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Class action lawsuit filed against Microsoft for false advertising

By - Source: Tom's Hardware UK | B 4 comments

Redmond (WA) - A federal lawsuit has been filed against Microsoft, claiming it falsely advertised various computers by calling them "Vista Capable" when their system specs didn’t really meet the qualifications.

A judge announced over the weekend that it would accept the lawsuit. It attacks Microsoft for putting the "Vista Capable" certification on computers that could only run the most basic version of the operating system.

Thus, many PCs with the Vista emblem are in fact not able to run many of the Vista features that are advertised in step with the hardware. For example, the "Aero" interface, only available in the higher-end versions of Vista, is incompatible with some PCs marked as "Vista Capable".

US District Judge Marsha Pechman certified the lawsuit but said it could only look at the 2006 holiday season, when computers were branded with Vista certifications but the operating system had not yet launched. At issue is whether Microsoft created an artificial demand by tricking consumers.

Microsoft is reviewing the ruling, and does not comment on pending litigation.

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    impy1980 , 26 February 2008 23:35
    Surely this is the computer manufacturers fault/responsibility, after all they are responsible for building the computer, installing the OS and sticking on any stickers to the computer. The only way it is Microsoft's fault is if they have given false mimimum required specs, even so surely computer manufacturers must test so before selling computers they've put stickers on.
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    leexgx , 27 February 2008 06:48
    its M$ fault for giving completely stupid system specs

    vista cant run on systems with 512mb of ram, single core cpu's and some old video card (S3,VIA or older Intel IGP), the pc is an joke, some company's tho do take the customer for real with fitting pcs with 512mb of ram but having 64mb shared or even 128mb,

    there should be an Law about Misleading system specs about ram like some laptops (Toshiba) have 1gb of ram but the video card is using 256mb! of it (with no option to lower it)
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    fantom4 , 27 February 2008 11:16
    If anyone buys one of the lower spec PCs thats there own stupid fault. it only take awhile on the net to find out whats needed for the type of things they do. I used to work for two big retail pc sellers in the uk and there staff con you into buying what they get the most cash for. plus one shop even just had a hand book and staff only had to learn the spec of models and did not need to know anything else. so they would not look stupid when asked about this and that machine.
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    impy1980 , 27 February 2008 20:52
    leexgx, I understand what you're saying, if MS have specified too low system requirements to run what most people call Vista i.e. not the very basic installation (although as I have gathered even that struggles to run). If I were forced to get Vista then I wouldn't get a computer with anything less then a Dual Core of 2.2GB and a minimum 1GB (preferably 2GB) of RAM with at least a Gefore 7600GT or equivalent.

    fantom4, its a bit ignorant and harsh to say "If anyone buys one of the lower spec PCs thats there own stupid fault", not everyone is tech savvy or even internet street-wise, especially first time buyers and the older generation. For example about 10 years ago we got our first computer from a high street retailer and got robbed really, I'd used computers in school but didn't know much and my parents certainly didn't and still don't, my father couldn't have turn a computer on, although my mother is capable of finding stuff online. Now though I'm a different story 2 or 3 years after we had the first computer I started to upgrade it myself, then I brought another case and then everything was built by myself, now I've done some overclocking and the system is watercooled.

    I understand big retailers are in it to increase their profit margins, but that's no reason not to know if a computer can run Vista, afterall its not the staff that decide if a computer comes with Vista pre-installed, that's decided by people higher up.

    I agree MS are responsible for giving the correct mimimum requirements but it is also the responsibility of computer retailers to make sure all there computers can run Vista, at the end of the day thats who the consuer are going to return the computer back to, not Microsft.