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Appeals court denies review of Microsoft's appeal against class action status

Microsoft’s short lived break from the “Vista Capable” lawsuit did not quite see the result the software giant was hoping for. After Microsoft’s appeal of a decision to allow the lawsuit to continue as class action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Monday denied to hear it.

A statement issued to BetaNews by Microsoft legal spokesperson, Jack Evans, claimed, "The Ninth Circuit's decision not to accept our request for interim review is not a ruling on the merits of our case. We look forward to presenting all of the facts on what the district court itself said is a novel claim."

The suit was filed following and accusation against Microsoft for falsely displaying the “Vista Capable” sticker on Window’s machines that lacked in hardware support. The machines were able to run Windows Vista Home Basic, but failed to handle the other versions. This caused uproar especially with the crowd looking forward to the Vista Aero Glass feature.

It would seem this case is cut and dry with Microsoft misleading customers, but the argument prolonging the case consists of Microsoft’s use of two different stickers. Machines that could only run Home Basic were planted with the “Vista Capable” sticker, while machines that could run all versions were labeled “Vista Ready.”

With the case moving forward as class action and the continuation of discovery, Microsoft could see a rough path ahead if new information comes to light. Over the period of the suit, emails quoting Microsoft’s execs bashing the operating system on their low grade machines as well as the company lowering Vista’s graphics requirements so that Intel can make a few extra dollars on its motherboards has already made this case very intriguing. 

With the discovery of new information, Microsoft could take a lot larger hit than they first expected.   At this point, whether Microsoft wins or loses all the information released and to be released could really put a damper on software sales and future contracts.

The remainder of the case should be quite entertaining if we see what we have been seeing. No other information has been released as of yet.

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RE: This is ridiculous
By EffKay on 4/24/2008 10:16:30 AM , Rating: 5
I tend to disagree with you.

Capable and Ready are synonyms and in all fairness Ready could be viewed as less Capable than Capable? See?
e.g. "I'm ready to run the marathon but I'm not sure I'm capable of finishing it."

What Microsoft was originally accused of may have been frivolous (using semantics, word play and and vague terminology as marketing tools to sell PCs to the proletariat) BUT what has emerged from digging deeper into the mess is WHY the courts have refused to dismiss the case.

In all things the MOTIVE is the key to guilt or wrongdoing.
In this case Microsoft was not motivated by the ideals of treating their own paying customers fairly by using clear stickers that read: "Vista Home Capable" and "Vista Premium Capable", instead they chose to use ambiguity in order to fleece people who don't know any better in order to further increase the already sky-high profits of their bed-fellow Intel.

This has allowed Intel to foster upon the PC world the travesties that only it can. The 945 chipset should have died with the P4 (it's THAT OLD) yet Intel would happily squeeze both Joe Public AND those who know better for as long as possible for this antiquated crap.

Don't blame the victims for being fleeced by two of the worlds biggest multinational corporations. They do it on purpose in order to maximise profits and THAT is what this court case has evolved into.

RE: This is ridiculous
By mattclary on 4/24/2008 10:35:10 AM , Rating: 2
Thank god. SOMEBODY around here seems to have a brain.

RE: This is ridiculous
By rdeegvainl on 4/24/2008 10:45:36 AM , Rating: 2
I think capable is actually the lesser of the two. To be ready to run the marathon, you have to be capable first. But if you haven't eaten your Wheaties and hydrated, your body is still capable, just not ready.
I think the difference here is that your using it as "mentally" ready, where as I am thinking about the physical capabilities of the body. I think they are similar, but they gave the information out as to the difference between the two stickers, the users just didn't find it.

RE: This is ridiculous
By mattclary on 4/24/2008 10:48:58 AM , Rating: 2

Both stickers, especially to the unwashed masses will read "Vista will run just fine on this machine"

RE: This is ridiculous
By Kenenniah on 4/24/2008 12:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft wasn't the only or the first to use capable and ready in this manner.

HD Capable television - Can display HD content but needs an external HD converter.
HD Ready television - Can display HD content and has an HD receiver built in.

Is that so much different? If the MS lawsuit is valid, why aren't TV manufacturers being sued for their labels? Your "unwashed masses" could easily have bought an HD capable TV without knowing the difference.

Besides, people need to take responsibility for themselves. If the "unwashed masses" aren't computer literate enough to know what they are getting, then they should do this thing called research. Look at reviews, talk to other people and so on. Most non techies would probably think an 8400GS video card is faster and better than a 7900GTX because of the higher number. Of course this is far from the case, but it's not Nvidia's fault if the user buys without doing any research.

Are the PC's in question in lawsuit capable of running Vista? Of course, so what's the problem. If a video card says it's Direct X 10 capable, does that it mean it should run all DX 10 games with all features enabled? Obviously not, try running Crysis with all features enabled on a DX 10 IGP. So why is Microsoft's Vista Capable held up to higher standards. It can run Vista, but just not all versions with all bells and whistles turned on.

RE: This is ridiculous
By murphyslabrat on 4/24/2008 1:08:57 PM , Rating: 3
Both stickers, especially to the unwashed masses will read "Vista will run just fine on this machine"

Choice of words is interesting, as the kind of people that would correctly interpret the stickers are, demographically speaking, far more likely to be unwashed.

RE: This is ridiculous
By Alpha4 on 4/29/2008 6:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
the kind of people that would correctly interpret the stickers are, demographically speaking, far more likely to be unwashed.

I love how nobody here expressed any offense with that statement.

RE: This is ridiculous
By Topweasel on 4/24/2008 11:56:47 AM , Rating: 2
But all of this implies that Vista Ultimate for example won't run on any of these machines. They may not run it well, but I currently have vista Home Premium on a machine that barely has 512 MB of memory and an integrated Intel video card. I don't get Aero but I still get Media center which is why I purchased it in the first place(Zune and X360 streaming).

While they might have a case that Microsoft didn't do a enough to say hey this machine won't run Aero, its not like what was listed wasn't true and doesn't apply to all of the versions of Vista.

My question is why are we allowing people to infer what something says. Microsoft listed machine as Vista Capable, any machine that has this sticker is capable to run all of these versions just certain features don't work. My Point is even if they knew people wouldn't understand what they are saying how much is the public allowed to infer to what success the machine is capable of. Its not like Microsoft didn't have the information available for everyone if they had questions.

RE: This is ridiculous
By FITCamaro on 4/25/2008 10:04:17 AM , Rating: 1
Your argument would hold weight if there had not been information released detailing exactly what these labels indicated. The information available on the web and in stores clearly said that Vista Capable machines were only certified to run Vista Basic. And that Vista Ready machines were certified to run all versions of Vista.

If you didn't read the damn information before making a purchase, thats your fault. There is no evidence out there that Microsoft told stores to lie to customers and say that Vista Capable machines were able to run any version.

You can argue that these people are "victims" all you want. They're not. They're idiots who either are unhappy with their purchase now that they don't have what they want or didn't read the damn information to begin with. I used to work at computer department, I can say that people often times didn't even ask what the capabilities of the machine were.

They just walked up, asked what the cheapest thing we had was, and said "Box it up". If you tried to tell them it was a piece of junk, they didn't care. "Oh its just for web browsing" or "Oh its just a throw away anyway." Then they'd be back a few weeks later bitching it broke or didn't work like they wanted because it had no RAM or the integrated video wasn't fast enough to run their kids games.

RE: This is ridiculous
By kiloguy on 4/27/2008 2:39:55 AM , Rating: 2
to effkey:
I know it is, like 3 days old, but i just had to look-up my old login and password to this forum so i can tell you that, as some others have already stated in this thread, It is refreshing to read a post such as your's. (Real logic, honest opinion, no slander.)

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