STEVE BALLMER, Microsoft's shy and retiring head honcho, has weasled his way out of an embarrassing court appearance by supplying a written deposition.
The Chief Executive Officer, who is paid a (not so) small fortune to have his finger on the pulse of everything that goes on at the Seattle-based software giant, has pretty much denied any knowledge whatsoever of the company's Vista Capable program which has become the subject of a class action suit.
The plaintiffs in the suit are maintaining that computers labelled as 'Vista Capable' were in fact barely capable of running even the most basic form of the much-maligned operating system.
Ballmer, not normally a man to have his head in sand, states in his written deposition, "I was not involved in any of the operational decisions about the Windows Vista Capable program. I was not involved in establishing the requirements computers must satisfy to qualify for the Windows Vista Capable program. I was not involved in formulating any marketing strategy or any public messenging surrounding Windows Vista Capable program. To the best of my recollection, I did not have any unique knowledge of, nor did I have any unique involvement in any decisions regarding the Windows Vista Capable program."
He then goes on to point the finger at others: "All of my knowledge about those decisions came through other people at Microsoft, notably Jim Allchin, Microsoft's then co-president of Platform Products and Services, and Will Poole, Microsoft's then Senior Vice President, Windows Client Business."
Both moved on then? How inconvenient!
The deposition goes on to explain how Ballmer had, on a few occasions in 2006, had brief discussions with business partners including Intel about the technical requirements of the OS, but that those talks had taken part on "a very general level" whatever that means.
Ballmer maintains that he simply relayed the concerns of the company's business partners to Allchin and Poole, and that it's not his fault that they cocked the whole mess up.
"I did not direct Mr Allchin or Mr Poole to reach any particular business decision," he continies. "Mr Allchin and Mr Poole remained responsible for maintaining and excecuting those decisions."
Allchin famously and publicly admitted that the programme was wide of the mark when he wrote in an email: "We really botched this. You guys have to do a better job with our customers." µ
The deposition in full
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