Windows chief told Ballmer he would buy a Mac

— 12:56 PM on December 13, 2006

A rather interesting piece of e-mail correspondence surfaced in the Comes v. Microsoft Corp. antitrust trial this week. In the e-mail, which is dated January 7, 2004, Windows development head James Allchin tells Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates that he would buy a Mac if he wasn't a Microsoft employee. The message was fished out by Computerworld and reads as follows:

I'm not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers, both business and home, the most, but in my view we lost our way. 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. . . . I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft.
In response to the e-mail's unearthing, Allchin wrote up a post in his blog earlier today that says his statements were merely "a rant encouraging a change to the way we [Microsoft] were building Windows at the time." The post goes on to say, "We changed dramatically the development process that was being used and we reset the Windows Vista development project in mid-2004, essentially starting over." According to Allchin, Vista is now a "phenomenal product" that is better than any other software available today.
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