Microsoft hit with lawsuit over Surface tablet’s lack of storage due to bloated Windows RT operating system

“A California lawyer is suing Microsoft Corp., claiming the Surface tablet he bought doesn’t have all the storage space the company advertised,” Peter Svensson reports for The Associated Press.

“Andrew Sokolowski, a lawyer in Los Angeles, claims that he bought a Surface with 32 gigabytes of storage last week. But he quickly ran out of space after loading it with music and Microsoft Word documents,” Svensson reports. “He discovered that a significant portion of the 32 GB storage space was being used by the operating system and pre-installed apps such as Word and Excel. Only 16 GB was available for him to use.”

Svensson reports, “Sokolowski’s lawyers filed the suit alleging false advertising and unfair business practices on Tuesday at the Superior Court in Los Angeles. They are seeking class action status. The suit aims to change how Microsoft advertises its device and hopes to force the company to give back revenue and profits that resulted from its alleged wrongful conduct.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Profits?!” Ha! Good one!

Svensson reports, “Microsoft confirmed on Nov. 5 exactly how much usable storage space its Surface tablets come with out of the box. It says on its website that the 32 GB Surface has 16 GB of free space while the 64 GB version has 45 GB free… On flash drives, the kind used in tablets, another factor reduces the available storage further. A portion of the memory space is set aside to replace ‘cells’ that wear out over time. For this reason, Apple’s 16 GB iPad has an actual storage capacity that’s 11 percent lower than the one advertised: 14.3 GB. The 64 GB model stores 57.2 GB.”

MacDailyNews Take: The difference is stark. Apple’s iOS and built-in apps take up just 11% and Microsoft’s Windows RT morass of spaghetti code obliterates 50% of available storage. That Microsoft ever even made a nickel is all the proof anyone should ever need that this planet is littered neck-high with the morbidly stupid.

Svensson reports, “On the iPad, all the storage space after the 11 percent ‘discount’ is available for the user’s photos, movies and apps. The operating system and Apple’s pre-installed apps have their own, separate memory space. Microsoft’s operating system and apps, in contrast, share memory space with the user.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This ambulance chaser ought to sue himself for wasting his money on garbage with a kickstand to begin with; as if Microsoft doesn’t have an well-deserved, ironclad reputation for excreting shoddy hardware and bloated, poor-performing operating systems.

On the positive side, it’s not like there are any apps for the POS, so the idiots who’ve saddled themselves with the thing should have plenty of room for their bad music, awful snapshots, and ugly Word documents.

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  1. It is entirely possible (although rather unlikely) that this lawyer found out, before buying, that MS is actually falsely advertising their device, so he bought it with the purpose of suing (and meanwhile, already had an iPad). Knowing that he is a lawyer, though, makes this possibility rather distant…

    A lawyer anecdote (from an actual trial):

    A defending attorney was cross examining a coroner. The attorney asked, “Before you signed the death certificate had you taken the man’s pulse?”
    The coroner said, “No.”
    The attorney then asked, “Did you listen for a heart beat?”
    “Did you check for breathing?”
    “So when you signed the death certificate you had not taken any steps to make sure the man was dead, had you?”
    “Well, let me put it this way. The man’s brain was sitting in a jar on my desk, but for all I know he could be out there practicing law somewhere.”

  2. All Apple can do is make a device thinner. Microsoft is tackling quantum physics itself by squeezing 34,359,738,368 bytes of storage into the space previously occupied by 17,179,869,184.

    You people wouldn’t know innovation if it reared up and bit you.

    1. I’m not expert on flash devices, but from my reading of the above synopsis, Apple’s OS and apps reside in their own separate memory space and the 11% is the margin set aside for “wear balancing” of the flash memory cells; the article doesn’t specify the size of the OS space.

  3. Once upon a time, a fellow buying a product that didn’t meet his expectations would return it for a refund then get on with his life. If he bought based on misleading claims he might report it to the Federal Trade Commission, then get on with his life. Now he thinks, “Hey, maybe I can sue and get a lot of money for my troubles!” A clear sign of a society in decline.

  4. I am going to side for Microsoft on this one.

    The rules have not changed. The device has 32GB of storage. The OS takes up 16 GB but there you have it. It’s no different than any other Windows device, there’s storage and then there’s what’s left after you get it up and running.

    The debate may be, “Should they have advertised how much space their OS takes up?” Maybe in the system requirements of the OS, IDK.

    There was no intent to be dishonest here I feel.

    1. be that as it may, Microthingy blew it in the face of their customers…wow…i’m surprised that they even got any.

      We are talking about a mobile device here it’s not a desktop or laptop with 500Gb and up of hdd where they can easely take away 10/15gb without a problem

      They blew it by gobbling up 16gb of space for the OS and blew it again for not advertising it.

      This guys, have been around for decades and don’t know how to do things right.

    2. Advertising the Surface as having “32GB” of storage when only half that is actually available crosses the line in a big way.

      When somebody buys a computer with a whatever-gigabyte HD they know that not 100% of its storage space will be available, but there’s a very reasonable expectation that most of it will be available.

      You can fall back on a “technically it IS 32GB!” argument but that’s a bogus defense. A device says it’s 32GB on the box, that implies you’ll be getting nearly 32GB of free space. Everybody knows that. Including, I’m sure, Microsoft.

    3. ” I am going to side for Microsoft on this one.
      The rules have not changed. The device has 32GB of storage. The OS takes up 16 GB but there you have it.”

      Oh please that’s ridiculous! If the OS takes up 1/2 of the space – and you certainly can’t run it without the OS – you only have 16GBs of storage. Pure and simple.

      MS screwed up big time with this. It’s just too bad for the schmucks that bought it thinking they had a full 32GBs. But that’s what you get for trusting MS.

  5. A lot of times, during an install, Windows will keep a system restore snapshot so it can rollback to that point in time, should something go wrong. I’ve found that after three years or so, a 3GB Server 2003 install can take-up 10GB with updates and logs. So, your 16GB system is the smallest it will be; it only gets bigger from there…

  6. iOS is not stored separately on a “separate memory space” whatever the hell that is. The IPSW files range from 700-900MB and probably equate to 1-1.5 GB of space once expanded. Additionally, 16GB is the size reported by the chip manufacturers, and of course is less once formatted.

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