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Microsoft Loses Appeal of "Vista-Capable" Lawsuit 236

Posted by kdawson
from the now-it-comes-out dept.
bfwebster writes "Microsoft has lost its appeal to remove class-action status for the 'Vista Capable' lawsuit that has already resulted in some embarrassing internal e-mails being released publicly. As Computerworld reports, in its appeal to the US Ninth Circuit Court, Microsoft argued (among other things) that 'continuing the lawsuit might mean new disclosures of insider e-mails, which could "jeopardize Microsoft's goodwill" and "disrupt Microsoft's relationships with its business partners."' Given what's been released so far (158-page PDF), not to mention Microsoft's history of rather frank internal e-mails, that's probably putting it mildly. There could be some interesting reading ahead."
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Microsoft Loses Appeal of "Vista-Capable" Lawsuit

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  • Depressing: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gcnaddict (841664) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @06:11PM (#23165232)
    What's depressing is that a number of the execs complained about the Vista Capable thing too (Mike Nash being one of them, but there are others who didn't complain in their emails).

    The Vista Capable debacle happened the exact same way both the Challenger and Columbia disasters happened; the only reason those with objections went with the majority decision was due to group suppression of judgment. Psychological conformity, essentially.
  • Are They Serious? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 (14996) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @06:19PM (#23165330) Homepage
    As Computerworld reports, in its appeal to the US Ninth Circuit Court, Microsoft argued (among other things) that 'continuing the lawsuit might mean new disclosures of insider e-mails, which could "jeopardize Microsoft's goodwill" and "disrupt Microsoft's relationships with its business partners."'

    Are they serious? "We're assholes, and we've been caught, and being caught being an asshole makes the world think you're an asshole, which would be bad for business. Therefore, we should not allow the courts to expose the fact that we're assholes. Our precious money stream relies on being able to be assholes without getting caught." I hope the judge hit their lawyer in the face with a shovel before saying, "denied."
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @06:25PM (#23165374)
    With whom? OEM manufacturers who were forced to stuff the system with "MS recommended" additional "content" (read: adcrap)? Resellers who were browbeat to sell MS systems, and MS systems only, if they wanted to be able to offer competitive prices? Users who have been subjected to activation procedures and data collection machinations that make even some secret services blush?

    Anyone still got MS in high esteem?
  • Re:Depressing: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr&bhtooefr,org> on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @06:29PM (#23165416) Homepage Journal
    So, in other words, just like how Slashdot works?
  • by xouumalperxe (815707) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @06:44PM (#23165606)

    I don't think it's fair to expect people today to remember how XP ran in 2001 when it was released. Most users are not, and need not be, technically oriented, and it's been 7 bloody years (Microsoft's fault on that last bit ;). While I personally don't expect things to run perfectly on the minimum required hardware, I do think it's fair to expect them to run decently though.

    If the expression "minimum requirements" is defined as "the very least required to run", then the "minimum requirements" announced are probably a fair bit above what Vista actually demands to run, so that's not quite right. In fact, a google search for "Vista minimum requirements" yields a page on Microsoft's site called "Windows Vista recommended system requirements".

    Now, you may say I'm splitting hairs or arguing semantics, but fact is, it says "recommended system requirements", and I say it's quite fair to demand companies make sure that the recommended specs suffice for a reasonable experience.

  • by owlnation (858981) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @06:58PM (#23165728)

    Microsoft + Goodwill = ?
    Those words can not be used in the same sentence in English.
    Actually they can. However, to make the sentence work, in it you also have to have words like: "none", "no", "without", "never", "abused", etc...
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @07:19PM (#23165918)
    Only goodwill with investors matters. MS does not really consider goodwill with OEMs or customers. They screw them around. The "install base" is just considered a corporate asset not worthy of goodwill.
  • by neuromanc3r (1119631) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @07:25PM (#23165956)
    They can, even though the sentence would probably have to run along the lines of "Wayforward technologies, unlike such major companies as Microsoft, shows goodwill..." (Apologies to Douglas Adams)
  • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @07:34PM (#23166024)
    Yes, XP with the minimum system requirements ran like a dog. You could do anything you wanted with it, but it was dog slow.

    The difference is, with Vista, with the minimum requirements, it not only is dog slow, but there are many features of it that you simply can't run. At all. And others that you can run, but only with reduced function.

    That's a huge difference.
  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @07:37PM (#23166060) Homepage
    Let's compare minimum requirements for Vista to the minimum requirements that most game developers come up with. When I used to buy PC games, the minimum requirements got you 640x480 with all the graphics turned down to minimum, along with the sound quality dropped down also. And it only ran at 20-30 FPS. Less if there was lots going on. The experience on Vista with the minimum requirements is about the same. You don't get any shiny graphics, and it runs quite slowly. Quite often the frame rate drops to zero few 10 seconds while it brings up a UAC dialog, but it works, and it is usable, assuming you aren't trying to run a bunch of memory hungry apps. I wouldn't want to run VS.Net or Photoshop on a machine with Vista and only 512 MB of RAM. But if you're just browsing the web and doing some word processing, the minimum requirements are fine.
  • by humphrm (18130) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @08:18PM (#23166404) Homepage
    As with any controversial decision coming from the 9th Circuit, take it with a grain of salt until it passes the next appeal level.
  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @08:47PM (#23166708)
    I'm not sure what country you live in, but in the U.S.A., judges are supposed to interpret the law, not make the law. Legislators are the law makers and the judges are the interpreters. An "activist judge" is someone who interprets the law to favour their own political ideology or other agenda.

    I'm actually quite surprised that people didn't know that there is a difference between a law maker and a judge. Judges are sworn to upload the constitution of the state and the laws of the state, as for the federal judges they are sworn to uphold the constitution of the country and the laws of the country.

    Just the fact that people obviously think that judges make laws show how easy it is to have "activist judges". I wonder how many other people are ignorant of our system of checks and balances.

    Take a gander at this links. http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/legalotln/ [state.gov]

    "Courts are central to the legal system, but they are not the entire system. Every day across America, federal, state, and local courts interpret laws, adjudicate disputes under laws, and at times even strike down laws as violating the fundamental protections that the Constitution guarantees all Americans."


    The only time a judge may outright ignore a law is if he/she views it as being unconstitutional. Judges MUST uphold the law even if they think it's immoral or wrong. Now show me where it says judges MAKE laws in the U.S.
  • Re:Depressing: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @09:47PM (#23167160) Homepage
    You're kidding, right?

    If Slashdot users were designing a product, it would be in development for twenty years because nobody would ever be able to agree on what the product would actually be, and every feature discussion would devolve into an endless flamefest between people of diametrically opposed opinions.

    Slashdot "groupthink" is at worst one of high school cliques, where everyone joins their favorite group and pretends it's the best, but there are dozens of cliques and there's essentially no downside to being part of an "uncool" clique.

    The difference is that at Microsoft there is a Boss Man whose personal opinion is the Officially Sanctioned Groupthink, and you need to have some serious stones to speak up against it because it's your job on the line.

    What are you risking for going against the "groupthink" here? Some fucking worthless "karma"? Oh wait, you got modded up, I bet you're real surprised too.
  • by Hemogoblin (982564) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @09:50PM (#23167170)
    I think you're the one who is confused. I suggest reading the Wikipedia article on the Common Law system [wikipedia.org] as a starting point.

    Now show me where it says judges MAKE laws in the U.S.
    All of Tort law and partnership law for one. There's more too.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday April 22, 2008 @11:07PM (#23167662)
    Ask any Joe Sixpack owning a computer what they think of MS or Windows. Sure, you'll get the ones that are satisfied. In my experience, though, you get a fair lot of people who simply see no choice. They don't want an Apple because it lacks the selection of software (especially games) and is more expensive. They don't want Linux because it still has that air of being a "geek system" and a lack of games (no, the arguments of KDE and Wine don't count, you're dealing with ordinary people here who wouldn't even try).

    It's not that they trust MS. Most of them either don't know about any alternatives (because they are not being offered, for the reasons outlined in the gp) or they dread the change even more.
  • Re:Lies (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @01:20AM (#23168380) Journal

    Yup. I say it's about time to trot out the old straw man. Judge to Microsoft: "If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear."

    Couldn't happen to a nicer company.... :-)

  • by syntaxglitch (889367) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @06:28AM (#23169668)

    Getting offtopic, but where did the term "activist judges" come from?
    It's a derogatory term meaning something like "judge who interprets the law in a way that disagrees with my political biases." The term was popularized by, and is most frequently used by, extreme right wingers, often in reference to the 9th Circuit, usually accompanied by the same disingenuous talking points about how much more frequently overturned their decisions supposedly are (see also: lies, damn lies, and statistics). Any political opinion that complains about "activist" judges is probably safely disregarded as specious.
  • Re:Goodwill? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mweather (1089505) on Wednesday April 23, 2008 @10:40AM (#23172340)

    Everyone keeps going on about how Vista sucks. I think if they got off a piece-of-crap 256MB RAM/600MHz CPU system, move on to something half-way decent (my laptop has 2GB RAM, 256MB dedicated video RAM, Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz CPU), they would find that Vista is about as good as anything else to come out of Redmond, Washington.
    So just as good = Requires way more resources to perform the same functions?

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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