Class-action suit accuses Microsoft of overcharging for Windows, causing damage with IE insecurity

“The Minneapolis law firm that negotiated a $182 million settlement of a lawsuit charging Microsoft with overcharging Minnesota consumers two years ago is ready to take one more crack at the software giant in an Iowa court next week,” Leslie Brooks Suzukamo reports for The Pioneer Press.

Suzukamo reports, “The Iowa class-action suit accuses Microsoft of using its dominance in the personal computer market to overcharge for its Windows operating system and applications like Office, and the Minneapolis firm of Zelle Hofmann Voelbe & Gette is asking the court to order Microsoft to pay $350 million in damages.”

Suzukamo reports, “The firm also wants Microsoft to pay an additional $50 million to consumers for forcing them to patch their computers against viruses and hacker attacks caused by vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser, which was ‘bolted’ to the Windows operating system in the mid-1990s, said Rick Hagstrom, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.”

Suzukamo reports, “The damages would cover consumers and businesses that used Windows operating systems dating from May 1994 through June of this year.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If Microsoft were ever forced to pay for all the damage their shoddy software products have caused the world over the years, they’d be bankrupt many times over. The vast majority of personal computer users would be far better off with Apple Macs.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
FBI: Viruses, spyware, other computer-related crimes cost U.S. businesses $67.2 billion per year – February 01, 2006

Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Symantec CEO: We think more people ought to buy Apple Macs – May 15, 2006
McAfee: Microsoft ‘taking security risks’ with long-delayed, oft-pared-down Windows Vista – October 02, 2006
Why is Apple’s Mac OS X so much more secure than Microsoft’s Windows? – October 01, 2006
Apple Macs are far more secure than Windows PCs – September 26, 2006
Oxymoron: Microsoft security – August 12, 2006
With exploits in wild, Microsoft Windows braces for yet another critical worm attack – August 11, 2006
Sophos: Apple Mac OS X’s security record unscathed; Windows Vista malware just a matter of time – July 07, 2006
Sophos Security: Dump Windows, Get a Mac – July 05, 2006
Apple: ‘Get a Mac. Say ‘Buh-Bye’ to viruses’ – June 01, 2006
Security company Sophos: Apple Mac the best route for security for the masses – December 06, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005


  1. I think the damage that MS has caused and continues to perpetrate on the world is unconscionable, and the supposed powers that be that allow it all to continue, even more so.

    Break MS up, once and for all, so that we can get some real software technology competition going on the planet Earth for the first time ever in the history of the world – Think about it! Wake UP!


  2. Apple has to be next. Their stuff does not, as they claim, ‘just work’.

    In fact, since I am forced to use both OSes(office is completely blind to Mac possibilities) I think plaintiffs taking on Apple would have a better case because Microsoft never claimed that their stuff worked.

    One company makes false claims, the other makes no claims, they just issue crap and now the superior company wants to copy them.

    And, the Apple faithful, like the group that hovers around this site, are the ones to blame.

  3. Sounds to me like these lawyers just had a taste of cash on their lips and want more. The dark ages of computing are over, and hopefully there will be more (viable)OS choices in the future. I’m really sick of reading everyone bitching about Microsoft copying Apple. Remember when “stow and go” seating came out in minivans? Next year all the other guys did it. It’s a cool feature, just some do it better than others. Shut the hell up about it already. Just pick the one you like better and speak with your wallet.

  4. I’m sorry, MDN’ers, but I seem to have raised my baby boy with no respect whatsoever for his betters. His having only one testicle has weighed heavily on him all of his life, and even paid “professional” ladies have not been able to liberate his badly, badly damaged libido.

    Please do your best to forgive him, folks. He’s simply the human equivalent of that mangled dog you see every so often in the back alleys of America, digging through garbage cans, howling at the moon, and trying to fit into the functional world as best he can.

    I weep for by child.

  5. It’s about freakin’ time!!! I hate lawyers, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. I have been saying this for years – someone should sue Mafia$oft for making products that are known (and ignored) to be defective.

  6. Hmmmmmmm???? Is it just me or has anyone noticed this fact??

    Apple pays $100 million and gets the use of the iPod menu system from Creative. And the News world goes crazy!!!!! AAAAgggg, Apple pays!!!

    Microsoft pays $180 million (almost twice as much) and gets —- wait for it — NOTHING in return. And its a press no-show.

    Just a thought.


  7. I don’t agree with this type of lawsuit. First, I don’t think that there is real proof that MS overcharged for their OS. How much should the OS cost? There’s really no way to determine that. It’s not something that we can compare to anything else, because MS has a virtual monopoly in this area. We can’t compare with cars and say “they cost too much” because all cars are expensive to some folks. We could compare with gasoline, electricity, etc. Exxon has made record profits over the last several quarters, and gas costs over $2 per gallon. This seems as though it would be a much easier lawsuit to prove.

    On the other point, the lawsuit is pointing at bugs in the code that allow hackers to create malware to affect Windows. If I were on the bench (scary!) I would say that the problem is not the fact that Microsoft makes shoddy code (even though they do), but that hackers are attacking the code. I’d tell the plaintiff to sue the hackers, not MS. I’d tell them to secure their computers just as they do their cars, knowing that if they lock their cars and park them on the street, they can still be attacked.

    Frivolous lawsuits are a problem in this country. We should not support them just because we hate Micro$oft.

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