PC buyers: 'Vista Capable' machines weren't Vista capable
Judge calls for trial
How misleading was Microsoft's "Windows Vista Capable" campaign? Misleading enough for a judge to approve a federal trial.
On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that two PC buyers, Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen, can proceed with a lawsuit that accuses Microsoft of deliberately deceiving the public with the "Window Vista Capable" stickers it slapped on Windows XP machines in the run-up to Vista's January debut, InformationWeek reports. Microsoft had asked for a dismissal, but US District Judge Marsha Pechman of Seattle is happy to oversee an October trial.
With their class action suit, filed in March, Kelley and Hansen claim that Microsoft used "bait and switch" tactics to move XP systems as the world waited for the long-delayed Windows Vista. They argue that Microsoft's stickers reassured buyers "that they were purchasing Vista-capable machines when, in fact, they could obtain only a stripped down operating system." Some "Vista Capable" machines, they say, were only capable of running versions of the OS that lack things like Microsoft's new Aero interface and a spruced-up Windows Media Center.
Indeed, Microsoft offers a neutered version of Vista, known as Home Basic, that requires nothing more than an 800-MHz processor, 512MB of memory, a 20GB hard drive, and support for Super VGA graphics. And though the company recommends a 1GHz processor, 1GB of memory, a 40GB hard drive, and DirectX 9 support for "premium" versions of the operating system, these editions will still run on less powerful machines - with certain OS features disabled.
Microsoft has argued that its "Vista Capable" marketing campaign also included a "Vista Premium Ready" component that explained the differences between various versions of the OS, but Judge Pechman believes there's reason enough to let the suit go ahead.
Ray Persons, a partner with the international law firm King & Spalding who specializes in class actions, is amazed that Pechman approved a trial - let alone that she approved it so quickly. "It's awfully unusual for a court to certify a class action where the allegation is a bait and switch," he told The Reg. "In order to prove fraud, you've got to look at whether the individual reasonably relied on the defendant's alleged misrepresentations, and that kind of individual-by-individual determination really defeats the efficiencies of a class action."
Of course, it isn't likely that the trial will actually happen. "In most instances, civil cases - including class actions - get settled," Persons said. "Seldom, if ever, is a class action tried."
PC buyers who believe they've been duped by Microsoft can expect low-value coupons towards the purchase of machines that run premium versions of Windows Vista. These might fetch a few dollars on eBay. ®
"How much did she cost?"
At a guess, £29.99 from Ann Summers.
Having just bought two Acer Inspire computers with dual Intel processors for home use I was more than upset when the pre-installed Vista home edition turned out to be a heap of crap. Firstly I couldn't see any real advantages over XP or Win2k for that matter and the only real difference was the 'packaging' both actual and on the GUI. To make matters worse, unlike Win2K or XP many of my favorite applications failed to install leaving me with a pretty useless OS. Finally, it appears that with 'only' 1Gb of memory its loads and shuts down at such a slow pace making it a sick joke. To make my new computers usable and fast I dumped Vista and installed XP home edition on them both and the problem was solved at a stroke. Everything now works and the PC's are fast and user friendly compared to when they had Vista on them. This constant treadmill Microsoft tries to force us to upgrade always demands more horsepower from the PC and this time is worse than any previous upgrade. Its a well known fact that if MS had produced a bug free OS on day one they would be out of business by now as aside from their OS's most people use third party apps over MS apps. Only by having buggy software in their OS can Microsoft continue to scam us for the next 'latest and greatest' under the pretense of fixing security issues and adding pretty 3D GUI's that most people don't give a toss about. Vista has certainly turned out to be the worst version of an OS whether you're upgrading or buying a new budget PC.
RE: RE: What is "Vista"?
its funny watching people bash on others like they know wtf they're talking about! so now i ask you Mr. Anonymous Comment Poster... What the hell are you about? Vista was not written from the ground up, they started from the sever 2003 kernel... so go on, Mr, Anonymous Poster of incorrect information, enjoy yourself a bud light, you've earned it!
Definitely Linux ready!
All the "Vista Ready" systems our LUG tested in Central Florida were definitely Linux ready, and all that I tested in Best Buy, Costco, and other chain stores also ran Beryl!
Linux is part of the peaceful FOSS movement, where we attempt to not sue.
Instead, we simply migrate away from dysfunctional monopoly businesses.
Trust me, I am the oft malignedtruth
"A couple of years ago I bought a laptop as a present for My girlfriend, not too shabby but definitely price was the deciding factor in my choice."
I'm curious - how much did she cost?