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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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By mark2ft on 4/5/2007 3:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
being a law student you're (will be) involved in the scheme and quite frankly i consider your explanation as a form of pr, not convincing by the way (professional? - yes).

What "scheme"? Yes, lawyers have a bad reputation in the US. But don't stereotype ME just because I'm a law student.

most of the so called class action lawsuits (the more dubious reasons the better) does not benefit customers but only few lawyers that had come up with the idea of the lawsuit. consumers as a rule fork the bills (essentially losing even more).

Yes, in many instances, lawyers get the bulk of the monetary awards, while plaintiffs often get discount "coupons" for their next purchase from the same defendant-manufactuer! This is one of the biggest criticisms of how class action suits have been played out, and like my professor, I agree that this is a problem. But I don't agree that the aim of class actions is to sue someone for dubious reasons. As an attorney, you want to WIN in court. You don't want to lose case after case because of your dubious reasons.

sue ms so it opened its file/os standards so others could create compatible applications/os; do it for reasonable price (if you can understand the meaning of reasonable the way the non-lawyers do) and i'll call it win win situations.

Regarding suing MS to make it open up its file/os standards: yes, this may be a good reason. I guess the law to back that up would be something along the lines of antitrust statutes.

About reasonable price: well, sure. The problem is the class action nature. The bigger the class, the less money each class member gets. Here the plaintiffs didn't specify the exact amount of damages (go to the "Prayer" part of the complaint PDF in the link). But they did say that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, so hopefully the lawyers won't end up gobbling up everything.

it's a pity but most of the "law entrepreneurs" present themselves as an example of pure greed. sorry if this generalization offends you, but this is my opinion.

I know, this is a growing problem. I had a speaker during my law school orientation that lawyers are getting paid too much. This is true in a lot of cases--class actions being a good example.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith
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