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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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Vista vs Vista
By SmokeRngs on 4/11/2007 2:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
This lawsuit and the changes made to Microsoft's definitions leads to the main problem with Vista and how it's marketed. As most of us know (but much of the general public doesn't know or understand)there are different "versions" of Vista.

Microsoft did this only to make more money. They didn't do this so people could run Vista on old machines. They don't care about that especially since most sales of the OS will be on new OEM machines. The tiered Vista system is just to drag more money out of people. MS hoped that people would get the stripped down versions of Vista and then pony up more money to "upgrade" to the features they thought they were getting.

Considering Vista "Ultimate" is Vista, a Vista capable system should be able to run every "feature" it has. The "Premium" or "Basic" versions just have pieces of the operating system that aren't installed, nothing more.

For example, the systems marked as Windows XP capable were able to run the Luna theme that was the default for XP. They were able to run Windows Media Player to play their media files. They were able to run Internet Explorer to browse the web (if they had an internet connection). Windows Movie Maker would run on the systems. Yes, some things may have been slow, but you could run them.

This is not the same case with Vista. A system sold as Vista capable should be able to run every "feature" of Vista. It may run it slow, but it should be able to run it.

The blame for this falls to Microsoft because they set the guidelines for "Vista Capable". They knew the person coming in off the street to buy a system at a store doesn't know the difference between the versions of Vista.

The "choice" before was between XP Home and XP Pro. Very few average users could tell you any difference between the two. This was mainly because the features in XP Pro were not needed for the average home user. The operating system would act and look the same for either one.

Microsoft's mistake was building Vista as the Ultimate version and then cutting things out of it and still calling them Vista. I still think they should have left it as two versions, Home and Pro with something like the old "Plus" pack as something else you can buy for extra features such as the media center stuff and so on.




RE: Vista vs Vista
By Xietsu on 4/12/2007 6:09:01 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft did this only to make more money. They didn't do this so people could run Vista on old machines. They don't care about that especially since most sales of the OS will be on new OEM machines. The tiered Vista system is just to drag more money out of people. MS hoped that people would get the stripped down versions of Vista and then pony up more money to "upgrade" to the features they thought they were getting.

Uh, completely wrong. It is truly irrelevant whatever stance your subjectivity may take -- and especially, in this case, such inept cynicism is laughably wrong. In corporate business, it makes sense to develop a product that caters to varying audience, with price points to match. It is one hundred percent up to the consumer to ensure they purchase the solution that is most optimum for the wants they have. If you are unable to conceptualize these simple ideas, maybe DailyTech isn't the site for you?

Last generation's edition of Microsoft OSes included 3 line-ups, not two -- MCE was one of them. Whether or not Microsoft made a mistake isn't what you are able to tell us, but how its shareholders and board of directors respond to the reversion of a faster refresh.


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