Windows Vista Capable Lawsuit Continues

The court case examines whether Microsoft's Windows Vista Capable and Express Upgrade programs were deceptive. Microsoft has lost the first round in a legal battle over whether its Windows Vista Capable and Express Upgrade programs were deceptive and led consumers to buy PCs that could only run the most basic version of the operating system.

The case was brought against the software giant, based in Redmond, Wash., by lead plaintiff Dianne Kelley of Camano Island, Wash. Kelley bought a new PC in November 2006 that had a sticker labeled "Windows Vista Capable" affixed to it. Windows Vista had not been released at that time, so customers bought machines with Windows XP preloaded and were given a coupon that allowed them to upgrade to Vista when the operating system was released at the end of January 2007.

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this is sooo stupid. its just a person trying to make fast cash by suing MS. In today's market...people have to do research before buying anything.

and anyone here who thinks that a label stating Vista Capable should be saying to themselves well this should be able to run with any of the vista choices be-it the lowly home basic right the way through to Ultimate thats what i would take that label to mean can anyone say missleading advertising if all a pc can run is home basic then that is what should printed on the sticker

As Microsoft Watch Editor Joe Wilcox points out, Microsoft had some stumbles along the road to getting Vista into the hands of consumers, including the fact that Microsoft announced the Vista Capable program in late March 2006 and for the next two months or so that was the only Vista logo sticker.

So if you see a sticker on a computer saying its Vista capable and all the features of Vista which you keep reading about mention Aero, you would assume that this computer would run Vista with Aero right ?

For the average consumer this is misleading i think. Most of us here at Neowin would have probaly figured it out, but that doesn't mean it wasn't misleading

they aren't doing anything decieving.... plain and simple. it clearly says "Vista Capable". since when did "Capable" mean "maxed"? Capable means that it is able to be run..... doesn't say anything about how well, and with what.

If you ask me.... This is just people who know quite a bit about computers, acting like they don't.... saw the Vista Capable stuff, and thought "hmm.... i might be able to make a quick buck off this". everyone in this f*cking country has gone too damn lawsuit happy, it's absurd. Almost makes me hate being an American. that, and GWB...

'Vista Capable'...and there are 5 Version.....its Microsoft mis-leading 'Marketing' that led to this...and greed to think they needed 5 Versions..if one is to blame the public or persons ignorance..then that applies to even some top people with-in Microsoft, who's own emails confirmed...that someone 'screwed up'

OK, I completely agree this is deceptive marketing. However, is Microsoft being deceptive for having a "Vista Capable" logo and a set of standards to go with it, or is the hardware manufacturer to blame for not specifying that their crap computer won't run the premium flavor?

I'm not a lawyer, but I just don't see MS as the one doing the deceiving here.

This is just stupid.

Did the sticker say 'Vista Capable'?: Yes
Does the computer run Vista?: Yes
Is Vista Home Vista?: Yes
Is Vista Home Premium Vista?: Yes
Is Vista Business Vista?: Yes
Is Vista Ultimate Vista?: Yes

Also, if you don't do research on what you are buying and you end up getting something you don't want its your own damned fault for getting it.

So by your logic, "Vista Capable" should run all of the above? Well that's not what MS is defending itself against. Now, wouldn't it have be less deceptive if MS had set minimum requirements levels and marketing material for the different versions?:

Vista Home Capable
Vista Home Premium Capable
Vista Business Capable
Vista Ultimate Capable

This suit is not about whether or not a consumer has done research (not required by law). It is about MS alleged sales tactic deception (against the law). The heart of this suit is about protecting consumer rights and holding marketing goons at companies responsible when they dish out deceptive marketing propaganda. I'm 100% for it.

lbmouse said,
So by your logic, "Vista Capable" should run all of the above? Well that's not what MS is defending itself against. Now, wouldn't it have be less deceptive if MS had set minimum requirements levels and marketing material for the different versions?:

Vista Home Capable
Vista Home Premium Capable
Vista Business Capable
Vista Ultimate Capable

This suit is not about whether or not a consumer has done research (not required by law). It is about MS alleged sales tactic deception (against the law). The heart of this suit is about protecting consumer rights and holding marketing goons at companies responsible when they dish out deceptive marketing propaganda. I'm 100% for it.

Actually is does run all of the above, just without the Aero interface!

This lawsuit will get no where!!

I have a kind of different thought on this. Maybe there is a suit maybe there isn't, but is MS to blame? To me, if the PC makers put these stickers on the PCs.. should it not be THEM that are sued? I don't think MS puts these stickers on the PC claiming they are "capable". So why should they be responsible. Maybe MS have more to do with it then I think. If so please set me straight.

MS sets the minimum hardware requirements. What the marketing goons in Redmond should have done was set different levels for the different flavors of Vista. Instead they came up marketing plan that was a bit on the deceptive side.

Thanks lbmouse, and I get what your saying. But the PC makers still went along. At the very least they should be included in the suit.

If some car part maker claimed something (say a certain MPG for a engine) and that part was put into the car and then sold as being able to do what the part maker said it would do and it turned out it wouldn't, wouldn't the car maker be the one to go after still? Then of course the car maker would then sue the part maker. That's just the way I think of it, but I know nothing of law.

I will buy the latest videogame and i will try to run at max resolution and max details, if frames drop then it's a sue time!

well even with 1 gb many would not feel anything about the "premium" experience, VISTA its just slow with older pentium 4 and pentium M processor, what its really bad its that microsoft couldnt make that users with older video cards capable of good 3d graphics like geforce 4 that in reality its capable of any of those aero little effects, plus beryl prove us that older cards support this its just microsoft that want you to get new hardware for vista....

Now here in panama premium machines are labeled as capable (i never seen a premium sticker in any store), so i understand the confusion with it.... and in the end capable and premium machines would not run vista as it should. Stick with XP, now if you have the latest dual core processor, the latest videocard and over 2gb of ram then move to vista. with less than 2gb of ram vista its just too slow compared to XP

chaosblade raises a valid point. I thought exactly the same thing.
Windows Vista Capable, to anyone with even the simplest knowledge of the English language, would imply that the hardware perhaps does not come with Vista.

Dianne sounds like someone just thinking of a way to sue microsoft in an attempt to get rich quick. Heck, I'll have to think of something equally as stupid a reason to sue them!

emdiesse said,
Windows Vista Capable, to anyone with even the simplest knowledge of the English language, would imply that the hardware perhaps does not come with Vista.

That is NOT the issue here. RTFA! The computer came with a voucher for Vista and was marked as "Vista Capable", which she assumed she would be able to run - however, Microsoft introduced a new lower tier version and didn't make it clear that that she wouldn't be able to run the regular version (and Home Premium IS the regular version if you look at sales figures).

I don't believe she should be awarded any serious compensation but I do agree with her point. At the least Microsoft should be warned or punished for unclear marketing practices.

Car adverts all the time show the top of the range car, and advertise the "starting from" price... this is a common marketing trick everyones knows about. Look into what your buying before you buy it. Did the label claim you could upgrade to Premium Vista? No... it just said vista capable.

Exactly and companies are sued all the time for deceptive sales tactics. I think this is a good thing. We need to keep the marketing goons in check.

"Vista Capable" and "Vista premium" how terribly confusing!

This is yet another pathetic example of consumers who can't be bothered to do 5 minutes of homework on their purchase decisions and then blaming the producer for their ignorance.

If you don't "get" what 'Vista capable' means then don't make assumptions. This lawsuit proves nothing except that the plaintiff is a lazy moron.

Now, if only there was some way to find out what 'Vista capable' means. If only Microsoft made that information easy to find...

...Oh, wait! What's this? www.microsoft.com ? Here's all the information I need!

Seriously, how hard is that?

How hard would it have been for MS to be a little more descriptive in their marketing? I'm all for this suit.

If you were a neophyte and purchased a Vista capable machine, you'd expect it to run the version of Vista you wanted and not what MS wanted. Also, as a neophyte, this would probably be your first computer, so how would you go to www.microsoft.com to do research and would you really know what to look for? In the end you'd and up relying on the deceptive MS marketing.

C_Guy said,
This is yet another pathetic example of consumers who can't be bothered to do 5 minutes of homework on their purchase decisions and then blaming the producer for their ignorance.

"Vista Capable" implies that the computer is able to run Windows Vista. The problem here is that with XP there were only two version - Home and Professional. However, with Vista they added a new low-end version with significant features dropped (one of them being the transparent interface, a key feature from early on). It wasn't until the "Vista Ready" campaign two months later that Microsoft cleared things up but the confusion / deception had already been created. She couldn't have done "5 minutes of homework" because the information wasn't out there in public.

I agree with the premise of the lawsuit. The "Vista Capable" campaign was not very clear and was, whether intentional or not, deceptive. We aren't talking about an expectation to run Vista Ultimate, the new topend version of Windows - we are talking about Home Premium, the replacement to XP Home. Sure Home Basic isn't as bad as if it was Starter edition but it's still a stripped back version that people buying new computers were not aware of.

So he's suing Microsoft for his lack of knowledge? I mean, He wants MS to pay him back because he didn't ask what the computer is capable of? Seriously now.

chaosblade said,
So he's suing Microsoft for his lack of knowledge? I mean, He wants MS to pay him back because he didn't ask what the computer is capable of? Seriously now.

Can you actually read, I am asking this because Dianne is a female...not a male?!


mlauzon76 said,

Can you actually read, I am asking this because Dianne is a female...not a male?!

Shes female? Ahh suddenly this lawsuit makes sense. :P