The class-action lawsuit against Microsoft for its misleading "Vista Capable" marketing let loose another scandal when emails between Microsoft and Intel execs surfaced (PDF link), suggesting Microsoft cut Vista's hardware requirements to help out Intel. Originally, Intel's 915 series chipsets didn't qualify for the important "Vista Capable" sticker, but after a scheduling mix-up, Microsoft decided to throw Intel a bone by pretending the chipsets are up to Vista standards.
Apparently, Microsoft decided to begin their "Vista Capable" marketing program three months earlier than expected, which left Intel a bit in the dust, without time to ramp up production on their newer, more powerful chipsets. Intel execs complained to Microsoft execs through email that the losses would be severe, and Microsoft decided to appease their partner by relaxing their standards for Vista capability, even though the 915 series is incapable of running Aero.
This is a pretty damning piece of evidence, especially given emails like this one from Jim Allchin, then-co-president of platform products and services: "I believe we are going to be misleading customers with the Capable program. OEMs will say a machine is Capable and customers will believe that it will run all the core Vista features." He concluded, "We must avoid confusion. It is wrong for customers." Well said, Jim. [The Inquirer]