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A Windows Vista Capable logo in the wild
Lawsuit may have forced Microsoft to change what it means to be Vista Capable

Two weeks ago, Dianne Kelley started a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft alleging the software company is engaging in deceptive practices by branding new computers with a Windows Vista Capable logo even if they couldn't run the all the new operating system’s features.

Although Microsoft strongly refutes Kelley’s claims, the threat of a lawsuit may have triggered the company to change its language on what “Vista Capable” means. As clipped by a blog at the Seattle Times, Microsoft originally described its Windows Vista Capable program as the following (all bold emphasis added by Seattle Times author):

“Through the Windows Vista Capable program, Windows XP-based PCs that are powerful enough to run Windows Vista are now available from leading PC manufacturers worldwide, including Acer Inc., Dell Inc., Fujitsu Limited, Gateway Inc., HP, Lenovo, NEC Corp., Sony Corp., Toshiba and more. The Windows Vista Capable logo is designed to assure customers that the PCs they buy today will be ready for an upgrade to Windows Vista and can run the core experiences of Windows Vista.

Shortly following the news of the lawsuit, the explanation of the Windows Vista Capable program appeared to have changed to this:

“A new PC running Windows XP that carries the Windows Vista Capable PC logo can run Windows Vista. All editions of Windows Vista will deliver core experiences such as innovations in organizing and finding information, security, and reliability. All Windows Vista Capable PCs will run these core experiences at a minimum. Some features available in the premium editions of Windows Vista — like the new Windows Aero user experience — may require advanced or additional hardware.”

While both the original and updated descriptions mention that Vista Capable means being able to run the “core experience,” the updated passage clearly states those experiences will run at a minimum.

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Manufacturers also at fault
By INeedCache on 4/9/2007 2:37:29 PM , Rating: 4
Blame here, if one is going to assign blame, should at least fall partially on the shoulders of the computer manufacturers. There are lots out there that are skating by on minimum specs just so they can put on a label, or load XP or Vista. There are still lots of laptops, heck desktops, out there sold with only 256 or 512mb of RAM. What a crock. Manufacturers know what kind of computing experiene people will get from a specific machine, yet they still do this garbage and let the entire blame fall to Microsoft. I think there is plenty of blame to go around, including some to the consumer, who should make an attempt at an informed decision. Caveat emptor.

RE: Manufacturers also at fault
By walk2k on 4/9/2007 3:38:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I agree. OEMs are pretty hot to slap the "VISTA" logo on any new box they sell, regardless of how well it will perform.

RE: Manufacturers also at fault
By Scott66 on 4/9/2007 3:44:38 PM , Rating: 2
Why blame the manufacturers? It is Microsoft that created the specs.

RE: Manufacturers also at fault
By walk2k on 4/9/2007 6:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
Blame the manufacturers because they build the systems, they put the cpu/ram/video card combos together, THEY PUT THE OS ON IT, and they test it. They know exactly how well it performs. If it's a sluggish beast, they shouldn't be putting Vista on it, but they do anyway because a computer without Vista won't sell...

RE: Manufacturers also at fault
By burlingk on 4/15/2007 2:15:35 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft may have created the specs (And stated that these specs will run crumby), but it is the reseller that translates that information to the end user as "Your machine will run Vista just fine!"

By Volrath06660 on 4/9/2007 5:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
You are right about the Caveat Emptor.....but it is actually falling, or should fall, with the buyer....they should know, or have someone with them who does know, computers when they go to buy them. The problem is that in todays world, everybody thinks that everyone else has their best interests at heart.....this IS a crock.....look after your own interests, and if that means seeking help when you know nothing about something, then so be it, but dont come crying to the rest of the world expecting a handout when you do something stupid because you thought you were getting a great deal.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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