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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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By Christopher1 on 4/9/2007 3:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well, most people buy pre-built and they have good reason to be angry when it says "Windows Vista Capable"..... and they find out different.

By RMSistight on 4/9/2007 4:37:01 PM , Rating: 3
Well it's the customer's fault for not getting a clear explanation of what "Windows Vista Capable" really meant. It's also the salesperson's fault too for not specifying that a Windows Vista Capable machine doesn't come with all the bells and whistles.

Also, in your comment, based on what we know, the customers didn't find anything different. The machine itself IS, in fact, Windows Vista capable. But that doesn't mean they can run the cool features. So in essence, I believe, Microsoft did nothing wrong. I think the keyword here is "capable". This goes back to my original comment about educating yourself as a consumer and doing your homework before you make a large purchase.

By Volrath06660 on 4/9/2007 5:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
Then most people are getting seriously scr---d. It is cheaper to buy parts and build to get an amazing machine that you dont have to worry about Vista minimum specs, and it is not very hard either. I have built almost a dozen systems now, and I went into the first with little or no knowledge. The motherboard manual walks you through it. While yes, many people still buy prebuilts, those are the people who didnt know any better and wont really miss the extra feaetures until somebody tells them that they miss scum sucking lawyers......and really, am i going to have to tell you to look up "capable" too?

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