Judge gives go-ahead to ‘Windows Vista Capable’ lawsuit

“A federal judge has ruled that two consumers can proceed with a lawsuit that claims Microsoft’s ‘Windows Vista Capable’ campaign was misleading,” Paul McDougall reports for InformationWeek.

“Seattle District Court Judge Marsha Pechman on Tuesday rejected Microsoft’s request for a dismissal of the case. Microsoft had argued that the plaintiffs, Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen, lacked standing to bring the action,” McDougall reports.

McDougall reports, “A trial has been scheduled for October.”

“Kelley and Hansen claim that many personal computers labeled as ‘Windows Vista Capable’ before the operating system hit stores in January were hardly that. Microsoft assured consumers “that they were purchasing Vista capable machines when, in fact, they could obtain only a stripped down operating system,” according to the initial complaint,” McDougall reports. “In contention is the very definition of Windows Vista itself.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The best definition of Windows Vista we’ve heard to date is “chrome-plated turd.” That about sums it up.


  1. It’s interesting that Microsoft went with “lacked standing” rather than “without merit”. I guess they’re just trying the simpler—and cheaper—tactics first.

    Only Microsoft would have to go to court to determine whether what they put in a box they labelled “Vista” is the OS they call “Vista”—and argue that it isn’t.


    I can’t tell you how many people were smug about having purchased a Vista-capable computer back in mid-late 2006. I bet every one of those capable machines get an experience index of around 1.5-2. Yeah, very capable. The computer-buying public is so FFFFFFFFing dumb.

    MW – Keep: Keep being dumb, PC-buying public. I’ll be happy to keep charging you to fix your crap.

  3. I’d be surprised to see them win because Microsoft’s defense – quoted there – is quite true:

    “Microsoft has said its Vista Capable campaign included a Vista Premium Ready marketing effort that clearly stated the differences between the various versions of the operating system and the hardware needed to run them.”

    Nevertheless, I’m sure Microsoft have won themselves some bad feelings with many consumers who didn’t pay sufficient attention to what they were buying. Technically, Microsoft may be in the right, but pissing your customers off is not good business.

    Buy a Mac and you know what you’re getting. There’s *one* version of the operating system and it runs well on all the current hardware Apple sells (although adding a little extra RAM never hurt). Customers don’t know where they are with Vista’s 7 (seven) different versions, some of which will not run on hardware that’s not particularly low spec.

    But at least the RIAA and the MPAA are happy:


  4. Hmm, looks like they should have bought a Mac, they’re “Vista Premium Ready” and also run OS X to boot. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. How is Microsoft at fault here? Doesn’t the machine run a flavor of Vista (ostensibly Home Basic, as the “stripped-down” version was referenced)? So it’s capable!

    These people made an ill-informed computer purchase, and should not defer the responsibility onto Microsoft.

    The shoppers here were obviously not looking for a quality machine…

    …otherwise, they would have bought a Mac.

    Steve Jobs said that Apple doesn’t ship “stripped-down” products, and that’s exactly what almost all of the PC industry is. Dell/HP and the rest earn profit through volume, not value.

  6. This kind of thing is just a simple number game for Microsoft, and this time I bet it’s one they lost. I’ll bet you anything they knew full well that they’d be sued for unrealistic claims about Vista compatibility before they launched, but I’ll wager they thought that Vista’s revenues would far and away offset any potential settlements.
    Sure, Class Action Joe Shmoe might sure us for X millions, but we’ll enough on the Vista launch and our partners will sell enough new machines that it won’t be a big percentage when all is said and done.
    I wonder if they will have sold enough to break even?

    MW: ‘tax’

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