Feeds

Microsoft dodges multi-million dollar WGA payout

Spyware case lacks class

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft has dodged a potentially-expensive legal fight after a case against Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) was denied class-action status.

This means lawyers cannot represent individuals as a group of defendants in the case, and that's likely a cost saver for Microsoft. Class-action status can push case costs and any final settlements into the multi-million-dollar range.

The dismissal is a victory for Microsoft, whose lawyers last year slammed the three-year-old case as "fictional," "demonstrably false," and from an "alternate universe."

The case alleged that WGA breached privacy because it was spyware used to gather information about users Windows XP machines and accused Microsoft of making false claims about the software

WGA is used by Microsoft to combat piracy by checking to see if the copy of Windows running on a users' PC is legitimate. The suit alleged that WGA was falsely advertised as a security update.

By denying the case class-action status, US District Court Judge Richard Jones has prevented any Windows XP user who purchased a machine in the middle of 2006 from joining the case without needing to hire their own attorney. Microsoft began promoting WGA in 2006.

The judge's action limits the size of the case, and any potential damages, as plaintiffs would need to be passionate and committed enough to foot the cost of their own attorney and other potential charges.

The case was scheduled to go to trial on January 25, but the judge has now asked for a new date.

You can read the US court filing here (warning: PDF). ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.