Microsoft sued over deceptive Windows Vista marketing

Apple Store“A lawsuit alleges that Microsoft Corp. engaged in deceptive practices by letting PC makers promote computers as ‘Windows Vista Capable’ even if they couldn’t run the new operating system’s ‘signature’ features,” Todd Bishop reports for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Bishop reports, “The proposed class action, which Microsoft disputes, was filed on behalf of personal-computer buyer Dianne Kelley of Camano Island. It focuses on efforts by Microsoft and computer makers to avoid a lull in PC sales by assuring consumers that the machines they were buying last year could run the delayed operating system upon its January release.”

“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,” Bishop reports.

Bishop reports, “In sum, Microsoft engaged in bait and switch — assuring consumers they were purchasing ‘Vista Capable’ machines when, in fact, they could obtain only a stripped-down operating system lacking the functionality and features that Microsoft advertised as ‘Vista,’ ” the complaint says. As a result, the suit said, people were buying machines that couldn’t run ‘the real Vista.'”

“The complaint, filed last week, seeks class certification and unspecified damages,” Bishop reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “elija” for the heads up.]
We’re still chuckling over the term “signature” being used to describe Windows Vista’s features.

Related articles:
Network World: Need a new PC for Vista? Switching to Mac may cost less and give you more – March 16, 2007
BusinessWeek: Microsoft’s Windows Vista is ‘slow and dangerous’ – March 15, 2007
Analyst: Microsoft’s Windows Vista is very good for Apple Mac – March 13, 2007
Windows sufferer spends six hours trying to ‘upgrade’ to Vista, says: ‘I should’ve bought a Mac’ – February 07, 2007
Windows Vista woes push BBC News editor to regret never having ‘defected’ to Apple Mac – February 06, 2007
Digit: Don’t buy Vista; Microsoft may be driving millions to stick with XP or move to Apple Mac – February 05, 2007
TIME Magazine: Microsoft’s Windows Vista ‘an embarassment to the good name of American innovation’ – February 02, 2007
Microsoft’s Windows Vista: Five years for a chrome-plated turd – January 30, 2007
Digit: ‘Microsoft’s Windows Vista may be the best reason yet to buy an Apple Mac’ – January 29, 2007
Pioneer Press: Windows Vista shows ‘Apple is an innovation engine; Microsoft, not so much’ – January 29, 2007
Windows Vista disappoints, so get a Mac – January 29, 2007
Analyst: Microsoft’s Windows Vista could be an opportunity for Apple – January 26, 2007
CNET Reviews Windows Vista: Is that all? Clunky and not very intuitive vs. Mac OS X; warmed-over XP – January 24, 2007
Mossberg: Microsoft’s Windows Vista offers lesser imitations of Apple’s Mac OS X features – January 18, 2007
Windows Vista disappointment drives longtime ‘Microsoft apologist’ to Apple’s Mac OS X – January 17, 2007
InformationWeek Review: Apple’s Mac OS X shines in comparison with Microsoft’s Windows Vista – January 06, 2007
NY Times’ Pogue reviews Microsoft’s Windows Vista: ‘Looks, Locks, Lacks’ – December 14, 2006
Microsoft’s Windows Vista is basically Microsoft’s version of Mac OS 9.3 – October 11, 2006
Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard is 64-bit done right, unlike Microsoft’s Windows Vista kludge – August 14, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista: If you can’t innovate… try to impersonate Apple’s Mac OS X – August 10, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac OS X Leopard sets new bar, leaves Microsoft’s Vista in the dust – August 08, 2006
Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006
Windows Vista rips-off Mac OS X at great hardware cost (and Apple gains in the end) – June 13, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006

Windows expert dumps Windows, switches to Apple’s Mac OS X, finds software plentiful – March 12, 2007
InfoWorld: 9,000 people switch to Apple Mac every day (plus testing ‘Embrace and Extinguish’) – February 28, 2007
Netscape founder Marc Andreessen switches to Apple Mac – February 28, 2007
Computerworld: Windows expert dumps Windows, switches to Apple’s Mac OS X – February 08, 2007
Embrace and Extinguish in action: TechIQ’s ‘The VAR Guy’ dumps Windows, switches to Mac OS X – September 25, 2006
Bill Gates unhinged with Apple envy; Microsoft on path to become high profile casualty – February 06, 2007
Apple takes dead aim at Microsoft’s Windows Vista in latest ‘Get a Mac’ ad (with video) – February 06, 2007
Bill Gates has lost his mind: calls Apple liars, copiers; slams Mac OS X security vs. Windows – February 02, 2007
Those unfamiliar with Apple’s Mac OS X may be impressed with Windows Vista – January 29, 2007
Microsoft emails reveal serious Mac OS X Tiger envy – January 26, 2007
A Windows expert opts for a Mac life, finds the experience ‘superb’ – December 07, 2006
15-year Windows vet tries Apple Mac: ‘My God! This is amazing!’ – December 04, 2006
Dave Winer: ‘Microsoft isn’t an innovator, and never was – they are always playing catch-up’ – December 01, 2006
Harvard Medical School CIO picks Mac OS X over Linux and Windows – November 30, 2006
A Windows expert opts for a Mac life – November 06, 2006
Apple Macs can run more software than Windows PCs – October 30, 2006
Apple does it again: New Macbook Pros much cheaper than Dell – October 25, 2006
Embrace and Extinguish in action: TechIQ’s ‘The VAR Guy’ dumps Windows, switches to Mac OS X – September 25, 2006
Top Windows developer dumps Microsoft’s ‘pile of crap’ for Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2006
$399 for Windows Vista Ultimate?! (Hint: Get a Mac) – August 29, 2006
Thurrott pits Apple Mac Pro vs. similarly configured Dell, figures out the Mac is less expensive – August 18, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Apple Macintosh simply does more and costs less than Windows PCs – February 14, 2006
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003

56 Comments

  1. Usually these lawsuits are nothing more than arterial sclerosis for courtrooms, but this one has more weight than others due to its obviousness. The “Vista-capable stickers” were intended to sell the “magic” that is Vista (such as it is). That the machines could not run the signature features of Vista IS deceptive advertising and most probably fraud.

  2. This does have a very good point – none of the new features in Vista Home Basic are actually advertised (for obvious reasons!) I think that for many people, the “wow” was more like “hey waaaaait a second…”

  3. You can’t blame Microsoft!

    They didn’t know what anything was going to run on, and still probably don’t know shit! It doesn’t look too good for MicroSuck right now. I feel really bad for them… NOT!

    Pi

  4. …They should settle out of court…each consumer who is covered in the suit will receive the following:

    1) iMac/MacPro of their choosing [Leopard ready, naturally]
    2) MacBook/MacBook Pro of their choosing [Leopard ready, naturally]
    3) Complimentary iPod
    4) Copy of Parallels
    5) Copy of Windows XP (just in case of necessity)
    6) $1,000 of Bill Gates personal fortune
    7) Box of chocolates

    There, that should fix it!

    MDN word = ‘cases’
    How many ‘cases’ has there been against Micro$oft?

  5. Just like in virtually every other case, MS will cough up a few million bucks and this will all go away. The real problem was with the morons buying the dog sh*t PCs in the first place. When you only spend $400 or so on a piece of junk like that, you’re pretty much getting what you deserve.

  6. If anything, it could be aimed at the PC manufacturers, but not MS.

    “Among other things, Microsoft created the additional designation of Windows Vista “Premium Ready” to indicate that a machine was capable of running the operating system’s advanced features, meeting premium hardware requirements including a full gigabyte of system memory.

    That “premium” designation was made available for PC makers and retailers to use in places such as computer boxes and in-store marketing materials, said Mike Burk, a Windows product manager. Microsoft also detailed the hardware requirements for the various Windows Vista versions in places including its own Web site.”

    It was the responsibility of the manufacturers and the retailers to make sure the consumer knew what they were getting.

    OS X does the same thing when they publish minimum system requirements.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.