Microsoft and Sony clash over Vista support of Intel’s Turbo Memory

June 9, 2007

Microsoft and Sony clash over Vista support to Intel’s Turbo MemorySony is claiming that the current release of Vista does not support Intel’s Turbo Memory technology, although Microsoft has dismissed the allegation. If Sony is right, Microsoft may have opened itself to being sued for deceptive marketing practices.

Turbo Memory is an optional component of Intel’s Centrino Pro/Duo platform, and designed to utilize features of Windows Vista, such as ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive to boost performance and start-up time. The technology also increases battery life for notebooks in Windows Vista.

Manufacturers like Dell, Asus, Acer and Toshiba are reportedly offering notebooks with Turbo Memory technology.

However, Sony has told ZDNet.co.uk that it will not include Intel’s Turbo Memory (known by its codename “Robson”) in its upcoming Vaio notebooks.

Sony sees no customer benefit at this moment in integrating Robson in its notebooks, as Robson memory requires the assistance of the operating system.

“Only Vista is capable, and the first release does not have the support integrated. The issue is that the OS needs to learn what to load into the Robson memory in order to increase performance,” Sony said.

Microsoft denied Sony’s concerns. The company told ZDNet.co.uk that Sony’s claims were incorrect.

“Windows Vista supports Intel’s Turbo Memory, and Microsoft and Intel have worked together to ensure that Turbo Memory works with Windows Vista technologies. There are no issues which we are aware of that would prevent [manufacturers] from adopting Turbo Memory for great performance results with Windows Vista.”

But Sony has defended its stance. David Spaeth, product specialist for the Vaio range, claimed the omission of Vista support for Turbo Memory arose to avoid further delay of the OS released.

Vista currently cannot recognize which kinds of processes and files need to be preloaded into Turbo Memory, Spaeth said. In effect, users cannot enjoy the performance and benefits offered by Turbo Memory even if their machine is Turbo Memory enabled.

If Sony is right, Microsoft could be sued for deceptive marketing practice. Users can be unforgiving, especially if they don’t get what they’re paying for.

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