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

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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  • Re:Haha yeah. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:01PM (#26590805)
    Funny, I have saved my company 10's or 100's of thousands of $ just by switching to Linux and dropping MS and Sun. MS can post what they want on a site but my budget don't lie.
  • by click2005 ( 921437 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:19PM (#26590963)

    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 integrators responsible. At least as responsible as Microsoft, maybe more.

    No, but as the GP pointed out, MS decided what the minimum specs were for Vista. Even if they changed them for Intel chipsets, its still their responsibility.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:38PM (#26591187) Homepage

    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...

  • by Ash Vince ( 602485 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:51PM (#26591353) Journal

    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.

  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:57PM (#26591453) Homepage

    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-cheapo" Aero video cards. Aero compatibility requires an entirely NEW design of an entirely new class of video card with abnormally strict and expensive design and certification requirements.

    Does anyone have a price figure for a bottom end Aero-capable video card that was available within say 6 months of Vista's release? And the current lowest price for such a card?

    The article puts the maximum cost of upgrading a PC at $155. That sounds extremely plausible to me for RAM+AeroVideo+installation.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24, 2009 @05:09PM (#26592195)

    Does anyone have a price figure for a bottom end Aero-capable video card that was available within say 6 months of Vista's release? And the current lowest price for such a card?

    The oldest Aero-capable video cards are the Geforce FX (released 2003), the ATI/AMD Radeon 9700 (released 2002) or the Intel GMA 950 (released 2005).

    In late 2006/early 2007 when Vista was hitting the consumer market, these cards were selling for US$60-$80. These days you can pick up something Aero capable for maybe US$30.

  • Re:Well. (Score:4, Informative)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @05:49PM (#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.
  • by unleashedgamers ( 855464 ) * on Saturday January 24, 2009 @09:06PM (#26594353)

    I went out and bought a full Vista Ultimate and all I get is the price of an OEM version?

    If (and I did) I bought a 'Vista Capable' computer that I was TOLD would work with Vista and then went out and spent $499 on Windows Ultimate because I was assured it would work but only get $200ish back because "Oops, we thought it would work... Our bad!"

    I think this is still fraud. I want
    A) A computer that is 'Vista Capable'
    B) A refund for the Windows Vista that I was told would work but cant return because I had to open it to install it to find out it didn't work.

    I'll even go without compensation for the hours I wasted of my time to Backup my documents, install Vista, restore documents, find out it wont work, backup documents again, install the XP that the computer came with and finally restore documents yet again.

    This is why I think I tend to enjoy Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris a little bit more than Windows, no hassles.

Veni, Vidi, VISA: I came, I saw, I did a little shopping.