"Vista Capable" lawsuit progresses

Key progress has been made on the lawsuit against Microsoft over its "Vista-Capable" claims, reports Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog. The case involves two plaintiffs who purchased PCs last fall. The PCs ran XP, but sported the claim, in the form of a tag, that they were "Vista Capable." The plaintiffs later discovered that they were only capable of running Vista Basic Edition, the lowest horsepower version and one that does not include many of Vista's more noteworthy features. Last week, lawyers of the plaintiffs formally requested class-action status for the case and Microsoft filed its official opposition to that request. Microsoft claims that it was very clear that the "Windows Capable" logo meant that the PC would run some version of Vista – not that it would run any version of the software. But the lawyers for the plaintiffs have some powerful evidence to suggest that the tag did indeed create market confusion – including one of Microsoft's own marketing folks explaining that the "Capable" word meant that a machine may be able to run any version, according to Bishop's blog. On the flip side, Microsoft lawyers point out that one of the plaintiffs didn't even notice the tag until after the PC was purchased and home. Microsoft even goes so far as to claim that the Vista Capable logo may never have influenced a PC buyer's purchasing decision. Which likely makes a lot of sense if you are a lawyer trying to defend a company, but for the rest of us, that statement requires a great, big HUH? The logo was clearly created to encourage people to buy PCs and not wait for the next, great operating system. Or, rather, if the logo wasn't a deliberate attempt to influence a buying decision, why was it created in the first place? A year before Vista was released, the average consumer had no idea that so many Vista editions would require such vastly different hardware. Likewise, consumers didn't/couldn't know that Vista would be plagued with hardware/software incompatibilities to the extent that many report it has been. Microsoft should be held accountable for making confusing, if not downright misleading, "Vista Capable" claims.

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