Microsoft Sued for XP Downgrade Fees

Microsoft has faced several legal complaints regarding its Windows Vista operating system, and another one has been added to the mix.

Emma Alvarado of Los Angeles County filed in federal district court in Seattle a complaint against Microsoft because she was charged a fee to downgrade from Windows Vista to XP.

Alvarado claims that she bought a Lenovo PC that was preloaded with Windows Vista, but in order to have Windows XP on it, she had to pay $59.25 for the downgrade.

"Microsoft has used its market power to take advantage of consumer demand for the Windows XP operating system by requiring consumers to purchase computers preinstalled with the Vista operating system and to pay additional sums to 'downgrade' to the Windows XP operating system," the suit alleges, according to the InternetNews.

Microsoft had originally planned to discontinue distribution of Windows XP mid-2008, but due to consumer demand, the last-generation operating system is still available for OEMs who see fit to offer it. Alvarado alleges that Microsoft extended its XP cutoff date because of the “tremendous profits” the company is raking in from the downgrades.

The charge does seem to vary between different PC vendors, leading us to believe that any “tremendous profits” to be had from offering Windows XP upgrades don’t entirely go to Microsoft. Late last year, Dell tripled its Windows XP downgrade fee to $150.

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  • Anonymous
    Come on people, think about it. It takes time to downgrade a machine from Vista to XP. What did she think would happen, it magically just revert back to XP when she ticked the box that said downgrade to XP?

    You have to reinstall the OS and reload drivers and apps to get it back to XP from Vista, all these things take time. Unless of course you are fortunate enough to have the XP recovery CD's with the PC aswell.
  • LePhuronn
    We know this, but I doubt she does. It's scary how many non-computer people think "Hey presto!" and it's all done just because "you do it on a computer".

    If she bothered to do some research before she sues she'd probably find out that the downgrade fess are imposed by the OEM, not Microsoft - all MS are going to receive is the usual OEM license fee for XP.