs fine on my backup system's Gigabyte GPNXP Duo which has the 915 chipset."

Sure you're not running Ubuntu with a Vista theme? If your Aero does wobbly windows, sticky windows, multiple desktops and a 3d desktop cube, you have the Aero skin.

If you have the awesome window 'train' and transparant static windows, you are actually running Vista (did I miss any other awesome Aero features here?).

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Anonymous Coward

"capable" != "runs well"

It's about time people realised that a machine capable of running an OS does not mean it will run that OS perfectly, or with all features fully engaged. I *can* run XP with all the fancy graphics options turned on (displaying the windows when moving them, fancy backgrounds and high-def screens) but I don't bother because I can't distinguish 1000 shades of blue, and I only need to see the outline of a window when I move it to make sure I can still see it when I've finished repositioning.

"Aero" is, in the UK, a chocolate bar famous for its bubbles, which to my mind is also a pretty good representation of Fista's fancy interface - soft, gooey and nice to look at, but less content than alternatives and full of holes (an Aero bar weighs considerably less than a normal solid chunck of choccy, so it looks like you are getting more for your money... also like Fista!)

Salesmen in computer shops should know technical details about the machines they sell (and if they really can run an OS or not!) as they are selling a specific product, but to expect all sales people in a supermarket or store like Target or Wally's World (Wal*Mart) to know all details of every product is not just unrealistic, it is also unfair. If I want to get tech specs I talk to a techie whether it is for a computer or a car - if I want to get the product cheap, I go to somewhere that sells cheap but I don't expect the staff to be as knowledgable as at a specialist shop.

When you can give me a link to a linux OS that I can boot onto my pc straight from an install, with NO driver searches required, and NO problems with it recognizing all my hardware "straight out the box" (or that will inspect my system and then download any required drivers itself), then I will accept that linux really is a suitable replacement for Micro$haft's misbegotten bloat. Until I have sometihng I can install from a single CD or DVD in one go, without having to spend ages tailoring the thing personally, I'm sticking to Windoze like a bug smeared on a windscreen (hey why not - it seems to be how M$ treat us!)

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IT Angle

Radeon 9100 uses the radeon driver

But then again, it comes up with that one automatically in the xorg config panel.

Strange that an AC complains when he tries to force the wrong driver to work on a card it doesn't work.

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N
Bronze badge

Just goes to show

MS & Intel will try & shaft the great unwashed when ever they can

Death by hanging, m'laud!

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Bus slots?

I wonder why they didn't just ship the machines that were going to be bundled with Vista with a cheap ATI or Nvidia card. Problem solved.... or someone at Intel could write some LDDM or whatever compatible drivers, I don't pretend to know much about Microsofts retarded interfaces but unless there's something missing from the hardware I don't see why it couldn't have been fixed.

OT: why do people have such big issues with Intel integrated graphics chipsets (not really a chipset as it all lives in the same package, but there we go)? If you were talking about the i810 you'd have a point, those were truly awful things to get working. If don't want to play games or want to use the box with something that isn't Windows the Intel stuff is the way to go.

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Bronze badge
Thumb Down

Radeon 9100 and Ubuntu

"Strange that an AC complains when he tries to force the wrong driver to work on a card it doesn't work."

I install the OS from the distro, it does it's stuff and leaves me with a working but rubbish looking desktop. I said I'm a newbie to the OS, right?? Well I'm comparing that experience with the very similar "Vista Capable" one Intel 915 and other PC users were left with.

And yes you are Penguin smugtards 'cos EVERY article about MS turns up with the same old "shoulda run Linux" pre-recorded message.

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Jobs Halo

Always my biggest hate....

I can remember the times when I first saw this "Vista Capable" sticker, interestingly all the promo videos that ran on all the machines were showing off aero.

For me it was the biggest con to the consumer this decade, I hope it's fines a plenty for the both of them.

Jobs, because his sitting pretty making his own hardware to match his own software.

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Unhappy

@Bus slots?

"I wonder why they didn't just ship the machines that were going to be bundled with Vista with a cheap ATI or Nvidia card. Problem solved..."

Let's start with laptops. Then, move on to motherboards with simple PCI slots and no AGP - who needs AGP on a budget motherboard with integrated graphics?

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Tom
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So, the verdict is in, and M$ did pretty much

what we all thought they did:

They started a campaign to certify systems for their shiny new power hog. One of their key vendors said: 'We can't produce enough corn to keep this hog fed, we need a smaller hog.' So M$ hacked off one of the hogs hind legs, the vendor agreed it was a smaller hog, and M$ updated the labeling so the mutilated hog could still 'qualify' for the program.

This is surprising? Or even news?

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Flame

Balhmer lied

Send him to jail!

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Gold badge

compiz

"Compiz is no match (Linux fanboys, shut up) as it does not use Pixel Shader"

But, it has the same effects, while needing less resources. It certainly IS a match. They've just figured out how to give these effects without requiring Pixel Shader use. You can say it is just "lame ass visual effects such as wobbly windows, the CUBE" (note, you're right, the wobbly windows and cube *are* lame) but these can be left off, and you're left with a desktop with basically *every* Aero effect while not requiring Pixel Shaders etc.

(In the interest of full disclosure, there *is* a thoroughly pointless raindrops-on-the-screen effect that does uses shaders. But since it's REALLY useless, it's of course off by default. It also ran on my 915 though, it must use some older shaders the chip supports.)

I ran this (rather poorly, but still) on a P2-450 with 256MB of RAM and a PCI Radeon (7000-series) video card. It did about 20FPS. With an AGP Radeon 7200, it was full frame rate, and CPU usage was pretty low. So you really need almost nothing to run compiz, which really makes me amazed at the usage of Aero.

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Coat

Marketing is marketing

To me, this is the same as all the car ads that visually show the top of the range model and the price that "starts from". You go to the stealer with $21,990 in your mind and drive off with a $20,000 debt. Or you drive off with a $12,990 priced car that runs, feels and resells like sh!t.

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Paris Hilton

Ashamed

I always thought that aero and compiz were both kind of differently abled. Is there a single upside to the flashy 3d interface other than it sells hardware? Animations and effects may sell computers but after the sale they do nothing but slow the user down. Wile your watching your cute little cube rotate I am reviewing the results of my goggle search.

The 915 chipset is a disgrace and Intel should be ashamed!

Paris because she does not know what it is like to be ashamed.

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