Allchin: When I Said I'd Rather Use A Mac, What I Really MEANT To Say Was.... - InformationWeek

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12/12/2006
12:25 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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Allchin: When I Said I'd Rather Use A Mac, What I Really MEANT To Say Was....

Jim Allchin's got some 'splainin' to do: The co-president of Microsoft's platforms and services division is attempting to explain away a quote in a 2004 e-mail that recently came to light, wherein Allchin says if he didn't work for Microsoft, he'd use a Mac. Allchin says he made the comment "for effect" and says, "Taken out of context, this comment could be confusing." Hmmm... let's take a look and

Jim Allchin's got some 'splainin' to do: The co-president of Microsoft's platforms and services division is attempting to explain away a quote in a 2004 e-mail that recently came to light, wherein Allchin says if he didn't work for Microsoft, he'd use a Mac.

Allchin says he made the comment "for effect" and says, "Taken out of context, this comment could be confusing."

Hmmm... let's take a look and see if the comment really is confusing:

Longtime Windows development chief James Allchin wrote in a January 2004 e-mail to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and company co-founder Bill Gates that the software vendor had "lost sight" of customers' needs and said he would buy a Mac if he wasn't working for Microsoft.

"In my view, we lost our way," Allchin, the co-president of Microsoft's platform and services division, wrote in an e-mail dated Jan. 7, 2004. The e-mail was presented as evidence late last week in the Iowa antitrust trial, Comes v. Microsoft Corp.

"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."

Does that look confusing to you? Not to me, either, and I labor under the mental handicap of having only a public education.

Allchin sits down and gets to work on the Mighty Microsoft Spin Machine on the Windows Vista Team Blog this morning:

"This email is nearly 3 years old, and I was being purposefully dramatic in order to drive home a point. The point being that we needed to change and change quickly. We did.... 2-and-¼ years later, Windows Vista has turned into a phenomenal product, better than any other OS we've ever built and far, far better than any other software available today, in my opinion. It's going to be available to customers on Jan 30, and I suggest everyone go out and get it as soon as you can. It's that good."

He adds: "The spirit of being self-critical continues to flourish at Microsoft. Within Microsoft everyone considers it their duty to always put their convictions and our product quality ahead of everything else. "

So let me get this straight: Back in January, 2004, when Microsoft officials were telling us how great the latest version of Windows was, that was a lie? But when they say it now, they're telling the truth? Thanks for clearing that up, Jim.

But how does lying about product quality related to "putting [your] convictions ... ahead of everything else"? Gee, I guess the memo was confusing after all.

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