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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A California lawyer is suing Microsoft Corp., claiming the Surface tablet he bought doesn't have all the storage space the company advertised.

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.

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.

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.

Microsoft said in a statement that it believes the suit is without merit.

"Customers understand the operating system and pre-installed applications reside on the device's internal storage thereby reducing the total free space," the company said. It noted that people can add storage via the microSD slot and USB port.

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. The Surface started selling Oct. 26 and Sokolowski bought his device on Nov. 7.

Sokolowski's lawyer, Rhett Francisco, said Wednesday that his client never saw Microsoft's responses and said the details on its website are "buried."

"They make you search and dig for it specifically, or you would never find it," he said.

It's common for mobile devices to have less usable storage space than advertised.

Flash drives and regular hard drives provide less usable memory than their labels say, mainly because there are two definitions of the word "gigabyte." That means that, right off the bat, consumers get about 7 percent less space than advertised. A 16 GB drive, for example, has about 15 GB available for use.

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.

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.

Michael Gartenberg, research director for technology research firm Gartner Inc., said Microsoft has consistently said there would be less memory available than is advertised. He said it is "unsurprising" that its new operating system and near full-blown version of Office take up a big chunk of the memory.

"I think they made it pretty clear to consumers what they're getting," he said.

And even if Microsoft's base-model Surface only has 16 GB of memory available, that's still slightly more than the 14.3 GB you'll get from the latest Wi-Fi only iPad for the same price of $499.













[url="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MICROSOFT_SURFACE_LAWSUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT"]http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MICROSOFT_SURFACE_LAWSUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT[/url]

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Posted

[quote name='Asrokhel' timestamp='1353047369' post='595324172']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.[/quote]

Stupid lawyer. He got what he paid for, a surface with 32gb of memory.

Microsoft don't advertise the device with 32gb of FREE memory.
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[quote name='dvb2000' timestamp='1353049139' post='595324204']
Stupid lawyer. He got what he paid for, a surface with 32gb of memory.

Microsoft don't advertise the device with 32gb of FREE memory.
[/quote]

It may not not be false advertising, but it's certainly misleading (and of course Microsoft is NOT the only one to advertise this way). It will be interesting to see what happens. I personally don't agree with advertising the full amount regardless of what's taken up by systems and or apps (on any type of device with hard drive space). They should be sold with the actual amount of free space advertised. But that's just my own opinion.
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Posted

If this guy could win case, there would be countless people suing every company that sell computers or anything that contains storage devices :) ...

I guess after this case, he will file for bankruptcy. Nobody will go for stupid lawyer like him.

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Posted

Herp Derp. Slap a plentiful sized SD/microSD card in that baby, and you're all set. No lawsuit required. Darwin. This guy deserves it. You know what I'm talking about. Good night Neowin....see you in the morning, my time. (Drops mic)
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Posted

Hardly Herp Derp, most phones/tablets have the OS stored on a ROM, I'm not sure how Windows RT works whether it would be able to run on ROM or not, but its a pretty d**k move to advertise your tablet as 32Gb then use half the space to install the OS.

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Posted

The strange thing is that my Surface has, after a 3.5GB Recovery Partition, roughly 24GB of internal storage available. That leads me to believe that some Surface Devices either have an unacceptably large recovery partition or have a fault with the internal storage.

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You can easy to move the recovery to the USB and get back the space from Recovery Partition. I already did that for my wife's Surface. They include the Recovery Partition in case people mess up the OS, so they can just restore the OS w/o bring back to the store.

[quote name='neo158' timestamp='1353051455' post='595324242']
The strange thing is that my Surface has, after a 3.5GB Recovery Partition, roughly 24GB of internal storage available. That leads me to believe that some Surface Devices either have an unacceptably large recovery partition or have a fault with the internal storage.
[/quote]

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[quote name='TheLegendOfMart' timestamp='1353050780' post='595324234']
Hardly Herp Derp, most phones/tablets have the OS stored on a ROM, I'm not sure how Windows RT works whether it would be able to run on ROM or not, but its a pretty d**k move to advertise your tablet as 32Gb then use half the space to install the OS.
[/quote]nope, Windows RT works the same way as the normal version of windows, it's installed directly on the SSD, so of course it will take up some space

this whole lawsuit is stupid, you don't see people going crazy and suing because a laptop is advertized with a 750gb hard-drive and they can't use all the space. it's the exact same thing

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Posted

The device does indeed have 32 GB of memory, AFAIK he can uninstall everything and install something else if he really wants the space.

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[quote name='Brando212' timestamp='1353052227' post='595324248']
nope, Windows RT works the same way as the normal version of windows, it's installed directly on the SSD, so of course it will take up some space

this whole lawsuit is stupid, you don't see people going crazy and suing because a laptop is advertized with a 750gb hard-drive and they can't use all the space. it's the exact same thing
[/quote]
For a Windows 8 Pro tablet maybe, but its generally accepted that ARM tablets have the OS stored on ROM, so the advertised space minus the whole 1024/1000 conversion is the space you get to play with. Which is why this guy is suing.

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Posted

I think it's somewhat misleading.

Companies should be made to advertise the USABLE storage space. Someone who sees "Microsoft Surface 32GB" is going to assume it has (close to) 32GB available, not that half of that space is taken up by the OS.

Call me an idiot but I can't see anywhere on this page where it says that half of the space in the 32GB surface is used by the OS:

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msuk/en_GB/pdp/productID.258666000?WT.mc_id=FY13WinHH
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[quote name='Brando212' timestamp='1353052227' post='595324248']this whole lawsuit is stupid, you don't see people going crazy and suing because a laptop is advertized with a 750gb hard-drive and they can't use all the space. it's the exact same thing[/quote]

Actually, that's not quite true, there have been lawsuits brought against drive manufacturers in regards to mislabelling drive space, for example, a 1TB has only 932GB, etc.
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[quote name='Asrokhel' timestamp='1353052955' post='595324272']
Actually, that's not quite true, there have been lawsuits brought against drive manufacturers in regards to mislabelling drive space, for example, a 1TB has only 932GB, etc.
[/quote]

No, the hard drive manufacturers should be sued for that. The 1024/1000 thing... advertising the hard drive space in base 10 is definitely misleading and wrong.

But computer OEM's are different. If you buy a laptop with a 1 TB hard drive... first you lose the space due to the advertised capacity being in base 10 (that's wrong). Then you again lose space because the OS and programs take up space. That second loss is common sense and simply to be expected.

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[quote name='rfirth' timestamp='1353054410' post='595324294']
No, the hard drive manufacturers should be sued for that. The 1024/1000 thing... advertising the hard drive space in base 10 is definitely misleading and wrong.

But computer OEM's are different. If you buy a laptop with a 1 TB hard drive... first you lose the space due to the advertised capacity being in base 10 (that's wrong). Then you again lose space because the OS and programs take up space. That second loss is common sense and simply to be expected.
[/quote]

Common sense simply because we've allowed it to be that way. For too long in my opinion. Does it sound silly to say "New 2013 Sony Viao with 936GB hard drive!"? Yes. But at least it's honest. Also just for the sake of argument, why can't this change?

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[quote name='nekkidtruth' timestamp='1353054737' post='595324300']
Common sense simply because we've allowed it to be that way. For too long in my opinion. Does it sound silly to say "New 2013 Sony Viao with 936GB hard drive!"? Yes. But at least it's honest. Also just for the sake of argument, why can't this change?
[/quote]

the trend is to move from 1024 to 1000, and it's a good thing.

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[quote name='primexx' timestamp='1353055095' post='595324306']
the trend is to move from 1024 to 1000, and it's a good thing.
[/quote]

Would you mind pointing to some confirmation on this? Not because I don't believe you, but because I'm interested in reading about it :)

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[quote name='nekkidtruth' timestamp='1353049854' post='595324218']
It may not not be false advertising, but it's certainly misleading (and of course Microsoft is NOT the only one to advertise this way). It will be interesting to see what happens. I personally don't agree with advertising the full amount regardless of what's taken up by systems and or apps (on any type of device with hard drive space). They should be sold with the actual amount of free space advertised. But that's just my own opinion.
[/quote]

It's not misleading, it has 32GB of memory, same as your computer has the amount of HD space it's advertised with, but not that much available, and photoshop can't use all the 8 GB of memory it's advertise with since windows has to use part of it.
He's just being typical American and suing because he can.

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[quote name='HawkMan' timestamp='1353056766' post='595324348']
It's not misleading, it has 32GB of memory, same as your computer has the amount of HD space it's advertised with, but not that much available, and photoshop can't use all the 8 GB of memory it's advertise with since windows has to use part of it.
He's just being typical American and suing because he can.
[/quote]

It's absolutely misleading. Just as 90% of any advertisement is in this day and age. "This car gets 34 miles/gallon! [size=1]maybe[/size]" "This Internet connection gives you [size=1]up to[/size] 150mbps!". The difference here is, it's not even "32GB [size=1]less operating system and apps[/size]".

Even when you buy an empty hard drive they're advertised incorrectly. I'm not saying I have the answer to fix it, I'm simply saying it needs to be fixed. If there is an OS installed or apps installed on a device, maybe that amount should be deducted from the overall space. Even if it's in the small print, which as we usually find doesn't exist until something like this happens.

Regardless, I don't agree with it not being misleading. Especially for people who aren't tech savvy and [b]don't[/b] understand how hard drive space works/is calculated.

Edit: I do however agree, typical American ;)

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I can't see how this is misleading at all, everything that I have seen has clearly stated how much memory is in the device and how much memory is left over after the OS + applications are pre-installed

if he didn't bother to read the paperwork correctly he REALLY shouldn't be a lawyer

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[quote name='nekkidtruth' timestamp='1353055242' post='595324312']
Would you mind pointing to some confirmation on this? Not because I don't believe you, but because I'm interested in reading about it :)
[/quote]

apple and ubuntu have both switched. actually i guess that could be not a trend but i'm hoping that others will follow.

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[quote name='Teebor' timestamp='1353060369' post='595324376']
I can't see how this is misleading at all, everything that I have seen has clearly stated how much memory is in the device and how much memory is left over after the OS + applications are pre-installed

if he didn't bother to read the paperwork correctly he REALLY shouldn't be a lawyer
[/quote]

Care to point to "everywhere" it clearly states how much memory is left over? I personally haven't been able to find it on Microsoft's website, nor on any of the sites that sell the device. I'm genuinely curious to see where this is divulged.

That being said, we're not talking 28GB free from 32GB....Microsoft takes up nearly half the space. That's very significant. To those who don't find it misleading, you're simply looking at it as "the norm" because we've been programmed to view it as such when in reality it's false advertising at the most and misleading at the least.

Edit: When Microsoft (or any other manufacturer of devices using hard drives) advertise the amount of storage, they are deliberately advertising with the intent that you believe the device has said storage space. Although the size is physically true, they are not selling a device with 32GB of storage. They are selling you a device with 32GB of storage [b]where half is being used by the system[/b]. People who aren't technically savvy and or do not understand how storage works with regards to system software etc, see the size as free storage space. Therefore they are misleading.

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Posted

It's not misleading, saying it's a 22GB tablet would be misleading as it's a 32GB tablet

32GB/22GB usable could be best

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[quote name='HawkMan' timestamp='1353063657' post='595324434']32GB/22GB usable could be best
[/quote]

I agree 100%. However I agree to disagree on whether or not advertising overall storage space alone, regardless of what is installed, is misleading.

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Then you have to sue not just MS and Surface, but every computer, phone, PMP, android tablet manufacturer and Apple as well.

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