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"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."
Allchin, who plans to retire at the end of this year with the shipping of Windows Vista, later wrote in the same e-mail that he would buy a Mac if he was not a Microsoft employee, according to transcripts from proceedings Thursday and Friday in the class-action case obtained and posted by Groklaw.net, an open-source legal Web site. Jim Hibbs, a spokesman for Wixted Pope Nora Thompson & Associates, a Des Moines public relations firm employed by the law firm prosecuting the case, confirmed that Allchin's quotes were read directly from his e-mails by the plaintiffs' lawyers, notes Computerworld.