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Microsoft Government The Almighty Buck The Courts News

Microsoft 'Vista Capable' Settlement Cost Could Be Over $8 Billion 313

Posted by Soulskill
from the making-seinfeld-look-like-chump-change dept.
bk- writes with news that documents from the "Vista Capable" class-action lawsuit against Microsoft indicate the software giant could be on the hook for as much as $8.52 billion in upgrade costs. "[University of Washington economist Keith] Leffler came up with his total upgrade costs by calculating how much it would cost to upgrade each of the 19.4 million PCs with 1 GB of memory and graphics cards or onboard chipsets able to run Aero, according to Keizer. Leffler put the maximum cost of upgrading the desktops at $155, while positing that the notebooks' integrated graphics would be more tricky to replace and would cost between $245 and $590 per unit. The total price tag for Microsoft would thus range from $3.92 billion to $8.52 billion and in some cases would include complete replacements of notebooks that could not be feasibly upgraded, Leffler testified. Microsoft in its response argued that giving litigants 'a free upgrade to Premium-ready PCs would provide a windfall to millions.'"
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Microsoft 'Vista Capable' Settlement Cost Could Be Over $8 Billion

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  • by Cormophyte (1318065) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:20PM (#26590435)
    Anyone? I'll take bits of string, bug collections, and good will in trade. Just, please, get me off this train.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tinpipes (179194)

      Will you take my old Fedora Core 4 install disks?

    • by stfvon007 (632997) <enigmar007&yahoo,com> on Saturday January 24, 2009 @07:33PM (#26594151) Journal

      Ill take 100,000 shares. Im out of toilet paper.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:23PM (#26590463) Homepage Journal

    Hardware makers should be on the hook as well.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:26PM (#26590489) Journal

      Hardware makers should be on the hook as well.

      Microsoft is the one that had the final word on labeling standards for "Vista capable".

      Hardware makers lobbied hard to get the sticker applied to hardware that couldn't support Aero & Microsoft caved.

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:35PM (#26590581) Homepage Journal

        Hardware makers lobbied hard to get the sticker applied to hardware that couldn't support Aero & Microsoft caved.

        The Hardware makers should be at least as responsible, because they are the ones putting the stickers on the system.

        I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy (well, most places) but fighting unfairness with unfairness is a little bitch move.

        Microsoft didn't put the stickers on the computers. Hold the integrators responsible. At least as responsible as Microsoft, maybe more.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by click2005 (921437)

          I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy (well, most places) but fighting unfairness with unfairness is a little bitch move.

          As a company they should be penalised for misleading their customers. The public bought PCs that MS said could run Vista. If those PCs cant, its ultimately Microsoft's fault and they should be made to pay the difference. I'm guessing it'll end up as a settlement of x billion worth of MS products & vouchers.

          Microsoft didn't put the stickers on the computers. Hold the integrator

          • These machines do indeed run Vista. So.. what are we arguing about, again?
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Korin43 (881732)
              When you market something as "capable of running Windows Vista", you don't generally mean "it'll start up eventually and if you're really patient you can use programs for it". "Capable of running Windows Vista" means, in a normal person's mind, that it runs Vista similarly to how it's shown in the ad (with Aero, not super slow,etc.).
              • What ad? Capable of running Windows Vista means "it will install Windows Vista and you can run whatever programs your computer has the resources for". That's it.

                What ever happened to doing research, as a consumer, before making a purchase?

                What, you mean if I buy a Honda Civic at the cheapest price I can it won't look like the tricked out one in the ad?! Crazy!

                What, you mean if I drive like I normally drive my cars this new car I buy will get 3-5 fewer mpg than advertised! I'm suing!

                What, you mean this low-end laptop I bought won't run Office, Internet Explorer with 10 tabs open, and Microsoft Excel in Vista with all the useless user interface candy with 512M of memory?! That's crazy talk, I'm going to sue!

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by causality (777677)

                  What ad? Capable of running Windows Vista means "it will install Windows Vista and you can run whatever programs your computer has the resources for". That's it.

                  What ever happened to doing research, as a consumer, before making a purchase?

                  It's like when Bill Hicks was alive and was talking about how we, collectively, are at about an 8th grade emotional level, particularly in the USA. Only mature people are willing and able to take responsibility for their actions, which would include recognizing why p

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Cowmonaut (989226)
                  The problem here was that a LOT of the "Vista Capable" computers couldn't run *notepad* at a reasonable pace. 512MB is like trying to run XP on 128MB, but worse do to the extra video card requirements. If you had the hardware, Vista is pretty decent (now), but "Vista Capable" is a total marketing scam.
            • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday January 24, 2009 @02:54PM (#26591415) Journal

              But they don't. That's the problem. From MSFT's own press releases and ads all they talked about was Aero. Everywhere you saw Aero this and Aero that. Hell if you read the emails you would know that there were higher ups in management complaining that they were burned as well. Why? Because they bought "Vista Capable" and didn't know that they wouldn't get Aero. So if guys within the company itself got burned, what chance did the non tech consumer have?

              And let us be honest here: Vista Basic is the "Cleetus the slack jawed yokel" of the Vista line. It is just too crippled. Pretty much all Vista Basic gives you is the annoyance of UAC without any of the pretty. No wonder the customers aren't happy campers. I'm personally shocked that they aren't selling Vista Basic for less than $50 just to move some product. Maybe they didn't make enough copies to make it worth selling, who knows. I do know that talking to the guys at places like BB and Staples that Vista Basic just sits there and rots on the shelf. While none of the Vista line is moving in large numbers according to them Vista Basic doesn't move any at all. Nobody wants it.

        • by sjames (1099)

          Let's say I am a hardware manufacturer. I lobby MS to do what's necessary to have one of my lower midrange machines be allowed to have the Vista capable sticker on it. At that time, only MS is able to actually load Vista onto the hardware because it is not a released product.

          A month later, I get a bulletin form MS saying that I can put the Vista capable sticker on that model. That is, MS has promised ME the hardware manufacturer that Vista will run properly on that machine. I have no idea how they did that,

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cally (10873)
          The stickers were physically slapped on the plastic by the OEMs, sure, but the right to do so was in Microsoft's gift. It was their right to give or withhold the right to apply the Vista Ready sticker to hardware of a given spec. The badges were - are - a proxy for Microsoft's direct assurance to the purchaser that their product will work on the hardware. It didn't. Microsoft screwed up. (There was an hhuge furore [slashdot.org] internally when certain senior management figures stitched up other senior management figures [slashdot.org].
        • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:29PM (#26591811) Journal

          I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy

          Poster: Can I be moderated as "interesting" please?
          Slashdot: No. Sod off.
          Poster: Look, I hate Microsoft as much as anyone!
          Slashdot: If you want to be interesting, you'll have to really hate Microsoft.
          Poster: I do!
          Slashdot: Oh yeah? How much?
          Poster: A lot!
          Slashdot: OK, you're +5 interesting.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        If they lobbied to get the stickers against Microsoft's intent.. that would mean less responsibility for Microsoft.

        Either way, they all should share responsibly, and any judgments should be spread around.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ash Vince (602485)

        Actually Intel lobbied to get this changed as it was their crap onboard notebook graphics that were the issue. A lot of hardware makers were pissed off as it meant they sold far less of their premium notebooks than they were predicting so had a surplus they had to sell cheap.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Dogtanian (588974)

        Microsoft is the one that had the final word on labeling standards for "Vista capable".

        Does this mean that they're "Vista culpable"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      So dont upgrade!... and have M$ keep fixing XP until 2012+ That should be the judge's order. Fact is M$ Vista adds 0 value to me, my company, or your country's GDP..
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Meshach (578918)
        I don't think that a judge has authority to order MS to change their release dates. A judge can just order them to make restitution to customers who have been misled.
    • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:32PM (#26590551) Homepage
      No, its Microsoft program that determines if the sticker can go on the PC.

      Sure hardware people asked for it. But it's the same as if your friend tells you that you should con people out of money. You choose to do it so it's your fault.
      • by vux984 (928602) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:45PM (#26590675)

        Sure hardware people asked for it. But it's the same as if your friend tells you that you should con people out of money. You choose to do it so it's your fault.

        I disagree with your analogy. To me its:

        My friends that want to con people out of money by selling them junk endorsed by a celebrity harware reviewer, (i.e. me). But I won't endorse their junk... so they piss and moan for a while, and I cave.

        They then stick my endorsement on their junk, and the customer gets ripped off by my friends.

        They then sue my ass for endorsing their junk, because I lied when I said it was good. Should I be on the hook? Yeah, I lied. But my friends are at the very least equal partners in this con; not only was it their idea, but they are the ones who actually sold the junk, and they did so deliberately and intentionally knowing it was junk.

        • by amclay (1356377)
          Mod parent up, he makes a very good point.
          • by Necroman (61604)

            He misses one key point in the analogy. So vux984 lets his friend put his endorsement on his friends product. The one key part is that vux984 will make money on every system his friend sells. vux984 has a vested interest in having his friend sell as many systems as possible.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RattFink (93631)

          They then stick my endorsement on their junk, and the customer gets ripped off by my friends.

          There is a big difference between endorsing something and making a guarantee of fitness towards a certain task. Saying your friend's snake oil is great and I like it is perfectly fine but telling people it'll cure cancer will get you in a world of trouble.

        • It affects you more and destroys your credibility. You shouldn't have caved.

          By your logic the US should be helping pay out to rebuild Gaza since we make it possible for Israel to do what they do and probably even gave them the white phosphorus they used illegally.

          Just because don't want to take personal responsibility any more doesn't mean they're not at fault when they do something wrong.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Renraku (518261)

          Endorsements usually don't carry much, if any, liability. You can endorse sham-wow all you want but shouldn't be sued because it doesn't work. Its all opinion.

          If any of you have ever used a 'Vista capable' computer that this article describes you'll realize that they're Vista capable just like a Honda Civic is capable of towing a flatbed full of logs.

    • by Adambomb (118938) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @04:46PM (#26592533) Journal

      This is redundant as it appears in a bunch of other comments, but given the amount of redundancy of the error i'll give this one another go.

      Note that the problem with the Vista Capable program was that it was labeling systems BEFORE VISTA WAS AVAILABLE.

      The hardware vendors did NOT have the means to test anything and although they may have 'bullied' microsoft into lowering the spec requirement, the onus was on microsoft to tell them "uh no, that just wont work.".

  • Well. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZorbaTHut (126196) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:25PM (#26590481) Homepage

    Microsoft in its response argued that giving litigants 'a free upgrade to Premium-ready PCs would provide a windfall to millions.'

    I guess you shouldn't have lied, then. Let this be a lesson to you.

    • Re:Well. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by torkus (1133985) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @02:42PM (#26591243)

      Should they be held responsible? Yes. For the cost of the operating system that's not compatible. The computer itself is just fine - they got exactly the hardware they paid for - no more, no less.

      Make MS give them a free upgrade/sidegrade/downgrade to a working operating system compatible with their hardware. The idea that MS should pay for hardware upgrades is plain old silly.

      • Re:Well. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nosferatu1001 (264446) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:24PM (#26591755)

        Erm - so they lie to you, saying the machine will be perfectly capable of running Feature X, and when it doesn't you think they should only have to give you the money Feature X cost?

        Wow. Whats silly again?

        They lied to shift hardware. To avoid pissing off Intel. They therefore need to give you WHAT YOU PAID FOR - you paid for a machine that was stated it could run Aero capably, so you should get that. No more No less.

        Maybe then corporations won't lie in order to shift old hardware?

        • Re:Well. (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jimicus (737525) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:35PM (#26591861)

          They lied to shift hardware. To avoid pissing off Intel. They therefore need to give you WHAT YOU PAID FOR - you paid for a machine that was stated it could run Aero capably, so you should get that. No more No less.

          Here in the UK, that'd be the retailer's problem. After all, it was they who sold you the product (complete with Vista capable sticker), it's their problem if it later transpires it isn't Vista capable. (In the real world, you'd almost certainly have no end of trouble getting a refund or a free upgrade in a case like this, but that's not really the point)

          I'm surprised that this isn't the case in the US, frankly. What's the point in retailers if they're not responsible for the products they retail?

          • Re:Well. (Score:4, Informative)

            by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @04:49PM (#26592569)
            I'm surprised that this isn't the case in the US, frankly. What's the point in retailers if they're not responsible for the products they retail?

            They are. In an ideal world, everyone would sue the person they bought it from, and they would sue up the line until it got to the person that stamped "Vista Capable" on it, which would be Microsoft. So yes, from a consumer's point of view, the person that screwed them was the person that sold it to them, but then, the retailer either applied the sticker because Microsoft said to, or they bought it with the sticker already on it, so from the retailer's point of view, they were screwed as well, ultimately by Microsoft.

            So suing Microsoft cuts out the middle man.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Tacvek (948259)

            They lied to shift hardware. To avoid pissing off Intel. They therefore need to give you WHAT YOU PAID FOR - you paid for a machine that was stated it could run Aero capably, so you should get that. No more No less.

            Here in the UK, that'd be the retailer's problem. After all, it was they who sold you the product (complete with Vista capable sticker), it's their problem if it later transpires it isn't Vista capable. (In the real world, you'd almost certainly have no end of trouble getting a refund or a free upgrade in a case like this, but that's not really the point)

            I'm surprised that this isn't the case in the US, frankly. What's the point in retailers if they're not responsible for the products they retail?

            In most cases a the point of retailers is that they are they only way to get a product new without buying it in bulk. To buy from the manufacturer usually requires an enormous order, usually exceeding what 30 retailers could move in a year. So in most markets only distributors buy from the manufacturer. To buy from the distributor usually requires a purchase around the size that an average retailer could move in a year. Only by buying from a retailer can you buy just one.

            Not all markets are like this. The c

      • Re:Well. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by neumayr (819083) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:28PM (#26591797)

        The computer itself is just fine - they got exactly the hardware they paid for - no more, no less.

        But that hardware was advertised as something else. The customer can't be expected to know if they're being lied to by looking at the specs.
        They wanted Vista, it said it can run Vista on the computer's box, and it didn't work. Just giving them some other OS is silly, suggesting it is arrogant.

      • Re:Well. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by chill (34294) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @04:14PM (#26592245) Journal

        No, you're wrong.

        The original meaning of the "Vista Capable" sticker was that the hardware could be UPGRADED to handle every feature of Vista. "Vista Ready" meant that it could handle it (Aero & WDDM) as is, without upgrades.

        Much of the hardware labeled "Vista Capable" could NOT be upgraded to handle WDDM and Aero. Specifically, Intel 915 and 915GM chipsets were not WDDM capable and WOULD NEVER BE. Intel wanted Microsoft to delay the program until they got their next chipset out, about 5 months. That one would be WDDM capable. Microsoft, instead, just lowered the specs for the program and told Intel it was basically "just a sticker on the box". HP was absolutely furious with this tactic, since their stuff was all ready.

        In short, the marketing department flat out lied to people. Microsoft SHOULD be on the hook for providing those people with "Vista Capable" hardware with the proper upgrades that they promised would happen. In the case of Intel 915GM laptops, that means a new laptop since you can't upgrade the chipset.

        A slap on the wrist won't give MS or anyone else pause before pulling this sort of stunt again. They need a good kick in the groin and enough pain to make them understand that profiting from outright fraud will not be tolerated.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Odin's Raven (145278)

        Make MS give them a free upgrade/sidegrade/downgrade to a working operating system compatible with their hardware.

        So MS has to send everyone a free Linux CD? :-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      yeah it has to be one of the dumbest defenses ever conceived by lawyers: "Ruling against us would be a big benefit to the other side at our expense"
  • by wjh31 (1372867) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:27PM (#26590501) Homepage
    what if they re-funded the cost of an OEM version of vista to everyone, and provided a free downgrade to XP, or up to 7, im sure that would cost less than $400 per PC, and seems an especially more practical alternative to upgrading the laptops.

    considering the value of a new laptop with 1GB ram and an aero-capable intel chipset these days, i wonder how many people would bother to get it changed once you factor in the hassle of sending off your laptop, waiting on the new one, setting it up, transfering the data etc...

    its reasonable to hold microsoft accountable for what is clearly misleading, but retailers/manufacturers are equally responsible for putting the sticker on if they knew their hardware couldnt run it acceptabley, even if MS said it would.
    • by Meshach (578918) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:30PM (#26590531)
      I have to agree with you that OEM vendors should bear a share of the responsibility.

      OEM do piles of testing and development to install their "tools" / malware onto the machines. They must have known that the OS was not capable.
    • by perlchild (582235)

      But they didn't buy an OEM version of Vista, they bought "Vista-capable" equipment. Your idea works only if they had to buy vista seperately. All those customers were lied to simply because they were buying a bundle, of parts that was supposed to work together, and didn't. Now you're going to reimburse them the one part that didn't work, and tell them "well the other parts don't work together with A, so we refunded A" But I bought A and B together, because they were certified to work together. And on t

  • ...the Vista Premium license? I'm assuming these laptops/desktops came with Windows XP or Vista Basic, which means the user have to buy Vista Premium to be affected by this.

    For $8 billion MS can probably make Aero run on 513 MB RAM and Pixel Shader 1.0 hardware.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:30PM (#26590529)

      MS can probably make Aero run on 513 MB RAM

      So you'd just need to find/add a 1MB DIMM?

    • A window compositor only needs very basic hardware to do its thing, eg. Linux/Compiz can do it on a TNT2.

      Vista was made "D3D10 only" for political reasons, not technical reasons - to try and force upgrades from XP via Vista-only games. Aero certainly didn't need such powerful hardware (Compiz does way more effects with less hardware).

      The "force gamers to upgrade" thing didn't happen, most games companies are still writing for D3D9.

      So ... Aero is now coming back to bite Microsoft in the ass with a vengence.

      • by anss123 (985305)

        Vista was made "D3D10 only" for political reasons, not technical reasons

        Aero needs pixel shader 2.0 hardware and 128+ RAM (I think), not Dx10.

        A window compositor only needs very basic hardware to do its thing, eg. Linux/Compiz can do it on a TNT2.

        Actually you don't need hardware for window composition, Mac OS X did it in software up to 10.5 One problem Areo face is the need to run GDI, overlay and whatever else crufty APIs are left over from older Windows variants. What this does to the engineering I'm not sure, but if those old APIs give direct frame buffer access I guess things can get tricky fast.

    • For $8 billion MS can probably make Aero run on 513 MB RAM and Pixel Shader 1.0 hardware.

      It's not that simple. Aero won't run on Intel 915 chipsets because there is no WDDM driver. Aero needs a WDDM driver. Intel will not release a WDDM driver for 915 because one of the requirements of the driver is the chip must have a Hardware Scheduler which the 915 does not have [intel.com]. I'm not a chip engineer but it seems to me that a Hardware Scheduler was something that is built into the chip and not something that can

  • The litigants will be offered a 'free' copy of lower-end-friendly XP Pro to upgrade to, maybe a copy of Office thrown in too. Cost to Microsoft = $0.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432)

      That's a good plan. But I'm still confused by the $250 figure.

      Vista is STILL VISTA without the pretty Aero effects. Just because your window isn't translucent doesn't make it any less Vista.

      I can buy a "Crysis Capable" computer that meets the low end system requirements but not be able to play with full AA at 1080p with all effects turned on.

      Furthermore I've run Vista on a system with 1GB of RAM and an integrated graphics chip. It was slow. But it ran. And I've run vista on a computer with 2GB of RAM,

  • the majority of time I saw Vista running dog slow on a computer out of the box was either the Aero setting cranked up on a integrated graphics chip or the bloatware included by the OEM (Acer, I'm looking at you). Both of these cases are OEM's fault - I stated in the past that this is probably one of the reasons MS will lose marketshare - lack of quality control over OEM distributors.

    Apple, otoh, usually gives you a nice, clean box to run with. Linux doesn't have bloatware yet, although if it gets more pop

    • "Both of these cases are OEM's fault - I stated in the past that this is probably one of the reasons MS will lose marketshare - lack of quality control over OEM distributors"

      From other sources the whole 'Vista Capable' debacle was an attempt by Microsoft to . The rest of the OEMs had to then be brought on board.
  • by Bozovision (107228) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:34PM (#26590569) Homepage

    Microsoft in its response argued that giving litigants 'a free upgrade to Premium-ready PCs would provide a windfall to millions.

    Whereas, of course, others would argue that the litigants provided a windfall of billions to Microsoft by purchasing Vista on a Vista Capable machine.

    • by plopez (54068)

      RIght on. Wish I had some mod points to give you.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Microsoft in its response argued that giving litigants 'a free upgrade to Premium-ready PCs would provide a windfall to millions.

      Whereas, of course, others would argue that the litigants provided a windfall of billions to Microsoft by purchasing Vista on a Vista Capable machine.

      One could argue that, but one would be utterly wrong, since the vast majority of "Vista Capable" machines would have had XP had they not been so labeled.

  • Another concern (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eck011219 (851729) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:39PM (#26590623)

    You know, I love a good Microsoft pummeling as much as the next guy, but my concern is that MS is just now starting to come around to a slightly more rational way of thinking about its customers. I'm cautiously optimistic about Windows 7 in this regard.

    But if you cut an $8 billion hole in Microsoft, you run the risk of making them frantic to patch that hole. And as we know, they have some pretty well-developed skills for being really aggressive at the expense of the end user.

    I'm not saying they shouldn't be penalized (and consumers shouldn't be compensated), but this was also the fault of the hardware manufacturers who pushed so hard on Microsoft to get the sticker on their products. Spread the blame more equitably across ALL guilty parties, and you may avoid any one entity getting that caged-animal mentality that only ends up hurting the consumer.

    • "this was also the fault of the hardware manufacturers who pushed so hard on Microsoft to get the sticker on their products"

      Like where, according to Microsoft insider Rob Enderle the push [techflash.com] came from MS over the protests of Intel and others, unless you know differently.

      'sitting on the OEM [computerworld.com] typically is not effective at making a problem like this go away'
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      No, it's the fault of Microsoft for setting such a ridiculously high hardware requirement for the "basic" desktop graphics.

      It wasn't needed (eg. Mac/Compiz do much more with much less), it was a political move by an over-arrogant Microsoft believing the "DX10-only" thing would force upgrades from XP.

      Which didn't happen.

  • this must surely come with a new definition of what is vista capable. so what is it? which chipsets count as vista capable now?
  • What is the problem? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    How stupid is this lawsuit?

    These people could use Vista, just not with all the graphical "enchancements".

    If you were to buy a computer game that came with a set of hardware requirements that you just met, You wouldn't then turn around and moan about how you couldn't run it in full HD with all the highest settings.

    You could still play the game, but at lower settings. But you aren't happy with that, you meet the requirements and demand that you be able to play with all the settings to maximum, so you take the

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      But ... the sticker on the box said it would. If you bought a TV with a "Hi-Def" sticker which turned out not to be hi-def then you'd be pissed too.

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:57PM (#26590773)

    In case Microsoft really has to pay up, it would be trivial, and here's why. Microsoft will ask for leniency in light of "current economic times," then go ahead and hike license costs for those who will buy Windows 7/Vista.

    Given that Microsoft's revenues are in the tens of billions of dollars, this will not be that hard to recoup. So brace yourselves for a higher Microsoft tax in years to come.
     

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by David Gerard (12369)
      That hiking of license costs is likely to be unfeasible. Note that they credit their most recent failure to meet financial targets to netbooks, i.e. $0 XP on netbooks to keep Linux out. Linux isn't going away. Suddenly there's competition in the OEM OS market, and Microsoft can only get away with charging for an OS what it's actually worth as a product.
  • by gillbates (106458) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @02:04PM (#26590823) Homepage Journal

    Having followed class action suits before, the outcome most likely is that the lawyers will get paid exorbitant fees, and the plaintiffs will get discount coupons for their next Windows upgrade.

    Discount coupons and vouchers are the way almost all class action suits are resolved. Very seldom do the plaintiffs actually recover monetary damages.

  • by Darundal (891860) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @02:16PM (#26590937) Journal
    ...those figures for upgrades seem kind of inflated. These are all systems that were "certified" to be Vista (Basic) Capable, so it shouldn't cost that much for a 512mb ram stick and an el-cheapo graphics card for a desktop. If his estimates included installation by a "trained professional" then I would still be willing to bet it would be significantly lower, because they would probably work out a major group discount with a company (probably Best Buy) which would still bring the cost significantly lower. For laptops, I have no idea, although I would be willing to bet that costs would be individually lower than he quoted too (willing to bet that most of them have integrated capable of Aero, just not enough RAM), although some systems would have to be replaced. If that was how damages to be awarded were to be determined, of course. Considering this is a class action suit, what will probably happen is they will make a coupon available for X amount of money off your next purchase of MS software, and probably some other product as well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Joce640k (829181)

      The summary says $155. How is that "unreasonable" for a DIMM and an el-cheapo graphics card?

      Laptops would need the motherboard replacing. Good luck with that...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Alsee (515537)

      I don't think Aero-capable "el-cheapo graphics card"s even existed around the time of Vista's release. Aero cards require decent 3-D capabilities and horsepower and RAM, specific NEW capabilities for the new DirectX standard, and the video card specification requires all sorts of idiot hardware redesign for a whole shitload of new video DRM enforcement and stringent testing and certification of all of the new hardware and software DRM security, and on and on and on.

      No, I don't think there were any "el-cheap

  • As much as they deserve to get hit with this cost, I can see them going to congress asking for bailout. Which would probably cause quite a few Slashdoters to explode in rage. Especially if they got a bailout.
  • April 1? (Score:2, Funny)

    by MichaelFurey (1460819)

    The "Vista Capable" labeling campaign began on April 1, 2006.

    Oh well, probably just one of those harmless April Fools' jokes...

  • Talking about how much it would cost to do so suggests this?

    As far as I'm concerned, MS should win this case - I haven't seen anything that would suggest MS defrauded customers.. only that some uneducated customers had expectations different of what Vista Capable meant from what it actually did. I have not seen anything that - since the program was publicly announced - suggests the certification requirements changed.

    MS clearly spelled out what "Vista Capable" and "Premium Ready" meant. If customers chose

  • Why the hell would MS be on the hook for *upgrading the laptop*? Rather, they would just have to refund the price of Windows, which OEM is like $25 / machine. That makes it a few hundred million, tops.
  • by gregorio (520049) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:54PM (#26592019)
    The only complaint of this frivolous lawsuit is the fact that Vista Basic does not contain "the actual features considered as Vista-defining such as Aero and other features". This is just about a bunch of lawyers trying to get shitloads of money from a class action suit.

    There is no deception here. The computers labeled as "Vista Capable" were, in fact, able of running Vista Basic. They were not labeled "Aero Capable" or anything like that.

    I used to own a "Designed for Microsoft Windows 2000" workstation. Should I sue Microsoft for not being able to run Windows 2000 Advanced Server at full clustering capabilities? Anyone buying any piece of hardware is responsible of knowing that they might not be able to run the most advanced version any product family. What's next? Suing EA or Valve for not being able to run Crysis at full settings using the minimum system specs? I mean, 1900x1200 with 4xAA and advanced shading is what I consider "the Crysis defining features".

    Even if the computers were labeled as "Aero compatible" and Microsoft called the new Windowing theme as "Aero" (with or without the transparency), there would be no reason for a lawsuit. But they didn't. They called these computers "Vista Capable" and they were, in fact, capable of running a version of Windows Vista.

    I'm sorry but even though sometimes Microsoft gives me the creeps, lawyers can be even worse. And class action suit lawyers are the worst ones of all, they're just looking for a jackpot suit so they can retire and buy a boat.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thesupraman (179040)

      So I assume then that you would not mind if you bought a new car, then afterwards found out that you could not drive it on the freeway because it was not able to get past 40 and started falling appart if you tried?

      There were adds showing off 'Vista' primarily as aero, but then when it shipped, there was vista basic, which in no way resembled the 'Vista' people has got excited about, and bought computers claiming to support.

      Its close to a delayed bait-and-switch - unload old machines based on a promise, then

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PitaBred (632671)
      Microsoft never advertised Aero, though. They advertised Windows Vista, and showed how pretty it looked. The vast majority of consumers barely know there are different versions of Vista, much less the differences between them, and if something has a sticker saying it'll run Vista, then it should be able to run what is advertised as Vista.

      Going with your example, Crysis will run as a full game with all the features on any system with at least the minimum specs. You get to play every level, every enemy, not
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @05:43PM (#26593091)
    yeah right, MS is going to buy us all a 1 gig stick of ram. ffs people use your brains, MS is at best going to refund the cost of vista from your PC or send you a copy of windows XP.

    if this happens, it will be the year of the linux desktop with duke nukem forever being released simultanously by steve jobs while monkeys fly out his ass.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by windsurfer619 (958212)

      ...duke nukem forever being released simultanously by steve jobs while monkeys fly out his ass.

      You're modded +1 interesting because some fanboy somewhere thought it would be an interesting Apple product.

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