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MS exec confused over "Vista Capable" branding

updated 10:30 pm EST, Wed November 28, 2007

Vista Capable confuses MS

Microsoft's own marketing is reportedly confused over its cryptic "Vista capable" logo, which not only caused confusion among PC buyers, but is also the focus of a lawsuit: a recent discussion with the plaintiff's lawyers indicates that even the company's own staff don't have a clear idea about what the program entails. CNET reports that Mark Croft, Microsoft's director of marketing, inadvertently sympathized with the plaintiffs when he misquoted the intended effect that the company's "Windows Vista Capable" program was to have on consumers.

The blunder came about after he said that "'capable' has an interpretation for many that, in the context of this program, a PC would be able to run any version of the Windows operating system." After a 10-minute break, Croft partially retracted his statement, calling it "an error", clarifying that Microsoft intended "capable" to mean that a computer is "able to run a version of Vista."

Lawyers for the plaintiffs filed for a motion to make the suit into a class action, arguing that Croft displayed the same ignorance to Microsoft's own marketing program that the company insists that no customer should be experiencing.

Microsoft countered that it had sufficiently educated the public through press statements, retail and OEM shops, and advertising materials that indicate the specific intentions of the "Vista capable" program. "Instead, plaintiffs focus on the tiny three-word logo that played only a small role in that process."

Windows Vista comes in a variety of editions so that users can select a version that most suits their needs. Before the launch, computer manufacturers were able to tag select machines that met the requirements of Microsoft's Windows Vista Capable program, signifying that the product is ready to accept the new operating system. Microsoft accompanied the sticker with an advertising campaign clarifying the upgrade program, stressing that a computer with this logo will not necessarily run all versions of Vista, since the Premium, Business, and Ultimate editions tend to be more taxing on a system's resources, particularly due to Aero - the new DirectX 9-aware front end for Vista.

Unfortunately, most of the heavily-advertised features of Vista are only present in the premium versions, thus excluding customers who bought inexpensive or non-upgradeable computers from accessing these touted capabilities.

By Electronista Staff


  1. jpellino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    F Troop

    'nuf said.

  1. jarod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005



    MS exec is confused. Period.

  1. localnet

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Vista or XP?

    This whole Vista thing is confusing.

    I still run XP, going as far to buy a fresh copy not long ago. My local PC shop says they cannot keep copies of XP on the shelf, due to Vista being to buggy. His words, not mine.

  1. robttwo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2005


    why is this news

    Microsoft doesnt know what they are doing. Why is this news? The only people who dont know this is their board and operating officers.


  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006


    vista is...

    Vista is MS' Frameware to rip off consumers and manufacturers by charging manufacturers to put up misleading stickers on machines that can barely use part of the product we are advertising. AND charging consumers up their nose (up to $400) for a bloated OS that can't even run basic functions smoothly on most currently shipping computers.

  1. mmmdoughnuts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2006


    3 word logo!?

    Stoopid MS. "Vista Capable" is two (2) words.

  1. gudin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2000


    This is new?

    MS has been confusing about everything. Several years ago, I was tasked to ensure my company is compliant with MS licensing for its servers and clients, or to see what needed to be purchased to achieve compliance. It was close to impossible to figure out how many client licenses I would need, what version of the server licenses I would need, which would best fit the needs of the company, etc. I even posted on multiple MS focussed IT websites, and got multiple answers, with the overriding assumption being that no one (incl MS itself) really knew how it worked, and to do what ever I felt made sense because it was an unknown.

    MS just does that. SJ was definitely right when he made fun of the differences between MS licensing and Apple's.

    my $.019 CDN

  1. rubaiyat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Feb 2006


    Goes with the industry

    The whole industry, not just Microsoft, lives in a world of confusion.

    If the nerds haven't screwed up the technology that they create but can't explain, the marketing department will give it 3 coats of NEW, IMPROVED and MISLABELED.

    The consumer then plays Where's Wally? with the results.

    Go for it! Sue Microsoft's pants off. Then have a go at Apple.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001



    is the best advertising possible for OS X

  1. cblackmo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2006


    classic MS

    Why does a new Windows machine need a sticker saying it is capable to run the newest Windows? I think they do that stuff more to make consumers feel like they're getting something that their not actuall getting. I wonder how many buyers feel duped when they find out that their mew computer doesn't have any of the "WOW" that they assumed the sticker implied.

    Besides, I've always been annoyed by all the blasted stickers that come on Windows laptops. They look like NASCAR race cars for goodness sake.

    You don't see MacBooks shipping with a "Leopard capable" sticker. Oy.

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