Microsoft sued for charging consumers to downgrade to XP

When Windows Vista was released to market on January 30th, 2007, Microsoft gave consumers the option to downgrade to Windows XP if they were not satisfied with the new operating system. However charging consumers $59.25 to downgrade to a different operating system has stirred some trouble for Microsoft.

A Los Angeles resident, Emma Alvarado, has filed a class action lawsuit in the US District Court of the Western District of Washington in Seattle. The plaintiff is not demanding anything but a refund because the company charged her for downgrading her Lenovo PC from Windows Vista to Windows XP Professional. According to the lawsuit, Microsoft charging consumers to downgrade to a different operating system due to dissatisfaction violates Washington state's Unfair Business Practices Act and the Consumer Protection Act by "operating an unlawful trust that limited competition and inflated prices for Vista and XP, and kept PC makers from pre-installing XP."

Alvardo is also inviting other consumers who had to pay to downgrade to a different version of Windows to join the law suit. More information about joining the law suit can be found here.

Microsoft spokesman, David Bowermaster, said the company hasn't been served with the lawsuit so he could not comment at this time.

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Said customer said: "Consumers have encountered numerous problems using the Vista operating system, and these problems have been widely publicized in various media outlets". How does this person know? She has not even purchased it to know if there were any problems. This lawsuit would be better if you can purchase it with vista and then do the downgrade when you want to. She just is suing because of either word-of-mouth about the issues of Vista or she had another computer with Vista installed. Most likely she made her decision because of "Word-of-Mouth" hence the Mojave Experiment. This lawsuit might be thrown out.

That's a stupid lawsuit that should be canned quickly.

But i will not shed a tear for MS about Vista failure. They brought this on them no matter what MS sheep here like to say to make Vista pre-SP1 looks better than what it really was. Vista pre-SP1 was a failure and today MS pay for it as angry customers want to get what they think is their due. As someone who was working in a tech support dept when Vista came out i could tell many horror stories about it.

If this lawsuit goes anywhere other then the trashcan then the small bit of faith I had in the human race will be expunged.

I think it was stupid to even allow a downgrade option. XP was great, but it's outdated. They should have just forced people to buy XP at a retail store if they wanted it and install it themselves.

I'm sorry it was her choice to downgrade. She could have decided not to bother and looked around for another offer. Or she could have done the smart thing and used Vista. I enjoy vista very much and I don't know what the hubbub is about (and I loathed windows ME when it was released).
It seems to me this shouldn't be a suit against MS. Someone should sue her for a stupid consumer and not shopping around.

Whatever, even downgrading you are going to a different OS. People are expecting to get XP for free? Sure, there's Vista now, and soon Windows 7, but a lot of people are still using XP. I would charge people for downgrading, MS or OEMs should do the same. There's no sticker on the box that says "Comes with Windows Vista...and a free copy of Windows XP!". Dumbass lawsuit.

The problem is Microsoft is selling vista and only vista but you later can downgrade to xp just paying again the microsoft-tax, hence is unfair.


OEM charging for downgrade is right, but the prices for doing so are high, though.

This woman is wasting her time.

Isnt it the pc manufacturers charging for it? I thought the vista license allowed for an xp downgrade for free?If that is the case then this lawsuit wont even make it to court.

Just another day in the life of Microsoft. MS could say that the sky is blue...the next day its gray...and someone sues. They will get thru this like all others...

Indeed it is, so lame that if u edit a comment one time that all edit buttons vanish and have to reload page to edit a single comment.

This is ridiculous!

What is wrong with charging users to downgrade/upgrade to another operating system? :blink:

This ridiculous woman who is suing them did not buy a computer with Windows XP, she bought a computer with the much more improved Windows Vista. She wanted to install another operating system on her computer and she should therefore pay to do so.

Microsoft are allowed to charge for upgrading to Windows 7 so why not downgrading to Windows XP?

At the end of the day, it's that woman's choice and if she refers to going to Windows XP as a 'downgrade' rather than an 'upgrade', why is she doing it in the first place?

Windows XP is still an operating system no matter how old it is and therefore a user should be charged to use it if they wish.

End of story.

It's also called choice. Why in the hell would a home user such as Emma Alvarado need XP Pro? Can she make a clear choice through actual experience that she needs XP? Did she downgrade because someone told her too and her Windows Vista experience is NILL! I would like to ask her a question on what she could not do with Vista that she can with XP. Let's see that in court. Some scum sucking overzealous litigious attorney wants to use someone for a pawn in their lawsuit game. Emma where did you find out about law? I am sure you didnt' just come up with it did cha? Also you can't sue Microsoft for something they didn't do. You lose you loser!

The only reason I can think of they would charge in the first place, is because the Vista version was "Home" and the XP they wanted was "Professional". That isn't mentioned in the article anywhere.

Why would someone "pay" for a downgrade in the first place? Find a different computer manufacturer that offers XP without the additional cost, or order it without an OS and buy XP separately. The manufacturer isn't going to support the OS anyway.

Why do they need a law? If you want XP on your new machine you can get it. You just have to pay for the driver development, support staff resources, build creation costs, etc. You can also buy your machine without an operating system and then install whatever operating system you like.

C_Guy: That's the point, shouldn't we have the right as consumers to choose what OS we want or does Microsoft get to make that decision for us?

Most OEM's would still install Windows XP if they could because it's very popular but Microsoft pushes very hard for them to use Vista.

Well it's their right. It costs money for them to train support departments for more different OSes because they have to keep XP support alive. Perfectly normal they charge a little more then.

I'd jump on this bandwagon in a second, if it wasn't for the fact I did my own downgrade within hours of firing up Vista the first time on a new machine I got a couple Christmas' ago. Have since downgraded AT LEAST 100 computers since Vistas release, and I'm sure that's a low estimate. If nothing else, it's a monopoly just in the fact that most people's older machines wouldn't run Vista worth a darn, although the readiness test, or whatever it was called, said it would. The monopoly comes in where MS basically FORCES you to buy a whole new computer.

I've said all along that MS should've been sued just for releasing Vista.

Did the users of those downgraded PCs do so to stop you nagging them?

Fine, you don't like Vista. You've told everyone that and since you're probably considered the computer expert by those PC owners, they just went along with what you've said and stuck with XP.

If they'd known anything about PCs beyond email and web-surfing they would have downgraded themselves as it's simple enough to do.

Vista is working fine for the vast majority of users so saying MS should have been sued for it is silly.

Cork, I'm sure I remember your name from many anti-vista threads over the years. Your bias is clear. As the others have said, what you spouted out there is utter drivel. Vista works perfectly well on all new machines sold. At least it does now, back when it was released the OEMs stuck it on hardware that was barely adequate. Hardware that most would consider to be mid to low range for Windows XP.

Vista uses more resources than XP, thats a fact. Just as XP used more resources than Windows 98 and ME. If you're suggesting that software development should just stagnate and always support the same level hardware, then you are sorely deluded.

Please delete this duplicate post and fix the comments system so that it works correctly. I pressed save and nothing happened. Pressed it again and it posted twice. Nice.

I've said all along that MS should've been sued just for releasing Vista.

Ok but then what do we do with you for your post? Surely you can't pay as much as Microsoft but you should for uttering such nonsense. If you feel forced into a phantom monopoly then go get a Mac. You will be shocked to see that in this monopoly mindset of yours there is another option.

Once the shock wears off we might even tell you about Linux... another alternative to Windows. Get your surprise face ready!

if their going to charge for a downgrade...then they should refund the price of Vista that was built in. Im sure its probaby few hundred.

Exactly! You have to pay a downgrade price on top when you where not even refunded for Vista! So yeah I'd sue too!!

I thought the downgrade was charged by manufacturers (like Dell) to cover the expense of developing drivers for their hardware for XP?

I don't think you can sue Microsoft for encouraging PC manufacturers to install a newer operating system. Besides, most of them continued to offer XP anyway so what's the problem? You want an old OS? Fine, but be prepared to pay extra for the development of drivers for an old operating system.

It's time for Microsoft to counter sue the people who launch such moronic lawsuits for wasting so much time and money.

C_Guy said,
I thought the downgrade was charged by manufacturers (like Dell) to cover the expense of developing drivers for their hardware for XP?

I don't think you can sue Microsoft for encouraging PC manufacturers to install a newer operating system. Besides, most of them continued to offer XP anyway so what's the problem? You want an old OS? Fine, but be prepared to pay extra for the development of drivers for an old operating system.

It's time for Microsoft to counter sue the people who launch such moronic lawsuits for wasting so much time and money.

They don't even make the damn drivers. ATI / Nivida / Intel do. They just repackage them with their own branding

Brandon: OEMS customise standard hardware such as creative sound blasters which mean they need customised drivers. Laptops are even worse for this. Anyway OEM's only give you drivers they have tested with their hardware, not just generic ones and thats why generally they are behind the latest nvidia/ati drivers.

Zero: Not really. Laptops use rebranded drivers. My dell laptop has a sigmatel chip for audio. I can just go to their website and oftentimes download more recent drivers then what is available through Dell's website.

OEMs don't make hardware. Even video cards use a form of standard drivers, oftentimes just hack the .ini and the original ones will install

m.keeley said,
MS don't charge for the downgrade it's the OEM's that do e.g. HP, Dell etc so this won't go anywhere.

Exactly. I remember Gateway did the same thing when Windows ME came out. They offered Windows 98 but it was an extra $90 to get it. I happily paid the price knowing I would get a more stable system.

Somebody obviously does not understand what a monopoly is.

Also, companies charge for the downgrade because it costs money to restage computers with other operating systems. The class action suit will go no where and that jackass should be charged for wasting the court's time.

Agreed ahhell. It takes time and manpower to reinstall a machine on a different operating system, does this moron think that should be done for free?

TCLN Ryster said,
Agreed ahhell. It takes time and manpower to reinstall a machine on a different operating system, does this moron think that should be done for free?

Pushing a button to install an image takes a lot of time and manpower?

Shockz: its not so simple as that. You have to test and build the XP image for new hardware (aka stuff that wouldnt have had XP by default) which all costs cash.

Heh, with the god damned recession, people apparently think that they can get a quick buck from Microsoft, rather than earn it themselves.

F*cking idiots. Microsoft is charging for the labour fees of downgrading, and the purchasing of an XP license.

It's already bad enough that they force Vista onto everyone who buys a new PC or laptop. Then ripping off people who don't want to use that Vista crap is just plain wicked.
It was high noon they got sued for this. I'd be furious as well.

Lord Ba´al, you can always install Linux if you don´t want to pay for anything. Nobody forces anyone to buy Microsoft.