One possible reason for the stupidity of Microsoft in handling MS-Vista, especially in its attempts to ram MS-Vista through its customers’ throats instead of MS-Windows XP, is as follows.
Shortly after SCO sued IBM and other companies due to violation of its Linux copyright, IBM and possibly other big companies decided upon two-pronged counter attack. First, they would fight SCO in court to the bitter end.
The conspiracy theory expoused below has to do with the second prong. The goal here is to cause Microsoft to bleed as much money and as quickly as possible, so that it’ll not have the financial means to continue to support SCO until its defendants wear out.
For this purpose, moles may have been installed in Microsoft (or maybe Microsoft employees were bribed) to deliberately make the wrong managerial decisions, to sap the morale of the working software developers, to entangle the projects in cobwebs, to bog the projects down in intricate dependencies and frivolous compatibilities with the past, to surrender too easily to Hollywood moguls when they ask for DRM measures to be built into MS-Vista.
Since Microsoft had the fatal combination of de-facto monopoly position and huge cash reserves, both had to be attacked. The monopoly position was attacked by making MS-Vista incompatible with MS-Windows XP, so that people would find it just as easy to switch to Linux or to Mac OS as it is to MS-Vista. The cash position was attacked by turning MS-Vista into huge cash drain.