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Consumer without Aero launches attack on Microsoft

A class action lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. has been filed for the company’s Windows Vista Capable logo on new computers. According to Seattle P-I, the suit alleges that it was deceptive to include the logo on machines not capable of running all the features Microsoft was touting as new features of Windows Vista.

To run Windows Vista, PCs require a minimum of 512MB of RAM, an 800MHz or faster processor and a DirectX 9-capable graphics card—but those requirements do not guarantee a computer of running the new operating system will run with all new features. One such feature is “Aero,” an updated graphical user interface that requires both a relatively powerful graphics card and one of the most expensive versions of Windows Vista.

“In sum, Microsoft engaged in bait and switch -- assuring consumers they were purchasing 'Vista Capable' machines when, in fact, they could obtain only a stripped-down operating system lacking the functionality and features that Microsoft advertised as 'Vista,'” read the complaint.

The suit also alleges that Bill Gates played a part in misleading consumers after making a comment that users would be able to upgrade to Windows Vista for less than $100.

“In fact, one can only 'upgrade' to Home Basic for that price, which Mr. Gates and Microsoft know is a product that lacks the features marketed by Microsoft as being Vista,” the suit said, alleging that Gates' statement “furthered Microsoft's unfair and deceptive conduct.”

“Anybody who purchased a PC that had the Windows Vista Capable logo got the core experience of Windows Vista,” said Linda Norman, a Microsoft associate general counsel. “We have different versions, and they do offer different features. ... The Windows (Vista) core experience is a huge advance over Windows XP, we believe, and provides some great features, particularly in the area of security and reliability, and just general ease of use.”

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Bait and Switch?
By masher2 on 4/4/2007 4:28:56 PM , Rating: 3
You can only bait someone into buying your own product. The computers in question aren't even Microsoft products. Its not even misleading, as "Vista-compatible" machines are compatible with the OS itself, even if certain features are disabled.

This suit is nothing but (yet) another lawyer looking for some quick bucks from corporate deep pockets.

RE: Bait and Switch?
By Oregonian2 on 4/4/2007 5:38:28 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was going to say. Microsoft isn't selling anything in this scenario, so there's no Microsoft Bait or switched product. The only contortion that one might come up with is in fact the REVERSE of bait-and-switch. They'd be lured in by the high priced upper-end version of Vista product and get switched into purchasing the lower priced product (Vista basic). Kinda backwards, eh?

RE: Bait and Switch?
By dmcgraw on 4/4/2007 6:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft will, sadly, be immune to this. Consumers should be made aware and understand fully the term "caveat emptor." These computers in question are in fact Vista "capable", albeit weakly. If consumers are smart, look beyond the price of a computer ($400-$600) will be capable of running Vista (Basic), whereas $900+, the computer will state Vista Premium "Ready." See where I am getting at? Vista Capable and Vista Premium Ready are two totally different terms. But as such, we as consumers want more bang for the buck, without even taking a look farther than the price itself. In most cases, You Get What You Pay For.

RE: Bait and Switch?
By theapparition on 4/5/2007 7:33:26 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft will, sadly, be immune to this.

As well they should be. Why on earth would you think Microsoft was to blame when they didn't even deliver the end item to the consumer? They were not the one to claim a specific PC was ready or not.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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