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The Courts Microsoft Upgrades Windows Technology

Microsoft Wins Windows XP Downgrade Lawsuit 203

CWmike writes "A federal judge has dismissed a year-old lawsuit against Microsoft over alleged antitrust violations for the 'downgrade' rules it set for Windows Vista and XP. The order put an end to the lawsuit filed by Emma Alvarado in February 2009. In her original complaint, she accused Microsoft of coercing computer makers into forcing consumers who wanted to run Windows XP to first buy Windows Vista, or later, Windows 7, before they were allowed to downgrade to XP. The judge rejected Alvarado's accusations, saying that the plaintiff had not proved Microsoft benefited from the downgrade practices that it created and that OEMs implemented."
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Microsoft Wins Windows XP Downgrade Lawsuit

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  • by Oxford_Comma_Lover ( 1679530 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:00AM (#31294434)

    > There has to be some meaningful consequence for the losers.

    Almost nobody wants to go to court. (Attorneys sometimes do because it's fun to do advocacy before the court, but most of them are smart enough to put client interests first. Debt Collection agencies also want to because they're almost never opposed, because people don't have money to fight them, but they don't even really think of it as going to court.) Courts also have pre-trial systems in place to try to get the parties to agree to a settlement before trial is necessary--pretrial conferences serve that function in most courts. A judge can look at the record and say "Are you sure you don't want to just settle this?"

    Losing a lawsuit that you've spent years on (and likely paid for someone else to spend years on) is a pretty meaningful consequence for the losers.

    You've also got the problem that the bigger the consequence to the loser, the less likely they are to bring legitimate claims to court.

  • Re:Stupid Lawsuit (Score:4, Informative)

    by HermMunster ( 972336 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:08AM (#31294476)

    Even Microsoft admitted Vista was bad and worked hard on 7 to get it to market fast before Vista irrevocably harmed their image.

  • Re:Oh the irony (Score:3, Informative)

    by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:25AM (#31294580)
    oh please use your brain. how were they forcing them to not sell XP? by not selling it to them in the first place!!!!
  • by Telephone Sanitizer ( 989116 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @12:44AM (#31294668)

    how do you not prove that they benefited by having OEMs sell the newer version of their software before allowing a downgrade path?

    This is from the article:

    Computer makers, not Microsoft, charged users the additional fees for downgrading a new PC from Vista to XP at the factory. However, Alvarado did not name Lenovo Group Ltd. in her lawsuit.

    She sued MS for a practice of the OEM. Wrong defendant.

    It's possible that she could have shown vertical market manipulation, but that might not have been relevant. Such practices might give rise to a federal antitrust suit, but she brought a state unfair practices action.

    I'm no expert in the laws of Washington state, but from the article it appears that among other things she had to show that she did not receive value for her money and she failed to do so.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:02AM (#31294754)

    If you are calling yourself a gamer, why don't you just buy a PlayStation or XBox or Wii? Computer operating systems are not meant to be a single purpose systems and neither Microsoft promotes Windows as a gaming OS. I have been a Windows user for years but now have switched to Linux from last year, but I am very happy about my decision. I don't need to explain why, you can find it all over the Internet.

  • Re:How? (Score:4, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:43AM (#31294926) Journal

    in the end the only way to get it was to pay for the OS twice (once for Vista and once for XP)

    Except that once you've bought Vista, the downgrade to XP was free.

  • Re:Stupid Lawsuit (Score:4, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @01:45AM (#31294928) Journal

    In addition to tying the purchase of Vista to these machines, OEMs charged a significant amount of money to replace Vista with the desired OS (Windows XP)

    Fixed that for you. It was strictly an OEM charge.

  • Re:How? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:45AM (#31295160) Journal
    The problem is there was NO Vista Home to XP Home, which means that home users had to buy a more expensive license just to get XP. And THAT right there was the problem, and why they should refile.
  • Re:How? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @02:49AM (#31295182) Homepage Journal

    "Except that once you've bought Vista, the downgrade to XP was free."

    Not for anything lower than Professional, IIRC. If you had home/home premium/home basic you had to pay like a $50 downgrade fee.

  • by drsmithy ( 35869 ) <> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:08AM (#31295470)

    For what it's worth, when you click the maximize button on Windows on a window that is already maximizes, it too shrinks back--the button symbol doesn't reflect this, either. I can't really see a meaningful difference.

    Actually, when you maximise a window in Windows, the button icon changes to reflect a different action will occur when you click it again. This has been true since at least Windows 3.0.

  • Re:Stupid Lawsuit (Score:2, Informative)

    by vistapwns ( 1103935 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:52AM (#31295752)
    Your comment is not true at all regarding recent versions of Windows. Flaws in Vista and Win 7 typically only go up to remote code execution as a restricted user, and the user gets a security prompt if the exploit tries to go further. Additionally, IE is sandboxed (unlike FF, Safari and Opera) which means the most common by far vector into the system can not even touch user files. 3 year old Vista was declared by Charlie Miller, mac user and winner of multiple pwn2own hacking contests, to be MORE secure than brand new Snow Leopard, but don't let facts interrupt a good troll..

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.