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"Vista Capable" Lawsuit Is Now a Class Action 225

An anonymous reader notes an update in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporting that the lawsuit against Microsoft's "Windows Vista Capable" marketing campaign has been granted class-action status. We discussed the company's internal misgivings with this campaign a while back. The suit alleges that "...Microsoft unjustly enriched itself by promoting PCs as 'Windows Vista Capable' even when they could only run a bare-bones version of the operating system, called 'Vista Home Basic.'" In the 2006 pre-holiday season, Microsoft had placed "Windows Vista Capable" stickers on machines to keep the sale of Windows XP machines going after Vista was delayed. Microsoft didn't lose out totally in the recent ruling — the article notes that the judge "narrowed the basis on which plaintiffs could move forward with their claims."
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"Vista Capable" Lawsuit Is Now a Class Action

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  • Re:GOOOO!!! LINUX (Score:1, Informative)

    by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @03:53AM (#22533278) Journal
    Um, I didn't see you at the meeting, but it was decided that moving from XP to Vista is a downgrade, not an upgrade.
  • by kripkenstein ( 913150 ) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @04:18AM (#22533372) Homepage

    Since when is Microsoft selling PC's? Or did they send someone around to go put those stickers on the machines?
    I'd have thought the hardware manufacturers would be the ones who didn't want sales to fall.
    I agree that the hardware vendors should also share part of the blame. However, Microsoft designed the campaign, and in addition is responsible for the capabilities of Vista (for all the hardware manufacturers knew, it might get faster before it was released to the general public). Therefore, on the face of it, the case might have merit.

    I remember the same sort of campaign when XP came out. The laptop I bought then had an "XP capable" (or something that sounded similar) sticker on the box, even though it came with ME installed and with a voucher for a cheap XP Home upgrade when it came out. After having upgraded it and having seen the performance under XP, I reformatted it and downgraded. Not to ME, but to Win2000, which it still runs fine.
    Yes, this isn't entirely new. But that doesn't justify things in any way. In fact Microsoft should have learned from past experience and done things better this time.
  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @05:12AM (#22533526)
    Judge granted a class action status to a lawsuit of customers against a company selling an "under a thousand dollars" TV for $999.95

    It would be a more apt analagy if said TVs were could only average 10 frames per second, american idol was too taxing on the set for it even to start. This line of TVs was also heavily advertised as having 5.1 surround sound playback, a remote and very shiny sexy digital knobs going to 300 channels but when you got it hom and set it up there was no remote, and you had to change channels by turning a 13 channel knob. Oh, and there was no sound either. none. not 5.1, not even mono.

    Such a unit may meet the barest qualifications of being a TV, but any reasonable consumer who got such a thing home would feel justifiably ripped off and return it immediately.

    But the insidious part of Vista capable, was that they bought it on the promise that it would run vista when it came out, and when Vista came out, they found out that their reasonable expection of 'run vista' was not met, but they were now entirely unable to return the computer, and even downgrading is a 'reformat from scratch' procedure.

    They feel ripped off, justifiably, in my opinon, and they want their money back.

    If bought a computer that "ran Vista", and ended up with a computer that could only run Vista Home Basic... and did even that poorly, then I'd take it back. These people can't. And hence there is a lawsuit.
  • by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot.jawtheshark@com> on Sunday February 24, 2008 @07:15AM (#22533876) Homepage Journal

    Use Windows 95, or perhaps even DOS. It runs faster and you have less problems.

    Except, only one part of that statement is true....

  • That is moderated insightful?

    This Slashdot story is part of the complaining about Microsoft's abusiveness, and so is the class-action lawsuit. At present, Windows 2000 will be completely killed on 7/13/2010 []. However, that is only because people complained intensely. The original death date for Windows 2000 Professional was 2007. That's why it is so important to complain.

    See a quote from this comment [] on an earlier Slashdot story: "Microsoft's customers were forced to upgrade to Windows XP because Windows 98 had an unstable file system, an unstable registry, and lots of problems with "DLL Hell" and the "Blue Screen of Death"." There were things that could have been done to make the FAT file system more stable, and Microsoft didn't do that.

    Windows 2000 Professional represents a plateau of usefulness. However, most corporations moved from Windows 95 or Windows 98 to Windows XP.

    Later in the thread mentioned above, there is another comment [] with a quote from a December 2003 Seclists article [] about corporate Windows users: "Inventory data of more than 372,000 PCs - from some 670 companies with between 10 and 49,000 employees - found that more than 80 percent of these companies were still using Windows 98 and/or Windows 95."

    The Slashdot moderation system allows moderation only from those who have no interest in participating in the conversation about a story. That brings a lot of moderators to stories in which they have no interest. They simply look for a place to unload their moderation points. Moderators are likely to be ignorant about the issues being discussed.
  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @09:36AM (#22534426) Journal
    Drivers in user space sure is great. Now when my video driver has issues, which is about twice a week, the screen blinks 3 times. Between each blink Vista tells me in a little ballon that it reasted my video driver. Well great except that after the 3rd time it BSODs anyway. Keep in mind this is a brand new HP right out of the box. Factory image the only things I have installed are litterally firefox and MS Office.

    No hacks no new drivers, just sucks.
  • Re:GOOOO!!! LINUX (Score:2, Informative)

    by KURAAKU Deibiddo ( 740939 ) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @09:55AM (#22534532) Homepage

    Give it time, Google is already paying for work on getting Photoshop to run better in it []. You might also check out Xen [] or VMware []. Having helped a number of friends and customers migrate to SuSE [] (now pre-installed by Lenovo) and Ubuntu [] (now pre-installed by Dell), I'm impressed at the advances being made in desktop GNU/Linux.

    Back to the main topic, though, at least for a moment: Personally, I'm glad to hear that the class action status was approved; Microsoft needs to be smacked into not deliberately misleading customers into thinking a product will do ____ when it clearly won't. (See also PlaysForSure on Zune [].) I only know one person who actually seems to like Vista, and it's mostly because he doesn't realize that his >$900 laptop doesn't need to run like Gnome on a sub-600MHz Pentium.

  • by jbengt ( 874751 ) on Sunday February 24, 2008 @10:34AM (#22534796)

    Use Windows 95, or perhaps even DOS. It runs faster and you have less problems.

    Not quite.
    MSDOS was a clunker, all the way.
    Windows 95 (and its' Service Pack, Windows 98), while the first usable OS from MS, was rife with problems
    You would not want to go back to struggle with its' drivers, miserable attempts at plug'n'play, and frequent BSODs
    For example, '98 seemed to have terrible memory management. When I was using 98 at work, I would frequently have Excel, Wordperfect, e-mail, and AutoCAD open at the same time. One particular job I was working on, a zoo, had particularly large and complicated CAD drawings, including several external references to other trades' drawings, and the exhibit designer's naturalistic fake trees drawn with the detail of every branch and twig. This slowed down my computer considerably, but the real problem was that after I closed the AutoCAD drawing and went back to Excel, I would soon get an error about illegal memory access that would crash the program. It only occasionally caused a BSOD, but it would require me to close all open programs and windows, and restart them. I figure that 98 somehow allocated the same memory to more than one program, and freed it from all of them when AutoCAD closed. More physical memory may have helped, but I never had that problem with XP. In fact, I almost never have had significant problems with XP.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel