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New evidence in anti-Microsoft suit strengthens claims that Microsoft purposely put "Vista Capable" stickers on computers not at all ready for Vista

Vista has certainly had its criticisms and struggles, including failing grades from the English school system and the dubious distinction of being named PC World's biggest disappointment of 2007.  However, despite this Vista sales have been moderately successful, despite failing to surpass Windows XP's success

However, a major suit accuses Microsoft of knowingly lying to the consumer to boost these sales.

Across the country retailers carrying various laptops and desktops saw there wares begin to sport "Windows Vista Capable" stickers.  The stickers were part of a campaign my Microsoft to continue sales of Windows XP computers, by citing as a selling point the computer's ability to later be updated to Windows Vista.

The new suit challenges that many of the computers bearing this sticker were by no means fully "Vista Capable" as they were not powerful enough to support Vista's advanced features and would only run the most bare bones installation of Windows Vista.  Further the suit accuses Microsoft of knowing this, and willfully misleading less computer-savvy customers into buying machines under false premises.

On Friday the suit went before U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman in Washington to determine if the lawsuit merited class-action status and whether Washington law applied.

The plaintiffs were represented by Jeffrey Tilden of Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell.  In his opening presentation Tilden quoted internal emails which he had gained access too, in which Microsoft employees stated their concerns about the program, which they felt was inaccurate.

The currently sealed documents includes some zingers.  One employee writes, "Even a piece of junk will qualify" for the "Vista Capable" designation.  Another employee, Mike Nash, currently a corporate vice president for Windows product management, states angrily, "I PERSONALLY got burnt ... Are we seeing this from a lot of customers? ... I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine."

Jim Allchin, then the co-president of Microsoft's Platforms and Services Division writes, "We really botched this ... You guys have to do a better job with our customers."

Tilden hinted that numerous retailers had voiced concerns to Microsoft, and he showcased an email from retail giant Walmart demonstrating such concerns.

David Bowermaster, a Microsoft spokesman, dismissed the emails as rogue, insignificant snippets and argued that, "The e-mails cited in today's hearing are isolated, and in many instances, outdated and really just snippets of a broad and thorough review that took place during the development of the Windows Vista Capable program."

Bowermaster argued that his company deserved praise, as according to him, "Throughout this review, Microsoft employees raised concerns and addressed issues with the aim of making this program better for our partners and more valuable for consumers. In the end, we believe we achieved both objectives."

He also pointed out that the company had a separate "Premium ready" sticker campaign.  Microsoft lawyer Stephen Rummage, a lawyer with Davis Wright Tremaine, also argued that there was no class for the suit as customers had different levels of information on the requirements needed and that there were plentiful detailed explanations to elucidate these requirements.  He pointed to numerous magazine articles and online sources that helped consumers by dissecting what requirements they needed to run what features.

The plaintiff's attorney countered this argument stating that the class was united in that all individuals buying "Windows Vista Capable" computers "did not get what they paid for."

The hearing concluded with Pechman stating that she would make a ruling within 10 days about whether the suit had class action status and could proceed.




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$2100?
By BMFPitt on 2/11/2008 12:43:00 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Another employee, Mike Nash, currently a corporate vice president for Windows product management, states angrily, "I PERSONALLY got burnt ... Are we seeing this from a lot of customers? ... I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine."
What could he have possibly bought for $2100 in the last 2 years that won't run Vista Ultimate, let alone Premium? My old AthlonXP/nForce2 test box ran it decently when I was evaluating it in late 2006.




RE: $2100?
By chsh1ca on 2/11/2008 1:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
An older laptop possibly.

I think this particular "vista-ready" issue occurred for a lot more laptops than desktops.


RE: $2100?
By SirLucius on 2/11/2008 1:16:21 PM , Rating: 4
I dunno. My two year old Dell 1705 cost me ~$2000, and it's running easily running Vista. It's got a 2GHz Yonah Core Duo, 2 gigs of memory, and a 7900GS go. It actually would have cost less but I ended up buying things like a spare battery and power adapter at the same time. I use it for audio recording, 3D modeling/animation, and gaming without a problem. I find it hard to believe that a two year old laptop that cost $1800+ would have a hard time running Vista.


RE: $2100?
By therealnickdanger on 2/11/2008 1:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I loaded Vista RC1 on my old 1705 with the same specs (actually it only had 512MB RAM at the time and the 1.6GHz Yonah). It ran Vista just fine, of course it ran better once I put 2GB RAM in. It handled everything with aplomb.


RE: $2100?
By therealnickdanger on 2/11/2008 1:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
I should note that the laptop didn't even have a "Vista Ready" sticker on it and Dell didn't officially support Vista on it at the time (because it wasn't out yet), yet Vista was able to recognize every driver flawlessly.


RE: $2100?
By Radeon117X on 2/11/2008 2:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
Even my Dad's laptop:
Intel Pentium M 1.6GHz
512MB RAM
ATI Radeon 7000
ran Vista RC1 pretty well. Kind of a joke really, but it ran and he was able to load many different things quite easily. Couldnt play any games (zomg 32MB Radeon 7000 HAHA) but it worked quite well! Vista's pretty scalable on hardware. So, I really wonder how his $2100 laptop cant 'run' vista...that's just not specific enough.


RE: $2100?
By 3kliksphilip on 2/11/2008 5:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
The moment I saw that $2100 quote I knew somebody would have posted about it.

My Dad has my old PC now, comprising of

AMD 2100 XP
512 MB RAM
Geforce 4200 TI 64 mb

I'm surprised that the aero interface didn't work- must be some sort of DirectX 9 feature. There aren't any drivers for it (The 4200 TI) anywhere, and I've had to use the motherboard sound as opposed to the Sound Blaster Live. Apart from that it seems to be alright, even if it is sluggish compared to my new computer (I'm quite pleased about that, considering that I have just spent £700/$1400 on it). What sort of PC can't run Vista at all? I mean, as long as you have 512 mb of ram and a 1 Ghz processor, it should be able to run (At least well enough for the usual word processing / emails). Why would Vista require 512 mb of ram any way? Where's it all going? (If anybody knows a free way of getting the Live! soundcard working, or a proper fix to the Graphics card's lack of drivers, please let me know :)


RE: $2100?
By TomZ on 2/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: $2100?
By tdawg on 2/11/2008 5:48:08 PM , Rating: 3
Also, the TI 4200 isn't DX9 capable. I originally had one when I tested Vista in beta; Vista won't allow you to activate the Aero interface without a hardware DX9 capable card and there are no drivers that can add this capability.


RE: $2100?
By 3kliksphilip on 2/11/2008 5:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh, so it actually REQUIRES you to have that specification in order to be able to run Aero? (As opposed to letting you run it and find out the hard way that it slows your PC to a crawl). I've just been looking into it in a bit more detail...

'Support for DirectX 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)², Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32 bits per pixel.'

I guess that's another reason.

...Not that my Dad cares. (He won't spend any money on an upgrade, as he has an opinion that 'It worked with XP, why shouldn't it work with an upgraded operating system?'... not that there's anything wrong with that opinion, considering that he won't be doing anything too graphically intensive on it. That I know of.)

As for my PC, I have had zero problems with the operating system and compatibility. (One of the most overlooked perks of having an up to date system)


RE: $2100?
By maverick85wd on 2/12/2008 10:49:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have had zero problems with the operating system and compatibility. (One of the most overlooked perks of having an up to date system)


overlooked? Isn't that why most people upgrade?.... so their computer will work better/faster/etc.?


RE: $2100?
By glitchc on 2/11/2008 6:22:48 PM , Rating: 2
Regarding the SBLive drivers:

Look up kx project. Works fine for me in Vista 32. Haven't tested it on Vista 64.

Regarding the GF4... you're sol. NVidia has explicitly refused to support all hw older than 6xxx series on Vista. You can try an older third-party one like NGO or Omega drivers with support for the chipset, but they use the NVidia unified library as their base, so it's unlikely it'll work. Check out www.guru3d.com for those.


RE: $2100?
By mindless1 on 2/11/2008 8:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
That's not entirely accurate, right now on nvidia's site you can get a Vista driver for FX (5-series) cards.

Granted it won't do DX9 & Aero, but it is a driver.


RE: $2100?
By StevoLincolnite on 2/11/2008 1:57:16 PM , Rating: 2
I ran it fine on my old Pentium M 1.6ghz (Dothan) 1024mb of SoDimm DDR, and a 64mb Mobility Radeon 9700 Pro - Not bad for a 4 year old machine and able to run all the bells and whistles. - Even handled Oblivion at Medium quality settings while running Vista.


RE: $2100?
By FITCamaro on 2/11/2008 1:28:34 PM , Rating: 3
My laptop from 4 years ago would easily run Vista. 3Ghz P4, 1GB RAM, 60GB hard drive, 128MB 9600 Pro.

If you paid $2100 for a laptop that can't run Vista Home Premium, even 2 years ago, you're an idiot and deserve what you got. I mean when I was testing Vista at an old job about the only system we tested where Aero wasn't usable was when we restricted its RAM. Even with a single core processor, 1GB RAM, and integrated graphics it ran fine.

And that was on a debug build with lots of error checking code going as well.


RE: $2100?
By encryptkeeper on 2/11/2008 3:55:45 PM , Rating: 5
Mike Nash, currently a corporate vice president for Windows product management, states angrily, "I PERSONALLY got burnt ... Are we seeing this from a lot of customers? ... I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine.

Then wipe the machine, load XP on it and move on with your life. If the sticker said, "Windows Vista Capable" on it, it doesn't mean it supports the greatest and most powerful version. It's like watching a car commercial and seeing all the lovely shots of the leather interior, 6 disc CD changer, sunroof and heated seats and saying, "Look that car only costs $23,000." You have to read the small print that says "Price with features shown $37,000."


RE: $2100?
By mindless1 on 2/11/2008 8:33:24 PM , Rating: 3
OK, so long as there's fine print on the sticker that details what'll have to be bought or what features are actually present in Vista with the system configured as it was sold.


RE: $2100?
By Omega215D on 2/12/2008 3:04:02 AM , Rating: 2
That's the thing, weren't there two stickers available depending on the machine? One stating "Vista Capable" and "Vista Ready?"

The capable ones could be upgraded to support all features of Vista and the Ready versions had met all the requirements. Then the stupid OEM manufacturers would load the system down with several useless start up programs, even on Vista Home Basic models.

If anything the OEMs should be sued.

I had Vista on my new MacBook but I decided to put it on my main PC rig. It ran great on the MacBook despite having Intel GMA X3100 graphics (shaders are there).


RE: $2100?
By mathew7 on 2/12/2008 7:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, there are 2 stickers, but there is no other information. On the "capable" sticker, it does not say that there is another "ready" sticker. Also it does not say to go to "www......" to see what it means. So there is no fine-print like in the car commercials.
Remember that non-savy users heard of Vista through commercials and I have not seen commercials which explain the difference between capable and ready. Actually, I never saw any commercial about Vista, or at least I have not paid attention.


RE: $2100?
By EricMartello on 2/11/2008 1:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
With business customers, I'd say over 30% of the cost is some sort of service agreement that gets rolled into the purchase price of the PC.


RE: $2100?
By DASQ on 2/11/2008 1:32:56 PM , Rating: 2
That still leaves him ~$1500 for hardware.

What kind of laptop for $1500 can't run Vista? For that matter, what laptop at $1000 can you get that won't run Vista?


RE: $2100?
By winterspan on 2/12/2008 4:48:14 AM , Rating: 1
2 year old smaller notebook / subnotebook

~1.5 pentium M
500MB RAM
Integrated intel graphics


RE: $2100?
By mathew7 on 2/12/2008 6:47:48 AM , Rating: 2
My god....do your homework.....There are laptops with smaller than 15.4" screens. And those are very expensive and not that powerful because of cooling and battery problems. 15 (4:3) and 15.4" (widescreen) are the LEAST expensive laptops around. I got myself a 14" (4:3) laptop for 2000$, and it has Intel's X3100 IGP. Think about a 12"/13" laptop.
So I'm not surprised to see a ULV 1.6GHz C2D with 512MB and GMA950 which DOES NOT run Vista well (without Aero). And it would probably cost 2500-3000$.


RE: $2100?
By jadeskye on 2/11/2008 1:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
i put vista ultimate on a windows 2000 machine at work and it works fine o_o

it's a lil slow but thats to be expected. honestly i don't know what the arguement with this guy is.


RE: $2100?
By enlil242 on 2/11/2008 2:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
I have to throw in here and say that my IBM ThinkPad T42 runs Vista Business perfectly, without hiccups with an Intel Pentium M 1.8ghz a Gig of memory. This was released sometime in 2005 before Vista was even in Beta, I believe...


RE: $2100?
By erikejw on 2/11/2008 6:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
He bought any laptop with a great CPU but with built in graphics.

Not many of those chipsets runs Vista good.


RE: $2100?
By erikejw on 2/11/2008 6:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
He bought any laptop with a great CPU but with built in graphics.

Not many of those chipsets runs Vista good.


RE: $2100?
By Etern205 on 2/11/2008 8:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
I got a Toshiba Tecra A7 laptop and bought it for around $1600. It's got a Core Duo Yonah @1.8GHz, 512mb (upgraded to 1GB for basic 3D games not because of Vista), a 80GB HD, Intel GMA 950, and Windows XP Pro. This was purchased about 7 months before you see any laptops with those stickers that says "Windows Vista Capable".

When the public beta come out I immediately download it and run it on my lappy and it works, so when the full version came out in January, I immediately bought Vista Home Premium, scraped of my XP and installed Vista. So far till now it's been working great and Aero works as well on my GMA950. I've just upgraded to 2GB recently just for faster response, but so far everything works.

Heh it looks like most people like to scrap XP and install Vista, but for me it's the opposite.


RE: $2100?
By dijuremo on 2/11/2008 10:01:16 PM , Rating: 3
I purchased a really decent Asus AJ8P laptop. It is supossedly Vista capable (it actually got a free upgrade since I bought it Dec 2006), it has a T7200 mobile Core 2 CPU, 1GB ram and a 3D accelerator card (Nvidia Go something, do not remember the exact model).

I put Vista 64 bit on it, and even though it works decently, it has a huge problem with the fan not turning on after going into sleep mode. Asus support has done nothing to help fix the problem. No windows updates have been released that can fix the problem.

Now you tell me, Vista capable? Maybe, but at the cost of frying the processor because Vista cannot control a stupid fan...


RE: $2100?
By noirsoft on 2/12/2008 12:21:04 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Vista cannot control a stupid fan...


Vista is not in control of the fan. If _no_ fans ever came back from sleep mode, that would be evidence of an OS fault. But a small fraction of fans failing is more likely a driver issue.

The people who wrote the (presumably) motherboard drivers are the ones who are to blame. I would also bet that it's not Microsoft who wrote those drivers. So, again, it's most likely the hardware vendor's fault for not writing correct Vista drivers, not Vista's fault.


RE: $2100?
By winterspan on 2/12/2008 4:45:58 AM , Rating: 1
He probably had a smaller subnotebook with a sub 2ghz pentium M and terrible integrated graphics. explains it to me..
And he was probably exaggerating the $2000.


It runs doesnt it?
By Mitch101 on 2/11/2008 12:41:03 PM , Rating: 4
It runs that should mean capable. Because it doesn't run the most advanced version with all the bells and whistles or super fast how is this a lawsuit?

I guess I should sue someone for buying Crysis and not being able to play at 60FPS at 1920x1080i.




RE: It runs doesnt it?
By pomaikai on 2/11/2008 12:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Capable means it meets the minimum requirements.

quote:
I guess I should sue someone for buying Crysis and not being able to play at 60FPS at 1920x1080i.


If your system meets crysis minimum requirements according to the lawsuit you should be able to sue.


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By Misty Dingos on 2/11/2008 1:17:41 PM , Rating: 3
I think that this is just a symptom of the consumer, even the well educated, not having a clue as to what they want or need when buying a computer. (As an aside to this, I also think this is why Apple sells any computers at all.)

Go ahead and ask some. I will wait.

See what I mean. I am sure you heard this lot. “I want to use email, chat, cruise the internet (always fast), look at my pictures (note this is not edit just view), and maybe a little word processing.”

There are very few power users at home outside the enthusiast market.
Most consumers don’t need a quarter the hardware they have already. And like all new operating systems before it Vista needs better hardware than the previous generation of software. I don’t blame MS for trying as hard as they can to sell as many copies of their latest OS as they can. Could they have been more transparent about the inherent limitations of the Vista OS? Sure. Could the buying public spend more time educating themselves about the hardware realities of a new OS? Certainly, and they should before spending one penny.


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By Shawn5961 on 2/11/2008 3:37:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most consumers don’t need a quarter the hardware they have already.


I agree with that. I build my own computers, but yesterday I was in Best Buy to kill some time and looking at their computers, and even the $450 to $650 dollar computers had 3 gig of RAM in them. And sure, more RAM is better, but how many people buying a $450 computer are going to need 3 gig of RAM?


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By KamiXkaze on 2/11/2008 9:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed as well the vast majority don't even need Vista either. Most if not all only need E machines and that is it.

KxK


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By noirsoft on 2/12/2008 12:26:11 AM , Rating: 2
Vista aggressively uses all available RAM to speed up response time rather than let it sit idle if apps aren't using it, so more RAM is always a good thing. It's probably the easiest way to ensure good VIsta performance, second only to having an Aero-capable graphics card.

2 gigs is a good number for Vista, just like 512 megs was a good number for XP -- And hey, a 4x increase over 6 years is not bad at all. The "common interpretation" of Moore's Law (doubling roughly every two years) would be an 8x increase. So, given tech increases and price drops, the same money spent on a Vista machine today should get you a lot more power than equivalent money for an XP machine in 2001.


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By Shawn5961 on 2/12/2008 5:40:01 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not arguing the fact that more RAM is a bad thing. Personally, it's second on my list of things to buy for my PC (need a new hard drive badly).

What I'm saying, is of the users purchasing a computer in that price range, 3 gig of RAM is usually unnecessary. Sure, it's only 40 dollars or so for a gig of DDR2 anymore, so I realize that's not much, but these are generally budget computers, not meant to be used for applications with insane requirements.

I mean, at the moment, I've got 2 gig, and I do everything from graphics intensive gaming, to audio and graphics editing, and only a few times do I find myself saying "Wow, I need more RAM." Keyword.. need, not want.


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By winterspan on 2/12/2008 4:55:25 AM , Rating: 1
"As an aside to this, I also think this is why Apple sells any computers at all."

Way to throw in some typical anti-apple MS fanboy bullshit. You are going to tell me that more people who buy Apple computers are "confused" about what they need vs the hordes of walmart shoppers? hahahahah.
I'm not sure if you are truly ignorant or just stupid, but for most the last 15 years, the only people who purchased Apple's computer were loyal Apple enthusiasts who knew exactly what they were buying.
The other prominent group who purchase Apple hardware is the entire creative content industry, and the majority of that group also knows what they need and what they are getting.

But don't mind me (or facts), go ahead and spread your bullshit.

Oh, and btw, NO, I don't own an Apple computer. Dell/WinXP.
I just hate fanboys...


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By robinthakur on 2/12/2008 7:04:44 AM , Rating: 2
I think its an issue of transparency really at the point of sale. One would expect that MS and its resellers logically brought in this labelling system so that consumers who are not fluent in IT could be able to discern which PC's to buy WITHOUT doing a copius amount of research. If this certification process was flawed then it misled the public and if done deliberately then I'm all for the lawsuit. Also the fine print needs to be delivered at the point of sale, not written obscurely on some website or across several webbsites somewhere. If they're buying a pc after all, they might not even have internet access at present...

The difference between what's vista capable and vista premium features capable is key because Vista basic does look VERY basic and the difference between this and premium/ultimate is immediately very obvious to most consumers and is a difference they would care about.


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By the goat on 2/11/2008 2:44:22 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It runs that should mean capable. Because it doesn't run the most advanced version with all the bells and whistles or super fast how is this a lawsuit?

I guess I should sue someone for buying Crysis and not being able to play at 60FPS at 1920x1080i.

Think about it this way, you buy a computer that had a sticker saying, "Designed to play Crysis." Then when you installed Crysis a month later you have to play at 640x480 with every detail option turned to low or off just to get 30fps average. In that case, yes you got ripped off and should be able to sue. The pictures on the Crysis box and in magazine reviews would look nothing like the game on your computer. The computer was clearly not really designed to play Crysis.

That is basically what happened to many people who bought "vista ready" computers.


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By AlphaVirus on 2/11/2008 3:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That is basically what happened to many people who bought "vista ready" computers.

No that is not true at all. I understand what you are trying to say when you made reference to "Designed to play Crysis" but it does not apply the same.

The term Vista Ready means just that, its ready to play Vista. That does not mean Vista destroyer, or Vista dominator, or Vista crusher, or Vista handler.

If every computer was built as a Vista Destroyer instead of Vista ready then we would not have any computers under $600 on the market.

If a computer is capable of running the OS with no lockups then it is Vista Ready. It sucks that it is like that but thats just the way it is.


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By noirsoft on 2/12/2008 12:29:26 AM , Rating: 2
Remember, the sticker didn't say "designed for Vista" -- it said "Vista Capable" They also had a sticker that said "designed for XP"

There was a second type of sticker that said "Vista Premium Ready" -- and those machines had much higher specs.


RE: It runs doesnt it?
By imperator3733 on 2/11/2008 4:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
This lawsuit is so stupid. It needs to be thrown out. The people are just mad that they didn't pay attention to what "Vista capable" means. These systems run Vista. Therefore they are capable. They were labeled as "Vista premium ready", so there was no false advertising.


By pomaikai on 2/11/2008 12:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure MS did not test every single vendor package/configuration to verify that it was vista capable. They gave the minimum specs for vista and said if your PC meets this spec it is capable to run vista. It was the vendors who needed this sticker. Word got out on how processor/memory intensive vista was. Hardware vendors needed to keep moving there cheap prepackaged systems so they slapped a vista capable sticker on them. Sue the hardware vendors not microsoft.

Should we start sueing software companies for putting minumum requirements on games that would only allow it to be played on the lowest possible settings.




By bobdeer1965 on 2/11/2008 1:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
Across the country retailers carrying various laptops and desktops saw there wares begin to sport "Windows Vista Capable" stickers. The stickers were part of a campaign my Microsoft to continue sales of Windows XP computers, by citing as a selling point the computer's ability to later be updated to Windows Vista.

I agree as the above paragraph plainly is all the evidence needed to throw this whole thing out.
MICROSOFT DID NOT go around to stores and factories putting stickers on computers. I personally know someone with a DELL laptop that came with Vista installed on it that has a Semprom processor and 512 MB of memory. Very basic specs indeed. BUT it works. Although very slow until I added another 512MB of memory for her. It is acceptable now. I think it is the manufacturers fault. WHY would DELL not recommend to this customer that they should upgrade to at least 1 gig of memory when they purchased it over the phone. DELL KNEW what 512MB would do to Vista. But my point is this is a very basic laptop and I seriously doubt there were any with lower specs than this with a Vista capable sticker on it. AND the sticker was put there by the MANUFACTURER not Microsoft.

As stated above this is just a money grab for lawyers.

Have you ever seen what the consumer gets in a cless action suit. Usually only a couple of bucks.
But the Lawyers get Millions.


By enlil242 on 2/11/2008 2:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Should we start sueing software companies for putting minumum requirements on games that would only allow it to be played on the lowest possible settings.


I find some of the "minimum system requirements" on PC game packaging laughable at best.

My Athlon 64 3500+ system with 2GB ram and a Geforce 6800GT could barely run FEAR at medium settings, yet the system requirements are / were:

* Windows ® 2000/XP with latest service pack installed
* DirectX(tm) 9.0c
* Pentium ® 4 1.7 Ghz or equivalent
* 1GB RAM
* 128 MB DirectX ® 9.0 Compliant Video Card with hardware T&L and pixel shader support*


By AlphaVirus on 2/11/2008 3:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the term 'minumum requirements' is used loosely to state if the computer can boot up the software. Thus if you have minumum requirements you should at least be able to get to the main menu of a game and the login screen of OS. As far as what happens after that, thats what is out of the devs hands since every user is totally different.

Notice where I put Bold below.
Vistas Minumum Requirements are:
quote:
Home Basic:
-1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
-512 MB of system memory
-20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
-Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory
-DVD-ROM drive
-Audio Output
-Internet access (fees may apply)

Home Premium / Ultimate / Business:
-1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
-1 GB of system memory
-40 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
-Support for DirectX 9 graphics with:
WDDM Driver
128 MB of graphics memory (minimum)
Pixel Shader 2.0 in hardware
32 bits per pixel
-DVD-ROM drive
-Audio Output
-Internet access (fees may apply)

Additional Requirements
Actual requirements and product functionality may vary based on your system configuration. Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor can help you determine which features and edition of Windows Vista will run on your computer.

While all editions of Windows Vista can support multiple core CPUs, only Windows Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise can support dual processors.

Home Premium / Ultimate
TV tuner card required for TV functionality (compatible remote control optional).

Home Premium / Business / Ultimate
Windows Tablet and Touch Technology requires a Tablet PC or a touch screen.

Ultimate
Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption requires a USB Flash Drive and a system with a TPM 1.2 chip.


The blame should not be put on Microsoft because as of today I am not aware of ANY computer that runs less than 20GB of hard drive space. The least I have seen at any Brick and Mortor or E-Tailer is a 40GB used 60GB new. So from my knowledge every computer made meets the minumum requirements.


By MrPickins on 2/11/2008 5:36:13 PM , Rating: 2
That was exactly the point I was going to make.

MS never put stickers on anything. That was solely the action of the OEM's.


By mindless1 on 2/11/2008 8:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
It was a MS program, surely this much was obvious already?


By KamiXkaze on 2/11/2008 11:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
Part of the problem is that most people tend not even read the system requirements, and complain when there pc can't run said OS.

KxK


Somebody needs to get fired
By Xodus Maximus on 2/11/2008 12:49:41 PM , Rating: 3
How could any VP write an email stating "I PERSONALLY got burnt ... I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine". The ignorance of that statement merits a demotion or in my opinion a firing.

Well maybe he bought a computer for that price from the back of a van, and it turned out to be a 486, in either case I would make him VP of "paperweights and dusting".

Anyway my point is that Microsoft appears too segmented and needs to restructure their departments because what caused this mess and how they are reacting to it are symptoms of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, and that will only serve to create more "Vistas" in the future. Vista appeared to be like a big pot in which people threw random things in ,what sank stayed in, what floated got removed, but there was no clear vision of where it came from and where it was going, all that effort for nothing.




RE: Somebody needs to get fired
By Griswold on 2/11/2008 2:38:59 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with the first part but not with the second. The guy is an idiot and vista isnt half as bad as some (also blogs at DT repeatedly quoting those funny sales claims, just to make their point - or so it seems) make it out to be.


By Xodus Maximus on 2/11/2008 4:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
I have nothing against Vista, but it does have many issues, and the problems stem from "central direction" like I stated before. I'll give you an example, all be it exotic, but still an example.

Last time I ran Vista on my work machine, I installed Visual Studio 2005, and it fails to run, apparently it needed VS2005_SP1 on Vista, okay installs, but then you need to run with administrative privilege even if you are running as the administrator?!? okay, so I make the correct shortcuts, yeey, it starts and im happy. Two weeks later VS fails to load and says invalid license please reinstall (im not kidding about the please reinstall part), so I search the forums and then end up calling tech support. It seemed that this was a known problem that sometimes just happens(they kept trying to convince me that I was using a beta Vista version, even though I was staring at the OEM packet that was not beta), and their solution was for me to purchase VS2008, even though the problem sometimes happened on that version too.

So a Microsoft made product does not want to run on a Microsoft OS, because, too many departments changed code in windows, and the others had no idea that critical structures were changed, so it ends in a big mess. That is what I meant.


RE: Somebody needs to get fired
By Ringold on 2/11/2008 3:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
As I read over at Paul Thurrott's website recently, the OS division has apparently brought in the guy that ran the Office division, and he's apparently a guy that gets things done. It would seem, then, that they agree with you Vista was mismanaged and have already taken steps to correct the issue moving forward.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/11/2008 7:49:32 PM , Rating: 1
Thats a good move. I have never been let down by a single version of Microsoft Office. Always excellent products.


By encryptkeeper on 2/11/2008 4:17:38 PM , Rating: 1
Nice post. I wouldn't say that Microsoft learned nothing, hopefully they learned some humility out of this, even if they aren't willing to admit it. I think you're exactly right when you say that Microsoft is too large and should be broken down to smaller divisions to keep their edge. It's pretty evident looking at Vista Business that they had direction on what they wanted to do, but it was the wrong way. If I'm running a business, particularly a small one, why do I need a machine with 2 GB's of memory, a dual core processor, anything with more than onboard graphics, all bundled into a $900 machine? All I need is 512 or 1 GB, a Celeron (shudder) and simple graphics. 500 bucks and I'm done. Microsoft's idea was that to sell Vista meant hardware vendors could sell more hardware (MS sales guys never said it directly, but it's pretty easy to figure out when they form a better marketing campaign to sell it to sales guys than they do the general public). MS thought it could (to borrow a description of Apple) shit in a box and people would buy it. They NEVER imagined that people would balk at the idea of a new OS, they thought people would just grin and bear it, and everyone would be happy. The hardware industry is doing well, but Vista wasn't some giant shot in the arm of the PC business.


RE: Somebody needs to get fired
By mathew7 on 2/12/2008 6:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How could any VP write an email stating "I PERSONALLY got burnt ... I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine". The ignorance of that statement merits a demotion or in my opinion a firing.


Actually VPs have the budget to buy 12"/13" laptops (which start from around 2000$), which because of size cannot provide large batteries and big cooling. So they use low-power (=low-performance) parts. Unfurtunately, Vista IS BLOATED (which even they admited) and basically you cannot do anything else than web/e-mail on that computer (and even that with low responsiveness).


Yea Right
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 2/11/2008 12:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
As if 90% of the people buying these machines and participating in this class action suit have the ability or knowledge to purchase a copy of Vista and install it. Nice try, but this is merely a law firm's target for money.




RE: Yea Right
By Screwballl on 2/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Yea Right
By SirLucius on 2/11/2008 1:08:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure, this 500MHz Pentium2 with 64MB of RAM is "XP Capable" but that doesn't mean that it can run all the features and was never touted to be able to .


The key point here is "was never touted to be able to." Microsoft made it very clear what the minimum and suggested specs for running Vista were. All it took was a quick check at Microsoft's site to see. Documentation on Vista was available all over the place both online and in print media. If people clicked "buy" without doing any research at all, then that's their fault, not the fault of Microsoft. The documentation was there. People chose to ignore it.

quote:
With Vista, they never had these "suggestions" and slapped a sticker on anything that could run the stripped down version of Longhorn beta.


See my point before. The documentation on what hardware could run different versions of Vista effectively was there. Even major vendors like Dell had pretty decent guidelines on what to buy when getting a Vista computer. Vista "capable" doesn't inherently mean that the hardware will run the OS like honey suckled from an angel's tit. It just means that the hardware is capable of running the OS.


RE: Yea Right
By kc77 on 2/11/2008 5:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is most of us are computer people we think different than the avg joe. Case in point within these posts you have people running around with Athlon XP's with 2GB of Ram shouting I can use Vista just fine. Any Althon XP with 2GB of RAM is definitely not a standard configuration and especially around the time Vista Ready stickers were out. The people with this problem have truly been misled. It's been happening for years within the gaming industry such as "minimum requirements " most minimum requirements on the games released today are laughable at best and every gamer knows it.

As far as how these people get suckered in it's VERY easy. Let's take the minimum memory requirements of Vista which are 512MB of Ram. Now are you paying attention this is how it happens? You take your local E-Machine which are EVERYWHERE or your base line Dell which has 512 MB of RAM installed. Now you have a SIS or Intel chipset with onboard video which most likely will default to 128MB of RAM out of 512. Now you are running a Vista Ready and/or "capable" machine underspec because you are really leaving 384MB of RAM for Vista and 128 for the video. Under this situation let me tell you (and I've seen these machines in action) "Ready", "Capable" hell even "Minimum Requirements" is just grossly inaccurate under these specifications Vista will barely run at all. You most likely upon starting the machine you'll barely get through the updates while hanging or crashing your way to a reboot. Trust me I've seen machines with this configuration shipped with these exact specs and I can see how the avg person would be quite angry. For those of us who live and breathe computers it seems idiotic that people wouldn't get more memory but these people aren't computer people at all. They don't visit Anand, Tom, or CNET. They might see a bought review in their local paper but that's about it.


RE: Yea Right
By Screwballl on 2/11/2008 7:17:17 PM , Rating: 2
Read the first line of my message before talking back to me like this.

quote:
Those 90% of people barely know the difference between Intel and AMD much less Conroe versus Athlon, 1MB versus 1GB and so on.


How the hell are they to know what the difference between an Intel 825 and E1200? YOU and I may know but John Q Public doesn't know or doesn't care, they see a system for $400 with that cute little blue sticker and assumes it will have this pretty "my little gothic pony" prettied up OS called Vista and the sticker says it works with it so they buy it. They see Vista and heard of some of its capabilities only to find that their system cannot run all the options they bought it for... thus the lawsuit.

As techs we may know the difference but 95% or more of the public does not and you cannot assume they do.

Oh yeah thanks for voting me down for speaking the truth, I love it when Vista FUD sheep vote down anything bad people speak about Vista.


Let it be crystal clear
By crystal clear on 2/12/2008 1:56:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Across the country retailers carrying various laptops and desktops saw there wares begin to sport "Windows Vista Capable" stickers. The stickers were part of a campaign my Microsoft to continue sales of Windows XP computers, by citing as a selling point the computer's ability to later be updated to Windows Vista.


If this is true then these lawyers should be taking those retailers/OEMs/resellers etc etc to court for misleading buyers.

M.S. does NOT sell/manufacture/assemble desktop or laptops-they only sold an O.S. to the OEMs on a license to preinstall them on machines or later install it as an upgrade.

The choice of hardware/components packaged in the sale of those desktops/latops were the decisions of OEMs involved.

M.S. is NOT an OEM/retailer/dealer/seller/reseller etc of COMPUTERS-let this be very crystal clear-they only SELL an operating system let it be XP or the VISTA.

In my comments in the past have repeatedly blamed/accused OEMs of dumping their hardware on the buyers to qualify for Vista marketing fundings ,as the cause for the slow adoption rate of VISTA amongst buyers of new computers.

They MISUSED the Vista marketing campaigns & huge M.S.marketing/promotions FUNDINGS to boost their sales of their hardware(desktops/laptops).

Thats the reason retailers carrying various laptops and desktops saw there wares begin to sport "Windows Vista Capable" stickers.

The stickers were part of a campaign NOT by M.S. but by OEMs/retailers/resllers etc to continue sales of Windows XP computers, by citing as a selling point the computer's ability to later be updated to Windows Vista.



The OEMs had only sales/revenues/profits/marketshare in mind & used Vista as an opptortunity to unload their excess inventories.

Let it be crystal clear - ALL those price cuts announced by Intel or AMD in their price wars in 2007 were for OEMs none of them were passed on to the buyers.
If they were indeed passed on to the buyers,they were very small or minor.
They the OEMs also benefited by HUGE Intel marketing FUNDINGS.

To summarize it all, the OEMs/retailers/resellers all had a very successful year-financially !
Thanks to the marketing/promotional fundings by M.S (Vista) & INTEL(Core2 duo) plus allthose price cuts given by Intel/AMD.

So if anybody that has to be taken to court for misleading the buyers/consumers its the OEMs/retailers/resellers etc.




RE: Let it be crystal clear
By Lightnix on 2/12/2008 10:08:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Let it be crystal clear - ALL those price cuts announced by Intel or AMD in their price wars in 2007 were for OEMs none of them were passed on to the buyers.


Q6600. That is all.


RE: Let it be crystal clear
By crystal clear on 2/12/2008 12:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Q6600. That is all.


That reminds me read of a review on -

The Youngest of Yorkfields: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Processor Review

Today we are going to talk about the youngest quad-core Yorkfield CPU, which should replace the today’s market hit – Core 2 Quad Q6600.



http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2...

Since I presume you have Q6600 like I do !


Kid-Tested, Mother-Approved.
By i3arracuda on 2/11/2008 12:57:18 PM , Rating: 5
I wish all my purchasing decisions could be based on the recommendation of a single, solitary sticker. There is just something inherently comfortable about letting an inanimate object doing all the legwork for you.

Even if the sticker says, "BUY ME, RUBE".




pretty out there
By tastyratz on 2/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: pretty out there
By wackie999 on 2/11/2008 1:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
Albeit the word 'capable' is ambiguous, the sticker was not meant for the type that would 'research' the specs for Vista. The sticker was meant for your casual buyer who wanted to invest in something for the future. This kind of expectation for a customer is unreasonable and clearly has intent only to deceive such a person into buying product. The sticker serves no other purpose. To make a sticker for anyone beside the computer illiterate is vain and pointless.
So please think before you throw the burden on the buyer.


RE: pretty out there
By tastyratz on 2/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: pretty out there
By wackie999 on 2/12/2008 6:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, a consumer shouldn't expect more than to be able to run the OS. I was just speculating intent on Microsoft's behalf with the whole deception bit.

The charge is a bit far-fetched. I don't think it will get very far. However, I just wanted to clarify as to not throw the burden on the customer to research, as it were.


dumb...
By Oregonian2 on 2/11/2008 2:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
Whole thing sounds like an April Fool's joke. Silly. Microsoft has sold NO computers that I know of (other than the Xbox perhaps). Apple sells computers, Microsoft doesn't. So to say that Microsoft fooled customers into buying their computers by misleading them about Vista is utterly absurd just on the face of it.




RE: dumb...
By Oregonian2 on 2/11/2008 2:07:14 PM , Rating: 2
P.S. - Now, suing the companies that sold the computers -- not Microsoft -- may be at least arguable. they got the sales. But if they'd run the lowest of the low Vista versions, it'd still qualify as "truth".


How else to you expect MS to replace XP?
By TerranMagistrate on 2/11/08, Rating: 0
By Ringold on 2/11/2008 3:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
I've paid for two copies of Premium and one copy of Ultimate, all OEM, and asides from the Ultimate copy, I'm happy with them. I just don't use many of the features Ultimate employs, but felt like the price delta with Premium was low enough it was worth having a copy.

So to each their own. I have and continue to tell friends and family that any new PC or new custom build should come with Home Premium x64. You're free to go the linux or the Apple route.


Inconceivable!
By NicePants42 on 2/11/2008 2:05:31 PM , Rating: 2
You're saying that un-savvy consumers may have been mislead by advertising that overstated the capabilities of a product?




By encryptkeeper on 2/11/2008 4:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
Ready or Really Able?

At a minimum, the requirements met by Windows Vista Capable PCs will allow customers to run Windows Vista Home Basic, according to Microsoft. However, they do not represent the minimum hardware requirements for higher-end versions of Vista, requirements Microsoft says it will provide in the future as the program expands.

Joe Wilcox, analyst with Jupiter Research, stresses the importance for customers of the distinction between PCs "capable" of running Vista and those that are actually "ready" to do so.

"A system that will run Windows Vista may not be capable of using all of its features," he points out. For example, a machine branded "Windows Vista Capable" that is a high-end Media Center PC with superior graphics capabilities will be ready for even the most feature-intensive versions of Vista, Wilcox explains. But if it's a low-cost PC and it has a "Capable" sticker on it, "it will probably run the features of Home Basic but not anything else," he warns.


Source: PC World, March 2006.
www.pcworld.com/article/id,125286-page,1/article. html?RSS=RSS

This is just a case of consumers jumping the gun and running over to Best Buy to get whats the "latest and greatest". Didn't computer nerds like us warn them to be cautious of Vista?




minimum specs
By UMUJU on 2/11/2008 8:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
In order for a computer to be Vista Capable, it just has to meet the basic requirements. This doesn't include all of the other hardware or software you may want it to work with. I had a compaq notebook with the Vista Capable sticker, but when I ran the compatibility wizard from MS, about half of my hardware/software wasn't supported. If a computer is being advertised as able to be upgraded, the user should be able to do so without losing any of the functionality they previously had. If I had "upgraded", the notebook would cease to function in the manner for which it was intended.




By mercilessming on 2/12/2008 8:43:51 AM , Rating: 2
"compatible" never means runs wide open, almost any new released os needs more than the bare stock dell/gateway/hp build. People want it all for nothing. I love vista 64bit version, after learning the in and outs of its higher security out of the box, I haven't blue screened, I have had software that runs on it that wouldn't run as good on XP, some emulators even seem to run better. And I don't have top of the line computer equipment. I also don't run the fancy gui, never have what every the most minimalist GUI an OS has, I run. Why do some people just want to hate on Microsoft or think they somehow are smarter for running some whizz bang candy coated interface, I have run Windows since 93~94 windows 3.11 and never had a major problem that was self induced, however I didn't like nor run Windows ME, and preferred to not run Win NT 4. I like XP but win 2000 was a milestone in win history and Vista 64bit is a new milestone, so I think.

My Vista Machine is
AMD X2 4600+ 939pin
4 gig ram
Geforce 6800




No different then Games?
By Rhodenator on 2/12/2008 3:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The new suit challenges that many of the computers bearing this sticker were by no means fully "Vista Capable" as they were not powerful enough to support Vista's advanced features and would only run the most bare bones installation of Windows Vista.


How is the above different then any games? If it meets the MINIMUM system requirements, it means it will run (but doesn't promise that it will run maxed out with Aero interface and et cetera). Also, I've even seen games give recommended specs and they were low for what they "really" needed to be. I recall when 1080i/1080p HD-DVD streams for Windows Media Player came out and they use to say minimum system requirements was a 3.00 GHz CPU. Now they say a Dual-Core 3.00 GHz CPU (they weren't out back then). Anyways, these type of lawsuits are just stupid to me, but I'm the rare bean in the ground.




Another stupid lawsuit
By qwertyz on 2/11/2008 6:31:56 PM , Rating: 1
What can I say just another stupid lawsuit that seeks desperately for money.




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