According to online reports, Microsoft dropped the hardware specs for its Vista platform just to raise Intel profits.

An email has been published online which was sent last February by Microsoft general manager John Kalkman.

It states that the software giant lowered Windows Vista's minimum hardware requirements to ridiculous levels just because Intel needed to sell more graphics chipsets.

"In the end, we lowered the requirement to help Intel make their quarterly earnings so they could continue to sell motherboards with the 915 graphics embedded", John Kalkman wrote to Scott Di Valerio, who oversaw Microsoft's dealings with its PC partners.

Intel has since told The Wall Street Journal that the comment about its earnings was simply not true and pointed out that Kalkman "is not qualified in any shape or form to have knowledge about Intel's internal financial forecasts related to chipsets, motherboards or any other product".

The email has been released as part of the mounting evidence against Microsoft in a case in which it has been accused of misleading the public with the "Windows Vista Capable" logos it put on new PCs in the run-up to the operating system's debut.

The logos appeared on system more than nine month before Vista did, but consumers have complained that their PCs were only Vista Home Basic capable and didn't run the full version.

Microsoft seems to be denying all by informing the paper that it included the Intel 915 chipset in the Windows Vista Capable program "based on successful testing of beta versions of Windows Vista on the chip set and the broad availability of the chip set in the market".

And the emails? These simply showed how its execs "were trying to make the marketing program better for Microsoft partners and consumers".

But how is it going to explain this one?

In another email which has been presented in court, a Microsoft board member tells Steve Ballmer he's decided against "upgrading" one of his machines to Vista. "I cannot understand with a product this long in creation why there is such a shortage of drivers", he says.

Ouch.