A senior Microsoft executive is furiously explaining a leaked internal email in which he explained that he'd rather buy a Mac.

Windows development chief Jim Allchin claims his statements, made in an internal 2004 email to company co-founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer, were designed to help instigate a change in the direction of Windows development at the time.

The email was exposed during one of Microsoft's multitude of ongoing legal actions. It also criticised Microsoft for losing sight of its customers, praised it for having "some great vision", but castigated it for being unable to deliver "great products".

"I would buy a Mac if I didn't work for Microsoft," Allchin observed.

The revelations emerged during one of the last two anti-trust cases currently wending their weary way through the courts on behalf of the State of Iowa, one of the two US States that failed to agree the eventual DOJ settlement of the case.

However, responding to the embarrassing revelations, Allchin stressed that he was being dramatic to underline the need for the company to make some changes at the time — and even goes so far as to claim those changes were made.

In fact, according to Allchin: "Windows Vista has turned into a phenomenal product, better than any other OS we've ever built and far, far better than any other software available today, in my opinion."

The once secret email was originally published by Groklaw as part of its ongoing coverage of Microsoft's anti-trust case.