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Lawyer sues Microsoft rather than slot an SD card into his Surface

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A lawyer is suing Microsoft for false advertising after his 32GB Surface slab turned up with 16GB of free space.

Andrew Sokolowski claims that he quickly ran out of storage capacity on the tablet when he was loading it with music and documents because half the flash memory was filled by the operating system and pre-installed apps such as Word and Excel.

The ruffled California brief accused Microsoft of unfair business practices as well as false advertising in Los Angeles' Superior Court, the Associated Press reported.

Sokolowski has demanded changes to Surface adverts and damages. Microsoft has refuted the suit's claims, and said it was perfectly clear to folks what they were getting when they bought the fondletop.

"Customers understand the operating system and pre-installed applications reside on the device's internal storage thereby reducing the total free space," the company said. Its website does state there will be 16GB of space free on the 32GB model, and 45GB on the 64GB version, in the small print of the technical specs.

But Sokolowski's lawyers said those details are hard to find on the website and he never saw them.

It's unlikely that argument will stand up since all mobiles and tablets come with little less capacity than the headline storage figure thanks to the presence of bundled software. And hard disks are marketed with capacities in multiples of 1,000 bytes, whereas you'd be forgiven for expecting blocks of 1,024 bytes as is normal for memory, leading to a lower capacity than advertised.

And as Microsoft pointed out, it would be a simple and inexpensive matter for Sokolowski to add large amounts of memory to his fondletop by simply slotting in a microSD card.

Sokolowski hopes, however, that his complaint will gain class-action status. ®

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