Microsoft Sued Over “Vista Capable” Campaign

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Late last year, Microsoft followed up the disappointing news of its delay in shipping Windows Vista to consumers by offering upgrade kits to new PC buys with the assurance that their machine would be fully capable of running the operating system once it was released. According to a woman who has filed suit against the company, that marketing message wasn’t entirely accurate.

Dianne Kelley has filed legal action against Microsoft, proposing class action status, which alleges the company used false and/or otherwise misleading language in designating PCs that would be “Vista Capable” and would be easily upgradeable to the new operating system. The catch, however, is that “Vista Capable” only applies to Vista Basic, which lacks many of the core features that Microsoft touts as the operating system’s signature items.

Todd Bishop of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer highlights some of those features:

Machines carrying "Windows Vista Capable" stickers included those that only met the requirements for Windows Vista Home Basic — which lacks the "Aero" on-screen appearance, Media Center PC interface, Flip 3D window-switching and other features available in advanced Windows Vista versions.

Microsoft, responding to the allegations, claims that it went above and beyond all reasonable measures to ensure that consumers would have a full understanding of which version of Windows Vista their particular machines would support.

In its defense, Microsoft did also employ a “Premium Ready” designation for PC makers to affix to their products, specifying that those particular machines contained the necessary hardware specifications to run Vista’s more advanced features.

The suit also alleges that the claims of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates that consumers could upgrade their machines to Vista for less than $100 were deliberately misleading, as that price only applies to Vista Basic.

So, the negative publicity surrounding Vista continues to mount, and rival operating systems like Linux are reaping all the benefits.


Microsoft Sued Over “Vista Capable” Campaign
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