Windows Vista Capable Lawsuit to Proceed

Dennis Faas's picture

A lawsuit filed in April alleging that Microsoft misled consumers with labels on Windows XP machines touted as "Windows Vista Capable" will be allowed by a federal judge to proceed.

The suit alleges many of the computers labelled by the Redmond-based company as "Windows Vista Capable" couldn't run some of the highly touted features of Vista. After listening to oral arguments in Seattle, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman denied Microsoft's motion to dismiss two of the law suits claims: allegations that Microsoft's marketing violated Washington state's Consumer Protection Act and that Microsoft was unjustly enriched.

Microsoft also requested Judge Pechman to dismiss claims that their marketing practices violated federal warranty law. The Judge reserved judgment, but a ruling on it is expected within two weeks.

The lawsuit alleges that Microsoft and their partners, in an effort to keep computer sales strong over a holiday shopping season void of Windows Vista (it wasn't released to the wider public until the end of January), used deceptive "Vista Capable" stickers because many of the Windows XP machines were only capable of running Windows Vista Home Basic which doesn't include many features available in advanced versions, such as the Media Center or the "Aero" interface.

A program that promised consumers free and discounted upgrades to Windows Vista is also challenged on similar grounds because in numerous cases the upgrades were to Windows Vista Home Basic and not other editions.

If this progresses through all the motions to a class action suit, a trial has been scheduled for October 2008.

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