Lawsuit says Microsoft intentionally misled with ‘Windows Vista Capable’ claims to move PCs

“Quoting extensively from internal Microsoft Corp. e-mails, plaintiffs’ lawyers argued Friday that the company knowingly misled consumers by allowing PC makers to emblazon ‘Windows Vista Capable’ stickers on PCs that could run only the most bare-bones version of the operating system,” Joseph Tartakoff reports for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

“The new documents are the latest development in a lawsuit filed against Microsoft last year, charging that the company deceived consumers into thinking that the PCs they were buying could run Vista’s most highly promoted features, even when they couldn’t. The slogan was part of a campaign by Microsoft to maintain sales of Windows XP computers during the 2006 holiday shopping season after Windows Vista was delayed,” Tartakoff reports.

“The hearing Friday before U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman was held to determine whether the lawsuit merited class-action status and whether Washington law applied,” Tartakoff reports.

“During his opening presentation, plaintiffs’ lawyer Jeffrey Tilden of Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell quoted from numerous internal e-mails that appeared to show that employees within Microsoft had misgivings about the “Windows Vista Capable” campaign. The documents are under seal pending a ruling by Pechman,” Tartakoff reports.

“‘Even a piece of junk will qualify’ for the ‘Windows Vista Capable’ designation, wrote one employee in an e-mail that Tilden read out loud,” Tartakoff reports. “Another employee, Mike Nash, currently a corporate vice president for Windows product management, wrote in an e-mail, ‘I PERSONALLY got burnt. … Are we seeing this from a lot of customers? … I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine.’,Jim Allchin, then the co-president of Microsoft’s Platforms and Services Division, wrote in another e-mail, ‘We really botched this. … You guys have to do a better job with our customers.'”]

More in the full article here.


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