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Microsoft 'Vista Capable' Settlement Cost Could Be Over $8 Billion

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the making-seinfeld-look-like-chump-change dept.

Microsoft 313

bk- writes with news that documents from the "Vista Capable" class-action lawsuit against Microsoft indicate the software giant could be on the hook for as much as $8.52 billion in upgrade costs. "[University of Washington economist Keith] Leffler came up with his total upgrade costs by calculating how much it would cost to upgrade each of the 19.4 million PCs with 1 GB of memory and graphics cards or onboard chipsets able to run Aero, according to Keizer. Leffler put the maximum cost of upgrading the desktops at $155, while positing that the notebooks' integrated graphics would be more tricky to replace and would cost between $245 and $590 per unit. The total price tag for Microsoft would thus range from $3.92 billion to $8.52 billion and in some cases would include complete replacements of notebooks that could not be feasibly upgraded, Leffler testified. Microsoft in its response argued that giving litigants 'a free upgrade to Premium-ready PCs would provide a windfall to millions.'"

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Microsoft Stock? (5, Funny)

Cormophyte (1318065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590435)

Anyone? I'll take bits of string, bug collections, and good will in trade. Just, please, get me off this train.

Haha yeah. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590751)

Say what you will, but I'll use Linux on my servers when I want to start losing money. Get the facts [getthefacts.com] , people.

Re:Haha yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590797)

Say what you will, but I'll use Linux on my servers when I want to start losing money. Get the facts [getthefacts.com] , people.

So, how's it feel to be astroturfing for a buggy whip manufacturer well after the introduction of automobiles? Pay well?

Open-source is nothing more nor less than the commoditization of software. Commodities sell for pretty much the marginal costs to produce another copy. The marginal cost to produce another copy of software is zero.

Microsoft is fighting a losing battle. No one WANTS to pay for software.

Re:Haha yeah. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590889)

So, how's it feel to be astroturfing for a buggy whip manufacturer well after the introduction of automobiles? Pay well?

If somebody's getting paid to make stupid posts on Slashdot, then I'd imagine it feels pretty good. What, are you high?

--
Don't feed the trolls - when an AC says something stupid, let it slide.

Re:Haha yeah. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590891)

No want WANTS to pay for anything. Your point?

Re:Haha yeah. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590805)

Funny, I have saved my company 10's or 100's of thousands of $ just by switching to Linux and dropping MS and Sun. MS can post what they want on a site but my budget don't lie.

Re:Haha yeah. (2, Funny)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591333)

B-b-b-b-but what about geico?

Re:Haha yeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590861)

Hi Bill, didn't know you purused /.

Re:Haha yeah. (2, Funny)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590943)

I'd mod you "Funny" just for posting that link on Slashdot ... then again I don't have any mod points just now and by "Funny" I meant "Flamebait".

Re:Haha yeah. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26591003)

I'd mod you "Funny" just for writing that post on Slashdot ... then again I don't have any mod points just now and by "Funny" I meant "Redundant".

Right now, America needs a strong Operating System (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590983)

Bill Gates needs to do his patriotic duty and give back to America.

Hire 5000 here, Fire 5000 there. It's called outsourcing.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Microsoft_to_axe_5000_but_no_job_cuts_in_India/articleshow/4018194.cms

Re:Right now, America needs a strong Operating Sys (4, Insightful)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591357)

For starters, Bill Gates isn't running the company anymore.

And that's pretty bad business. See, the minions and peons of a country are the only ones who are shamed and goaded into being "patriotic". Corporations cannot be bothered by such sentiments or they will wither and die, or so the common sense of today would suggest.

Re:Microsoft Stock? (2, Interesting)

tinpipes (179194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591121)

Will you take my old Fedora Core 4 install disks?

Obligatory The Simpsons Reference... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590453)

Nelson points at Steve and says: HAHA!

This would be first post, but I'm using Windows Vista on a Gateway.

Notice to Sourceforge: Kill off Slashdot! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590589)

A much better website: http://www.madonna.com

Notice to Sourceforge, Inc. management: Close down Slashdot, sell the domain to a squatter, and focus on your core competency: Sourceforge. It needs a lot of work.

Slashdot no longer serves a unique purpose. The forum is a mess of buggy AJAX, it is irrelevant, the editors have no talent, and the news sucks!

News for Nerds. Stuff That Matters. NOT!

It's not news, it's not written by journalists and it's not stuff that matters. The only true part about their tagline is that it's for nerds. Stupid ones. Ones who are probably wearing some lame t-shirt from ThinkGeek with a stupid expression like "All your haXoRz are belong to us."

This thread about the 2.4.18 kernel release is a typical Slashdot news item. Idiocy, misinformation, testosterone-poisoned posturing, technology punditry, arrogance, bad logic: just another day in Slashdot-land.

The classic exchange is one Slashdotter complaining about ACs (people posting as Anonymous Cowards, i.e., not registered) and another Slashdotter blasting him for being so stupid and then outlining the steps need to get a for-all-intents-and-purposes anonymous Hotmail account and registering on Slashdot with a bogus name.
Lame personalities

Some of the Slashdot people have personality cults which is weird because they are incredibly lame. Every single poll seems to have a reference to a character named CowboyNeal. One of the founders/editors, Rob Malda, goes by the handle CmdrTaco, and his posts are incredibly shallow and stupid (although admittedly not much more than those of the other editors).

Every Slashdot-hater will claim to have a particularly dark place in their hearts for a certain individual, but frankly, they're all about the same. I ran into them in the Linux pavilion of Comdex a couple of years ago and they're a truly sorry bunch of humans. Just more proof that if you had the choice to be smart or lucky, you're much better off being lucky.
The problem with online forums: Why Slashdot isn't different than the rest

Admittedly, Slashdot's lameness isn't unique. As a matter of fact, it's normal. The main problem with online communities is that they do not scale well. While engineers argue about whether or not MySQL-backed sites can handle significant traffic, etc., they are really missing the point. Even if the software can handle it, the community can't.

Throwing more hardware at it doesn't help the problem. Nor does throwing more software. Nor does throwing more moderation. Nor does adding big warning messages to "please search the archives before posting a question." People get tired of hearing the same old questions over and over. What was once a place where new and innovative discussions sprang up every day is now a place where the same ten questions get asked over and over. Many of the most valuable contributors are the first to leave, just like talented employees bailing out of a foundering corporation.

The only hope is to pick a topic that is so esoteric that growth is extremely limited. Splitting up a community into sub-communities is also a possibility, but one that doesn't always work. If done too late, the majority of the most valuable contributors will have already left. Splitting a big blob of noise will result in many little blobs of noise. If done too early, there might not be sufficient energy/critical mass to nurture the newly-founded subcommunities.
What makes FC different?

The, uh, community citizens at F---edCompany.com contribute about the same quality of knowledge as your average forum participant, but unlike Slashdotters, A.) they aren't as arrogant, B.) they all seem to realize where they're posting (i.e., after all, the website is called F---edCompany.com), and C.) Pud (the founder/editor) knows he's a lucky idiot.
The very worst part about online forums

For the newcomer, a vibrant, high-traffic online forum seems like the El Dorado of information. It's not. It's a Pandora's Box, but even worse. The biggest single problem about online forums is the amount of incorrect information being provided. For the average newbie, there is absolutely no way to tell who is telling the truth. Veteran status doesn't count, nor does his/her post count (i.e., someone with 3000+ posts isn't any more credible than someone with 150 posts).

Many online forums have an "Off Topic" posting area so specific forums don't get watered down with unrelated issues. These places are very, very dangerous. These are places where opinions are offered, often backed by little/bad/no facts. While it's one things to ask people in a photography forum about cameras, it's another thing to ask a bunch of DVD aficionados about income tax law.

The saddest thing is that people apparently believe that soliciting the thoughts of total strangers on serious topics such as personal bankruptcy, medical procedure issues, dealing with troubled children, etc. is normal on these relatively anonymous online forums.
Can you do anything about misinformation?

No, not really. For every one or two people with actual knowledge, there are dozens of people with no/little/bad knowledge.

If you refute someone, you will get a dozen people saying, "but I do _____ and it works for me" or the indignant "leave _____ alone, his answer is just as good as the next person's!" It's pointless to argue online. Unlike real life, everyone's opinion counts online. People will hear what they want to hear, and mostly it's their own voice (or other people telling them that they agree).
Me, me, me!

This thread about good web design (again, a non-newsworthy item) is pretty much the perfect example of the "My voice is just as loud and therefore just as authoritative as anyone else's" train of thought.

Go ahead, read the comments. An abnormally large number of them are actually thoughtfully written, only to be lost in the maelstrom of "Listen to me!! Listen to me!!" Sad, truly sad.

Re:Notice to Sourceforge: Kill off Slashdot! (1, Offtopic)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590815)

I'd mod you up, but thanks to Slashdot's groupthink enforcement mechanism, metamoderation, I am no longer allowed to moderate.

why just Microsoft? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590463)

Hardware makers should be on the hook as well.

Re:why just Microsoft? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590485)

I agree. They were complacent in the process.

Re:why just Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590817)

I agree. They were complacent in the process.

Perhaps.

I agree. They were complicit in the process.

But I fixed that for you anyway.

Re:why just Microsoft? (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590489)

Hardware makers should be on the hook as well.

Microsoft is the one that had the final word on labeling standards for "Vista capable".

Hardware makers lobbied hard to get the sticker applied to hardware that couldn't support Aero & Microsoft caved.

Re:why just Microsoft? (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590581)

Hardware makers lobbied hard to get the sticker applied to hardware that couldn't support Aero & Microsoft caved.

The Hardware makers should be at least as responsible, because they are the ones putting the stickers on the system.

I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy (well, most places) but fighting unfairness with unfairness is a little bitch move.

Microsoft didn't put the stickers on the computers. Hold the integrators responsible. At least as responsible as Microsoft, maybe more.

Re:why just Microsoft? (2, Informative)

click2005 (921437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590963)

I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy (well, most places) but fighting unfairness with unfairness is a little bitch move.

As a company they should be penalised for misleading their customers. The public bought PCs that MS said could run Vista. If those PCs cant, its ultimately Microsoft's fault and they should be made to pay the difference. I'm guessing it'll end up as a settlement of x billion worth of MS products & vouchers.

Microsoft didn't put the stickers on the computers. Hold the integrators responsible. At least as responsible as Microsoft, maybe more.

No, but as the GP pointed out, MS decided what the minimum specs were for Vista. Even if they changed them for Intel chipsets, its still their responsibility.

Re:why just Microsoft? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591055)

These machines do indeed run Vista. So.. what are we arguing about, again?

Re:why just Microsoft? (2, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591145)

When you market something as "capable of running Windows Vista", you don't generally mean "it'll start up eventually and if you're really patient you can use programs for it". "Capable of running Windows Vista" means, in a normal person's mind, that it runs Vista similarly to how it's shown in the ad (with Aero, not super slow,etc.).

Re:why just Microsoft? (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591213)

What ad? Capable of running Windows Vista means "it will install Windows Vista and you can run whatever programs your computer has the resources for". That's it.

What ever happened to doing research, as a consumer, before making a purchase?

What, you mean if I buy a Honda Civic at the cheapest price I can it won't look like the tricked out one in the ad?! Crazy!

What, you mean if I drive like I normally drive my cars this new car I buy will get 3-5 fewer mpg than advertised! I'm suing!

What, you mean this low-end laptop I bought won't run Office, Internet Explorer with 10 tabs open, and Microsoft Excel in Vista with all the useless user interface candy with 512M of memory?! That's crazy talk, I'm going to sue!

Re:why just Microsoft? (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591077)

The HW manufactures may have physically put the stickers on, but M$ decided which computers got it. Vista was an MS trademark. They gave out the specs on what could be labeled vista compatible. Obviously they didn't just send the OEM's boxes of stickers and say "merry christmas".
In fact, if you go here [crn.com] you can see the internal memos and email wherein M$ decides what hardware can get the "compatible" sticker.

Re:why just Microsoft? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591381)

Let's say I am a hardware manufacturer. I lobby MS to do what's necessary to have one of my lower midrange machines be allowed to have the Vista capable sticker on it. At that time, only MS is able to actually load Vista onto the hardware because it is not a released product.

A month later, I get a bulletin form MS saying that I can put the Vista capable sticker on that model. That is, MS has promised ME the hardware manufacturer that Vista will run properly on that machine. I have no idea how they did that, but it's their product and I have to take their word for it until I can buy a copy myself and try it.

Why should I be held responsible if MS lied to the consumer AND to me?

The hardware manufacturers are only to blame if they put the sticker on machines that did not meet MS's criteria.

Re:why just Microsoft? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590745)

If they lobbied to get the stickers against Microsoft's intent.. that would mean less responsibility for Microsoft.

Either way, they all should share responsibly, and any judgments should be spread around.

But like everything, this can be turned against MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590883)

That is because hardware manufacturers thought that it was very hard to sell anything that wasn't vista capable since the moment Vista came out. Why did MS design a system that couldn't be ran on a large part of semi-modern hardware anyways?

Re:why just Microsoft? (2, Informative)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591353)

Actually Intel lobbied to get this changed as it was their crap onboard notebook graphics that were the issue. A lot of hardware makers were pissed off as it meant they sold far less of their premium notebooks than they were predicting so had a surplus they had to sell cheap.

Re:why just Microsoft? (2, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591373)

Microsoft is the one that had the final word on labeling standards for "Vista capable".

Does this mean that they're "Vista culpable"?

Re:why just Microsoft? (3, Insightful)

emailandthings (844006) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590499)

So dont upgrade!... and have M$ keep fixing XP until 2012+ That should be the judge's order. Fact is M$ Vista adds 0 value to me, my company, or your country's GDP..

Re:why just Microsoft? (2, Interesting)

Meshach (578918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590555)

I don't think that a judge has authority to order MS to change their release dates. A judge can just order them to make restitution to customers who have been misled.

Re:why just Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590577)

keep fixing XP until 2012+ That should be the judge's order

XP is already scheduled to receive security updates until 2014.

Re:why just Microsoft? (4, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590551)

No, its Microsoft program that determines if the sticker can go on the PC.

Sure hardware people asked for it. But it's the same as if your friend tells you that you should con people out of money. You choose to do it so it's your fault.

Re:why just Microsoft? (5, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590675)

Sure hardware people asked for it. But it's the same as if your friend tells you that you should con people out of money. You choose to do it so it's your fault.

I disagree with your analogy. To me its:

My friends that want to con people out of money by selling them junk endorsed by a celebrity harware reviewer, (i.e. me). But I won't endorse their junk... so they piss and moan for a while, and I cave.

They then stick my endorsement on their junk, and the customer gets ripped off by my friends.

They then sue my ass for endorsing their junk, because I lied when I said it was good. Should I be on the hook? Yeah, I lied. But my friends are at the very least equal partners in this con; not only was it their idea, but they are the ones who actually sold the junk, and they did so deliberately and intentionally knowing it was junk.

Re:why just Microsoft? (2)

amclay (1356377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590721)

Mod parent up, he makes a very good point.

WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590807)

so i have two friends urging me to kill you and they keep at me your analogy would me its there fault ONLY when i actually kill you?
no it is your choice and yours alone no matter what to do that act. Should you fail at your obligations of being sane and rational you will and are accountable to the full extent of the law

Re:why just Microsoft? (2, Insightful)

RattFink (93631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590849)

They then stick my endorsement on their junk, and the customer gets ripped off by my friends.

There is a big difference between endorsing something and making a guarantee of fitness towards a certain task. Saying your friend's snake oil is great and I like it is perfectly fine but telling people it'll cure cancer will get you in a world of trouble.

Re:why just Microsoft? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590879)

It affects you more and destroys your credibility. You shouldn't have caved.

By your logic the US should be helping pay out to rebuild Gaza since we make it possible for Israel to do what they do and probably even gave them the white phosphorus they used illegally.

Just because don't want to take personal responsibility any more doesn't mean they're not at fault when they do something wrong.

Re:why just Microsoft? (2, Funny)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591033)

Endorsements usually don't carry much, if any, liability. You can endorse sham-wow all you want but shouldn't be sued because it doesn't work. Its all opinion.

If any of you have ever used a 'Vista capable' computer that this article describes you'll realize that they're Vista capable just like a Honda Civic is capable of towing a flatbed full of logs.

accomplice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26591169)

They then sue my ass for endorsing their junk, because I lied when I said it was good. Should I be on the hook? Yeah, I lied. But my friends are at the very least equal partners in this con; not only was it their idea, but they are the ones who actually sold the junk, and they did so deliberately and intentionally knowing it was junk.

And you knew it was junk; that makes you an accessory to the fraud.

It would be different if your friends (OEMs) lied to (MS) about what their hardware could do. Then you would be as much a victim as the public.

That is not the case here.

Free upgrade to windows 7 instead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590477)

I wonder if they can just give them all free copies of windows 7 cause this is a court case and Windows 7 or 8 should be out by the time its all done

Well. (5, Insightful)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590481)

Microsoft in its response argued that giving litigants 'a free upgrade to Premium-ready PCs would provide a windfall to millions.'

I guess you shouldn't have lied, then. Let this be a lesson to you.

Re:Well. (5, Insightful)

torkus (1133985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591243)

Should they be held responsible? Yes. For the cost of the operating system that's not compatible. The computer itself is just fine - they got exactly the hardware they paid for - no more, no less.

Make MS give them a free upgrade/sidegrade/downgrade to a working operating system compatible with their hardware. The idea that MS should pay for hardware upgrades is plain old silly.

Re:Well. (2, Insightful)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591261)

yeah it has to be one of the dumbest defenses ever conceived by lawyers: "Ruling against us would be a big benefit to the other side at our expense"

What's sauce for the goose... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590493)

Microsoft in its response argued that giving litigants 'a free upgrade to Premium-ready PCs would provide a windfall to millions.'/quote]

Unlike providing a windfall by lying about operating system capabilities.

what would be the cost to refund (5, Interesting)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590501)

what if they re-funded the cost of an OEM version of vista to everyone, and provided a free downgrade to XP, or up to 7, im sure that would cost less than $400 per PC, and seems an especially more practical alternative to upgrading the laptops.

considering the value of a new laptop with 1GB ram and an aero-capable intel chipset these days, i wonder how many people would bother to get it changed once you factor in the hassle of sending off your laptop, waiting on the new one, setting it up, transfering the data etc...

its reasonable to hold microsoft accountable for what is clearly misleading, but retailers/manufacturers are equally responsible for putting the sticker on if they knew their hardware couldnt run it acceptabley, even if MS said it would.

Re:what would be the cost to refund (4, Interesting)

Meshach (578918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590531)

I have to agree with you that OEM vendors should bear a share of the responsibility.

OEM do piles of testing and development to install their "tools" / malware onto the machines. They must have known that the OS was not capable.

Re:what would be the cost to refund (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590621)

Nope. This lawsuit refers to machines which were sold with XP installed but with a sticker saying "Vista Capable" on them (and often a voucher for the Vista upgrade).

Vista because it wasn't available at the time so they couldn't test machines with it.

Re:what would be the cost to refund (4, Insightful)

Meshach (578918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590663)

Vista wasn't available to general people but I would think/hope that OEM had access to some alpha/beta/per-release version to test their tools against. Since MS makes piles of money from OEM vendors I would think they would help them out.

Re:what would be the cost to refund (1)

zergl (841491) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590847)

Vista wasn't available to general people but I would think/hope that OEM had access to some alpha/beta/per-release version to test their tools against. Since MS makes piles of money from OEM vendors I would think they would help them out.

And as we all know, pre-release versions of software behave exactly like the final product and any benchmark results from the pre-release are completely accurate because there won't be any more performance tuning.

Re:what would be the cost to refund (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590967)

Things like working graphics drivers were few and far between even after Vista was launched.

Re:what would be the cost to refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590969)

Big OEM's like Dell were working with Vista literally 2 years before RTM releases. Do you think they don't work closely together?

In fact, Dell/HP/Lenovo/Etc actually have teams on-site at MS full time to test each incremental build.

Re:what would be the cost to refund (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590987)

But they didn't buy an OEM version of Vista, they bought "Vista-capable" equipment. Your idea works only if they had to buy vista seperately. All those customers were lied to simply because they were buying a bundle, of parts that was supposed to work together, and didn't. Now you're going to reimburse them the one part that didn't work, and tell them "well the other parts don't work together with A, so we refunded A" But I bought A and B together, because they were certified to work together. And on the other hand, the logo program is Trademark Microsoft, if Microsoft opposed the idea, they should have sued to get it taken off. They didn't so Microsoft was tacitly approving.

The whole point of the logo is to say that Microsoft, who makes Vista, says the combination of the hardware is sufficient to run Vista, so the people who see the logo know that they can buy it with a clear conscience.

Microsoft doesn't have to have a logo program, they choose to do so because it benefits them. When they mishandle it, they have to be punished. In a real customer-centric market, Microsoft would have to pay damages for the time spent reinstalling/restoring data too.

Re:what would be the cost to refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26591361)

An XP downgrade would require wiping hard drives which is an unsavory option for many. For most that would be a lose-lose situation:
 
  1) format your hard drive and loose any installed programs (which could cost DRM licenses not to mention) or
 
  2) Forgo a downgrade to keep sub-standard hardware for Vista. This costs Microsoft and hardware vendors nothing.

Does these 8 billion take into account... (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590505)

...the Vista Premium license? I'm assuming these laptops/desktops came with Windows XP or Vista Basic, which means the user have to buy Vista Premium to be affected by this.

For $8 billion MS can probably make Aero run on 513 MB RAM and Pixel Shader 1.0 hardware.

Re:Does these 8 billion take into account... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590529)

MS can probably make Aero run on 513 MB RAM

So you'd just need to find/add a 1MB DIMM?

Re:Does these 8 billion take into account... (1)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590977)

For $8 billion MS can probably make Aero run on 513 MB RAM and Pixel Shader 1.0 hardware.

I hope MS really takes notice of this for Windows7. Users are expecting to run premium content (Areo) on budget hardware, I think it would be worth Microsoft's time to clean up their code and make such enhancements as lightweight as possible. Either make the code run on everything or educate the end user on the real hardware requirements that make the shiny bits work.

IMHO, I feel that MS failed to educate the end user that the flashy stuff that they were seeing with Vista was Aero and Aero required a minimum chipsets X,Y,Z. Hardware vendors didn't help because they don't often advertise which low end components are installed in a laptop or if they are able to run things like Aero.

Perhaps Windows7 will be P3 compatible and will require a whopping 128mb of ram to prevent any stupid litigation.

Re:Does these 8 billion take into account... (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591079)

I really would like for my $12,000 car to get 55mpg and have 320 HP. It ain't gonna happen, though.

Again they shoot themselves in the foot... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591091)

A window compositor only needs very basic hardware to do its thing, eg. Linux/Compiz can do it on a TNT2.

Vista was made "D3D10 only" for political reasons, not technical reasons - to try and force upgrades from XP via Vista-only games. Aero certainly didn't need such powerful hardware (Compiz does way more effects with less hardware).

The "force gamers to upgrade" thing didn't happen, most games companies are still writing for D3D9.

So ... Aero is now coming back to bite Microsoft in the ass with a vengence. It's hard to find any sympathy for Microsoft, it's their own greed and arrogance which caused this.

Re:Again they shoot themselves in the foot... (1)

anss123 (985305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591371)

Vista was made "D3D10 only" for political reasons, not technical reasons

Aero needs pixel shader 2.0 hardware and 128+ RAM (I think), not Dx10.

A window compositor only needs very basic hardware to do its thing, eg. Linux/Compiz can do it on a TNT2.

Actually you don't need hardware for window composition, Mac OS X did it in software up to 10.5 One problem Areo face is the need to run GDI, overlay and whatever else crufty APIs are left over from older Windows variants. What this does to the engineering I'm not sure, but if those old APIs give direct frame buffer access I guess things can get tricky fast.

Re:Does these 8 billion take into account... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591359)

For $8 billion MS can probably make Aero run on 513 MB RAM and Pixel Shader 1.0 hardware.

It's not that simple. Aero won't run on Intel 915 chipsets because there is no WDDM driver. Aero needs a WDDM driver. Intel will not release a WDDM driver for 915 because one of the requirements of the driver is the chip must have a Hardware Scheduler which the 915 does not have [intel.com] . I'm not a chip engineer but it seems to me that a Hardware Scheduler was something that is built into the chip and not something that can be simulated by software. Incidentally the 915 does support Pixel Shader 2.0 [wikipedia.org] .

Intel could redesign the 915 with a Hardware Scheduler and re-release it. However most of integrated video chipsets are soldered onto the MB and not easily replaced. It would be far easier for the consumer to replace the MB than to retrofit the 915.

Another viewpoint: (2)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590509)

Well, to me, *lone voice on the wilderness* Vista Capable doesn't definitively mean Vista Ultimate Capable and I think the difference between Vista Capable and Vista Premium should have been clear.

It does seem to be nitpicking to suggest that Vista Capable means Ultimate and not Basic. Additionally, there was a lot of information kicking about explaining Vista's system requirements at the time this campaign was running so I think these people need to take a bit of responsibility for their own decisions - for instance, there's no excuse for someone moaning that their graphics card doesn't support Aero when MS had made the requirements for Aero perfectly clear.

Finally, considering the fact that Vista hadn't even been released when these stickers first started coming out the phrase "buyer beware" springs to mind...

=Smidge=

Re:Another viewpoint: (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590827)

Well, to me, *lone voice on the wilderness* Vista Capable doesn't definitively mean Vista Ultimate Capable

No, to you informed geek Vista Capable doesn't necessarily mean Vista-with-Aero capable. The average user sees the TV adverts for Vista where the only feature they really talk about is Aero, sees 'Vista Capable' and assumes that the two are connected. This is what we call bait-and-switch at worst, misleading advertising at best.

Re:Another viewpoint: (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590965)

Actually, I doubt that most computer buyers saw any Vista ads and probably didn't even know what Aero was. It's the informed geek and their lawyer friends who did the bulk of complaining.

Re:Another viewpoint: (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591159)

Yeah because Microsoft's marketing is aimed at ensuring no one sees their ads.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=aL3rfuKwMDI [youtube.com]

This advert shows Aero in use but it doesn't call it Aero nor does it say not all versions can do everything. It advertises Vista as if it's one product but in reality it's numerous versions and consequences to which version you buy.

You're right the average user is a bit thick and doesn't know what aero is but they did see that advert and would assume simply buying vista will give them the same experience.

Re:Another viewpoint: (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591117)

Yeah, it's the marketer's duty to make sure uninformed buyers are informed of every single possible detail of their purchase. I mean, I can go buy any "HDTV" and play my XBOX 360 or PS3 at full 1080p60 resolution, right? Oh... you mean I can't necessarily?

The product they bought says "vista capable" and it is capable of running Vista. End of story.

Re:Another viewpoint: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590973)

But what about "Vista Special" and "Vista Basic" and "Vista Basic Office" and "Vista Ultimate Special" and "Vista Super Premium" and ...

More Likely... (1)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590525)

The litigants will be offered a 'free' copy of lower-end-friendly XP Pro to upgrade to, maybe a copy of Office thrown in too. Cost to Microsoft = $0.

Re:More Likely... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26591053)

Cost to MS: $80000 (shipping and handling)
Benefit to MS: $4-8B tax writeoff

As much as I hate Microsoft (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590543)

the majority of time I saw Vista running dog slow on a computer out of the box was either the Aero setting cranked up on a integrated graphics chip or the bloatware included by the OEM (Acer, I'm looking at you). Both of these cases are OEM's fault - I stated in the past that this is probably one of the reasons MS will lose marketshare - lack of quality control over OEM distributors.

Apple, otoh, usually gives you a nice, clean box to run with. Linux doesn't have bloatware yet, although if it gets more popular, the free nature of it will allow manufacturers to include useless junk as well.

blame the OEMs (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591065)

"Both of these cases are OEM's fault - I stated in the past that this is probably one of the reasons MS will lose marketshare - lack of quality control over OEM distributors"

From other sources the whole 'Vista Capable' debacle was an attempt by Microsoft to . The rest of the OEMs had to then be brought on board.

ms (2)

Skatox (1109939) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590545)

take that MS

Did PentiumII computers get tagged "Vista ready?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590557)

Could someone please explain what king of computers have people bought that can't run Vista? Ok, I admit 1GB may be just not enough, but what kind of graphics cards do these computers have ? My current laptop has an integrated GMA 950 and a 1.33Ghz CPU and is still able to run Vista with Aero.

No irony there, then. (5, Insightful)

Bozovision (107228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590569)

Microsoft in its response argued that giving litigants 'a free upgrade to Premium-ready PCs would provide a windfall to millions.

Whereas, of course, others would argue that the litigants provided a windfall of billions to Microsoft by purchasing Vista on a Vista Capable machine.

Re:No irony there, then. (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590657)

RIght on. Wish I had some mod points to give you.

Re:No irony there, then. (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590935)

Microsoft in its response argued that giving litigants 'a free upgrade to Premium-ready PCs would provide a windfall to millions.

Whereas, of course, others would argue that the litigants provided a windfall of billions to Microsoft by purchasing Vista on a Vista Capable machine.

One could argue that, but one would be utterly wrong, since the vast majority of "Vista Capable" machines would have had XP had they not been so labeled.

Well damn... (1)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590571)

If I had known this would have happened, I would have bought a shitty laptop when Vista came out, bitched about it's performance, installed linux, and then score a free laptop upgrade post class action lawsuit.

Now I can only bitch about Vista performance and install linux.

Another concern (2, Interesting)

eck011219 (851729) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590623)

You know, I love a good Microsoft pummeling as much as the next guy, but my concern is that MS is just now starting to come around to a slightly more rational way of thinking about its customers. I'm cautiously optimistic about Windows 7 in this regard.

But if you cut an $8 billion hole in Microsoft, you run the risk of making them frantic to patch that hole. And as we know, they have some pretty well-developed skills for being really aggressive at the expense of the end user.

I'm not saying they shouldn't be penalized (and consumers shouldn't be compensated), but this was also the fault of the hardware manufacturers who pushed so hard on Microsoft to get the sticker on their products. Spread the blame more equitably across ALL guilty parties, and you may avoid any one entity getting that caged-animal mentality that only ends up hurting the consumer.

the fault of the hw manufacturers .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590921)

"this was also the fault of the hardware manufacturers who pushed so hard on Microsoft to get the sticker on their products"

Like where, according to Microsoft insider Rob Enderle the push [techflash.com] came from MS over the protests of Intel and others, unless you know differently.

'sitting on the OEM [computerworld.com] typically is not effective at making a problem like this go away'

Re:Another concern (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591139)

No, it's the fault of Microsoft for setting such a ridiculously high hardware requirement for the "basic" desktop graphics.

It wasn't needed (eg. Mac/Compiz do much more with much less), it was a political move by an over-arrogant Microsoft believing the "DX10-only" thing would force upgrades from XP.

Which didn't happen.

so what now is vista capable (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590627)

this must surely come with a new definition of what is vista capable. so what is it? which chipsets count as vista capable now?

What is the problem? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590629)

How stupid is this lawsuit?

These people could use Vista, just not with all the graphical "enchancements".

If you were to buy a computer game that came with a set of hardware requirements that you just met, You wouldn't then turn around and moan about how you couldn't run it in full HD with all the highest settings.

You could still play the game, but at lower settings. But you aren't happy with that, you meet the requirements and demand that you be able to play with all the settings to maximum, so you take them to court.

What would the result be? You would be laughed out of court.

This is no different to "Vista Capable". They can use Vista perfectly fine, but not necessarily with all the bells and whistles.

Re:What is the problem? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591165)

But ... the sticker on the box said it would. If you bought a TV with a "Hi-Def" sticker which turned out not to be hi-def then you'd be pissed too.

Aiming at the wrong targets (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590691)

They're suing the wrong people. MS made it perfectly clear what was in Basic. It's the OEMs and lying fucks in the shops that should be the ones being sued.

Re:Aiming at the wrong targets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590897)

Microsoft programmed Vista in BASIC? Everything makes so much sense now...

Re:Aiming at the wrong targets (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591375)

They didn't though. These stickers were being put up before Vista was on the market, and M$ had adopted the policy of not hyping Vista to keep its holiday (XP) sales up. The information was not being made readily available, and this wasn't just the retailers, it was M$ policy.

This is trivial for Microsoft (2, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590773)

In case Microsoft really has to pay up, it would be trivial, and here's why. Microsoft will ask for leniency in light of "current economic times," then go ahead and hike license costs for those who will buy Windows 7/Vista.

Given that Microsoft's revenues are in the tens of billions of dollars, this will not be that hard to recoup. So brace yourselves for a higher Microsoft tax in years to come.
 

The most likely outcome is... (3, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590823)

Having followed class action suits before, the outcome most likely is that the lawyers will get paid exorbitant fees, and the plaintiffs will get discount coupons for their next Windows upgrade.

Discount coupons and vouchers are the way almost all class action suits are resolved. Very seldom do the plaintiffs actually recover monetary damages.

Re:The most likely outcome is... (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590985)

I agree. This is all about legal fees.

haha tag? (1)

MULTICS_$MAN (692936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590871)

Come on, get with it.

Kind of agree with MS here... (4, Insightful)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26590937)

...those figures for upgrades seem kind of inflated. These are all systems that were "certified" to be Vista (Basic) Capable, so it shouldn't cost that much for a 512mb ram stick and an el-cheapo graphics card for a desktop. If his estimates included installation by a "trained professional" then I would still be willing to bet it would be significantly lower, because they would probably work out a major group discount with a company (probably Best Buy) which would still bring the cost significantly lower. For laptops, I have no idea, although I would be willing to bet that costs would be individually lower than he quoted too (willing to bet that most of them have integrated capable of Aero, just not enough RAM), although some systems would have to be replaced. If that was how damages to be awarded were to be determined, of course. Considering this is a class action suit, what will probably happen is they will make a coupon available for X amount of money off your next purchase of MS software, and probably some other product as well.

Re:Kind of agree with MS here... (2, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591187)

The summary says $155. How is that "unreasonable" for a DIMM and an el-cheapo graphics card?

Laptops would need the motherboard replacing. Good luck with that...

First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26590975)

F1RST P0ST!

Next in line for Bail-out: MicroSoft. (1)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591001)

As much as they deserve to get hit with this cost, I can see them going to congress asking for bailout. Which would probably cause quite a few Slashdoters to explode in rage. Especially if they got a bailout.

Crazy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26591011)

The entire Vista OS-cum-fiasco is so much more ridiculous than Windows ME, it's boggling my mind!!

April 1? (2, Funny)

MichaelFurey (1460819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591113)

The "Vista Capable" labeling campaign began on April 1, 2006.

Oh well, probably just one of those harmless April Fools' jokes...

Is Microsoft settling this? (1)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591209)

Talking about how much it would cost to do so suggests this?

As far as I'm concerned, MS should win this case - I haven't seen anything that would suggest MS defrauded customers.. only that some uneducated customers had expectations different of what Vista Capable meant from what it actually did. I have not seen anything that - since the program was publicly announced - suggests the certification requirements changed.

MS clearly spelled out what "Vista Capable" and "Premium Ready" meant. If customers chose not to read this information, it is nobody's fault but their own.

OP is retarded (1)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 5 years ago | (#26591391)

Why the hell would MS be on the hook for *upgrading the laptop*? Rather, they would just have to refund the price of Windows, which OEM is like $25 / machine. That makes it a few hundred million, tops.
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