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Vista Branding Confusing Even To Microsoft

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the definition-of-capable dept.

236

Trotti Laganna writes "Lawyers are now arguing a case brought against Microsoft over Vista's marketing. The software giant is being dinged for allegedly not telling the truth when it put the 'Vista capable' logo on PCs that would only be capable of running Vista Home Basic. Case in point - even the software giant's marketing director Mark Croft was confused by the pre-launch campaign in the United States. Croft's explanation was that "'capable'...has an interpretation for many that, in the context of this program, a PC would be able to run any version of the Windows operating system". After a 10-minute break to talk to Microsoft's lawyers, Croft admitted he had made 'an error', and retracted his previous statement, saying that, by 'capable', Microsoft meant 'able to run a version of Vista'."

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236 comments

Yawn. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530611)

Funny, I'm not confused by this.

Still waiting.. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530627)

Posting from my linux machine, because my new vista capable computer still hasn't completed booting since I bought it back in Aug.

Confused (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530631)

I read the article and still don't get it. Who is claiming what and why is there a lawsuit against Microsoft.

Re:Confused (-1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530729)

I read it as "Vista capable" is instilling a false sense of confidence in customers, as in it misleads them into believing that Vista isn't the only os supported, rather just one that is.

Re:Confused (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530889)

I read it as "Vista capable" is instilling a false sense of confidence in customers, as in it misleads them into believing that Vista isn't the only os supported, rather just one that is.
I read your comment and now am even more confused.

Re:Confused (-1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530961)

The way I understand it:

People understand "Vista capable" as "this computer can run Vista, but it could run XP or Linux as well". "Vista capable" would mean it fulfills Vista's minimum RAM, etc requirements, and not that necessarily it must run Vista.

This is presumably applied to computers with hardware without drivers for other OSes.

Re:Confused (4, Informative)

Dak RIT (556128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531079)

If you read the article, or possibly even the summary, you'd notice that it has nothing to do with running other operating systems other than Vista.

What people are complaining about is that people assumed a "Vista Capable" computer would be able to run any version of Vista when it came out... meaning Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium all the way up to Vista Ultimate. What's ironic is that Microsoft's own marketing director testified that "Vista Capable" meant exactly what many consumers assumed it did.

Microsoft's actual position though is that for a computer to be "Vista Capable" it only had to be able to run Vista Home Basic. That means a computer that can't run Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate could still be labeled "Vista Capable" even though it can't run versions of Vista that have many of the features advertised with Vista.

So some consumers who went out and purchased a "Vista Capable" computer and then later bought Vista Home Premium when it came out suddenly discovered they couldn't use Vista Home Premium on their "Vista Capable" computer.

Exactly Right (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531295)

Exactly. MS needs to be taken to the cleaners on this one. That's just fraudulent marketing any way you look at it imho. Maybe they didn't realize the impact it would have, but that does't make it right. Now if they said "Vista Home Basic Capable", that would've probably been okay.

Re:Exactly Right (3, Interesting)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531567)

Yeah, but who is claiming the PC is able to run Vista? The PC manufacturer? Or is MS certifying that this model of PC is able to run Vista?

Certain? (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531385)

Are you certain about your hypothetical you added at the end? Because all in all, there isn't a terrible difference between Home Basic and Home Premium. Most likely, it was machines listed as Vista Capable that couldn't run Ultimate.

And I have to say that I'd side with Microsoft here. I mean, when it comes down to it, if the PC can run any version of Windows Vista then it's CAPABLE of running Vista. Maybe it would be nice to have more info given to consumers, maybe a compatibility sticker on the bottom of the laptop, or even on the top lid of the laptop that's able to be easily peeled off.

I don't think that it would be a benefit to consumers to only label PC's capable of running Ultimate as "Vista Capable." It would perhaps lead consumers, on average, to buy more expensive machines than they need.

Re:Certain? (5, Insightful)

Neeth (887729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531519)

You could argue the other way round. A computer capable of running Vista, will run Vista, right? And Vista Ultimate is Vista, right? But Vista Ultimate can not be used. So you can't use Vista on a Vista capable computer. But the sticker says so.
Now, I agree with you that informing the consumers would have been nice. But would they have bought the computer when it said that it was only capable of running the most basic Vista?

HD Ready (3, Funny)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531533)

Just like my shiny new "HD Ready" tv, for which I will nonetheless need a separate set-top-box when HDTV is eventually rolled out in my country...

"Capable" is a good word (2, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530635)

When I was at University, someone I knew had a computer that was capable of running Windows 95.

She was using a 486.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1)

eggstasy (458692) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530663)

I used to run Windows 95 on my 486 10-11 years ago.
A 486 with 32 megs of RAM could run Windows 95 just fine. A 486 with 8 megs of RAM, however... would take literally three minutes to boot basic stuff like IE2.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (3, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530683)

A 486 with 32 megs of RAM could run Windows 95 just fine. A 486 with 8 megs of RAM, however... would take literally three minutes to boot basic stuff like IE2.

Jo, is that you?

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1)

matsuva (1042924) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530747)

Your links aren't working Sweeney, i get "Access denied for user 'parallel'@'server213-171-218-204.livedns.org.uk' (using password: YES)" when i click them.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (2, Funny)

muszek (882567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530975)

He bought a server that's "MS SQL 2005 Capable". Unfortunately, queries that would return more than 1 row of data on truly capable hardware (min. 4GB of RAM) get access denied error instead. If you turn the profanity lang switch in conf file, it says "we don't like cheap bastards like you. come back when you have craploads of cash".

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530725)

Believe it or not the skin flint organisation I work for got 486's to run NT workstation - but only for those users running a terminal emulator to work on our Unix systems. No e-mail, no office apps, no IE, just the emulator. To be fair they save thousends on upgrade costs as this was applied to ~800 machines.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1, Offtopic)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530825)

"A 486 with 32 megs of RAM could run Windows 95 just fine."

Yes, and that same computer was slow as hell running a (bare) XWindow system. Every GUI for Linux was just unusable because of such slowness.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (2, Informative)

thannine (576719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530899)

Well, I don't know about the same computer, but my 486 was running X windows just fine. It was beating the crap out of the win 3.11 I was using at the time. (When I still dual-booted). And I was running with 16 megs of memory, being the poor student I was.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530743)

windows '95 probably was the most stable release of windows that MS ever made. This must have been partly due to the fact that at the time an internet connection was very much optional and viruses had to spread slowly. There was also no 'backchannel' for paydirt to be delivered to the perp, so the worst that could happen was data desctruction. I often wonder what would have happened to the IT world if MS would have wised up at the time and bought out one of the unixes of the time (SGI would have been a good start) and built their empire on that instead of trying to reinvent the wheel badly.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530817)

Thats an oxymoron -- stable windows 95. Did you ever actually USE it? I used NT 4 at the time, and it was actually stable.. 9x line.. not so much.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (5, Funny)

gazbo (517111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530845)

You are banned from ever talking about operating systems. It's for your own good.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530919)

windows '95 probably was the most stable release of windows that MS ever made.
I had to reinstall my system about every three months. I don't call that stable.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530991)

maybe the measure of geekiness should be the ratio of how long between reinstalls of your linux machine and your windows machine.
or just 1/ windows if your linux never crashes.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21531163)

I'm going to have to disagree with you there, and say Windows 2000 Professional is the most stable MS ever made.

Microsoft already had a unix (1)

titten (792394) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531307)

Namely Xenix: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenix [wikipedia.org]

Microsoft Word (at the time 'Multi-Tool Word') was developed on Xenix... Unix was used in the Microsoft organization up until Win95 was released, and NT was supposed to be a better Unix than Unix (which is why they focused so much on Posix compliance).

Also, Internet Explorer used to run on Unix (X on Solaris/HP-UX): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_for_UNIX [wikipedia.org]

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531359)

windows '95 probably was the most stable release of windows that MS ever made.
No, it wasn't. If you attempt to access the file located at c:\con\con, you get an instant bluescreen and can no longer use your system. A malicious webpage can easily say that it needs to load an image there. There are plenty of other ways to mess up the operating system, such as attempting to load Slashdot or Kuro5hin when you have moderator privilages - the number of combo boxes on those pages alone will cause the OS to run out of GDI resources.

Architecture wise, Windows 95 is a version of Windows 3.11 with 32-bit support (when you ignore additional features). The mix of 16-bit and 32-bit code has caused stability issues through Windows ME and were not present in the Windows NT series of operating systems.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530787)

I've got a 386DX-40 w/32MB that runs Win98SE no problems; I've got a 486DX-120 system w/96MB that runs Win2k with no problems, it was my file server/RAID system for years.
If you don't try to run games, you can get a lot of good use out of older hardware.

Re:"Capable" is a good word (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531485)

I got to run windows 98 in my old 486dx4 computer. It is not a big deal, such computer would always be slow whether you put windows 3.11 or 98 didn't make a hell of a difference. Although I did upgrade RAM a little.

capable (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530649)

Zonk is a capable editor. Bwahahahahahahahaha!

Women's clothes sizes and Vista branding (3, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530651)

For kicks, go to the women's section of your favorite department store and pick up a few jeans that are the same size (pick something that would fit you. Lane Bryant might be a good store choice). Take the jeans into a changing room and try them on. What you'll find is that even though the same size is printed on the label, the actual size varies from item to item.

Now, when you hear someone say something is Vista "capable", you'll realize that "capable" means the bare minimum requirements have been met. Likewise, "ready" doesn't mean much more, though MS marketing wants to make the differentiation. So what matters here is not whether the bare minimum can run the lowest version of Vista, but whether it can run the more featureful versions at all. Should someone mind if their Vista "capable" machine is as slow as a dog running Vista Ultimate and can't take advantage of the Aero interface? I would say that anyone paying for the barebones shouldn't expect to run the top of the line, no matter what the labelling.

In other words, always buy one size larger than you expect to fit. Also, always try the pants on before buying.

Odd way of coming out of the closet (4, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530687)

Look, as your nick suggests on slashdot we use real men's anologies namely cars. Guy stuff. Not clothing and most certainly not womens clothing and MOST DEFINITLY NOT TRYING THEM ON.

Yes I know the temptation can be great when you feel that soft lace... Eh, how about them Yankees eh.

Re:Odd way of coming out of the closet (1)

esme (17526) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530847)

Clearly, this being Slashdot, he should have invented a girlfriend to attribute the women's pants experience to. -Esme

Re:Odd way of coming out of the closet (2, Funny)

rvw (755107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530979)

Clearly, this being Slashdot, he should have invented a girlfriend to attribute the women's pants experience to. -Esme
Clearly he hás invented an imaginary girlfriend. And because she cannot be naked all the time he had to go and try these cloths, understand?

Re:Odd way of coming out of the closet (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530901)

Look, as your nick suggests on slashdot we use real men's anologies namely cars. Guy stuff. Not clothing and most certainly not womens clothing and MOST DEFINITLY NOT TRYING THEM ON.
I don't know, I was kind of getting in to his analogy. Who among us hasn't secretly wanted to go into a Lane Bryant and try on a nice sheath dress? I mean, NOT ME, but I'm thinking there might be some of you guys who would like that sort of thing. In a strictly ironic way, of course. As a joke.

Re:Women's clothes sizes and Vista branding (4, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530949)

For kicks, go to the women's section of your favorite department store and pick up a few jeans that are the same size (pick something that would fit you. Lane Bryant might be a good store choice). Take the jeans into a changing room and try them on. What you'll find is that even though the same size is printed on the label, the actual size varies from item to item.

Dear Sir,

I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about the aforementioned post, namely, that Slashdot readers might consider trying on women's clothes. Many of my best friends are Slashdot readers, and only a few of them are transvestites.

Moreover, while it is true that certain manufacturers of women's apparel mark down the size of a garment to a lower size to placate the buyer's desire for petiteness, there should be no shame for anyone relegated to shopping in the plus-sized aisles, or otherwise interested in purchasing a copy of Vista.

Yours faithfully,
Brigadier Sir Charles Arthur Strong (Mrs.)

PS I have never kissed Cmdr Taco.

Re:Women's clothes sizes and Vista branding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530985)

It's just ironic that every Mac that is currently sold will run Leopard. It is also strange that the PC guy in the Mac ad would look GREAT in something from dressbarn. Damn. I'm now all worked up thinking about it. Gotta run

Re:Women's clothes sizes and Vista branding (4, Insightful)

whoda (569082) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531281)

"In other words, always buy one size larger than you expect to fit. Also, always try the pants on before buying."

Here's the problem:
I don't know what size fits and Microsoft won't provide a dressing room to try the software on.
Once purchased and opened so I can 'try it on' I can't return it if it is the wrong size.

The word 'any' (1)

AEton (654737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530655)

Uh, without RTA, it sounds like there was just some linguistic ambiguity. The word "any" is special that way.

Re:The word 'any' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530759)

Uh, without RTA, it sounds like there was just some linguistic ambiguity. The word "any" is special that way.
Can you explain this statement? I always thought the meaning of "any" was pretty clear.

worse than that (0, Troll)

eneville (745111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530659)

Capable is very much a vague term, it does not mean 'able'. I think the sticker is seen as a certificate to some. It's a badge of office, so it should be a little more thought out. There is more info here on what the dictionary thinks capable is: http://s5h.net/u?14 [s5h.net]

Re:worse than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530697)

I'm torn, did I enjoy the rickroll or not?

and since when does Slashdot have rickrolls?

PS. Beware the link in the parent thread is a rickroll.

Re:worse than that (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530733)

I think the sticker is seen as a certificate to some. It's a badge of office, so it should be a little more thought out.

Microsoft has given the sticker a little more thought.

In future, all computers intended for Vista will have a sticker based on this [typepad.com] design.

Re:worse than that (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530819)

Well, in some respects that's quite ideal as many people use windows for just getting mail, browsing web and listening to music. What more does one 14 year old need?

Re:worse than that (1)

giafly (926567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530893)

Croft admitted he had made 'an error', and retracted his previous statement, saying that, by 'capable', Microsoft meant 'able to run a version of Vista'."
Capable is very much a vague term, it does not mean 'able'.
Run is apparently also a vague term, it does not mean 'go quickly'

new acronym proposal: HINAL (4, Insightful)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530667)

He Is Not A Lawyer.

Re:new acronym proposal: HINAL (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530851)

He Is Not A Lawyer.

Neither are their fucking customers.

'Vista Capable' isn't a catchy phrase, so it wasn't chosen for that reason. It's designed to dupe people. It's meaningless -- a stick of RAM is Vista /capable/. MS should get keelhauled for crap like this. To see it go to court rather than simply cause Consumer Disgust is a little bizarre, but having their own Marketing Director confused by it has got to be worth something.

MS sells what? (5, Interesting)

ThreeGigs (239452) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530671)

The case involves the way Microsoft marketed PCs

Since when has MS been a computer retailer?

I'd think that the class action would be against PC builders, who in turn would go after MS for misleading them into labeling a PC as Vista capable.

Re:MS sells what? (2, Informative)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530731)

Since when has MS been a computer retailer?

For a long while now, however they are only sold in stores in Japan or Korea, don't remember which. that does not even include the xboxes but they are not being advertised as Vista ready.

But back to the main item, the people sueing are saying that because Microsoft advertised that computers with the Vista Ready sticker were capable of running Vista that it is Microsofts fault and Microsoft was doing the misleading .

Re:MS sells what? (3, Informative)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530809)

Doesn't MS have a certification program or a set of standards that are required before the stickers can be put on a PC? Since the stickers are Microsoft's, and they are on a product carrying their OS, the certainly can be held responsible if their stickers convey inaccurate or misleading information.

Re:MS sells what? (1)

TyrWanJo (1026462) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531751)

MS and computer(IBM based computers anyways)companies have been in bed together for a long time. Although its subtle, MS markets computers by bundling its software with them, and then allowing a computer company to advertise their computer as "capable" of running that bundle (or in this case the barest minimum version of that bundle available.) With almost any major computer brand it is impossible buy a computer without an OS, and nine times out of ten that OS is going to MS based. This is part of how MS sold Vista to begin with, as far as I can tell, and at the same time helped major PC manufacturers move newer products. While MS might not be directly responsible for the sale of computers, many people rely on the MS software, and so by assuring people that the computer they are about to buy can run MS Whatever, they sell computers as much as they sell their OS.

Usual Caveat: Don't trust MS statements. (2, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530693)

Find out for yourself. Especially MS marketing is prone to lie, steal and cheat. And they have no clue about technology. Why people eat up every new "revolution" out of Redmont is beyond me. It is well known that MS products are unusable until they have has a few serious revisions/service packs.

Re:Usual Caveat: Don't trust MS statements. (2, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531631)

And they have no clue about technology.

Do you think it's reasonable that an average joe-user should expect that?

You know you've failed when... (3, Funny)

idiotwithastick (1036612) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530699)

... your own marketing director has no clue about the product he is actually trying to market. Who comes up with those stickers, anyways?

Re:You know you've failed when... (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531319)

.. your own marketing director has no clue about the product he is actually trying to market.

I'd say that this is almost always the case.

If developers build a small 1 person helicopter, marketers will sell it as a space rocket (capable of going into space.)

So people pay extra (1)

MichailS (923773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530703)

for a badge that says "this PC can run Windows"?

And then it turns out to be "a Windows", not "Windows, period"?

Must feel good to be in the customer shafting business.

Like the swedish witch Häxan Surtant says: "I love charging people too much money!"

Häxan Surtant (1)

threaded (89367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530897)

Way to go: mention a character from an old Swedish Christmas TV show that not even many Swedes outside Stockholm actually watched. Guess it's up there with the obscurity of what Vista capable actually means, or not, for example. ;-)

Uh... (4, Informative)

Kawahee (901497) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530707)

Minimum System Requirements [microsoft.com]

Windows Vista minimum supported system requirements

Home Basic / Home Premium / Business / Ultimate
* 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of system memory
* 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
* Support for Super VGA graphics
* CD-ROM drive
Any computer than can run Home Basic can run any other edition. Yes, you won't get Aero without a graphics card that supports DX9+ hardware acceleration, and performance won't be ideal but you will be able to run any edition of Windows - the (minimum) requirements are identical.

The recommended requirements for Home Basic and the other editions are different, however. Please correct me if the Vista Capable sticker is only available to systems that meet the recommended system requirements (in which case Vista Capable != any edition), but I suspect that since Microsoft hasn't been afraid to cut corners before that it is awarded based on minimum system requirements and that Vista Capable is therefore universally applicable to all versions of Vista.

Re:Uh... (1)

seyyah (986027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530877)

Any computer than can run Home Basic can run any other edition. Yes, you won't get Aero without a graphics card that supports DX9+ hardware acceleration.
That's the kind of sentence which GETS YOU OUTED AS WORKING FOR THE MS MARKETING DEPARTMENT!

Re:Uh... (2)

ilovecheese (301274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531337)

Recently, I got a new laptop for work. A pretty decent upper end Toshiba. Neat little sticker on it saying "Windows Vista Certified" or some crap like that. OK, for the hell of it, I went to install a copy of Vista Ultimate on it. I definitley had more than the min requirements to run Aero & all that crap.

What happens? Well, going through the lame assed install, pukes at the end of it, with an "Undefined Error". Needless to say, the little "Vista" sticker is now afixed to the side of the office toilet, the copy of Vista went back to the retailer, and I'm quite happy with XP on it.

MS: Get your head & your ass wired together for once. ;)

Re:Uh... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531363)

I think Clington would've argued this case for Microsoft brilliantly:

It all depends on the meaning of the word 'Capable'... and then
It all depends on the meaning of the word 'Vista' ... and later
It all depends on the meaning of the phrase 'Vista Capable' taken together.. ...your honour, I'm not finished yet!

Re:Uh... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531577)

Your argument would be more convincing if it weren't for the fact that in the "system requirements" listed for any software "recommended requirements" are in fact the minimum requirements, while minimum requirements are "if you have this, the box won't burst into flames. Probably."

Chris Mattern

Well MS got a point (5, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530749)

Google Windows Vista Capable and you get MS own page which currently states the following (Bold added for emphasis)

Windows Vista Capable and Premium Ready PCs

What is a Windows Vista Capable PC?

A new PC running Windows XP that carries the Windows Vista Capable PC logo can run Windows Vista. All editions of Windows Vista will deliver core experiences such as innovations in organizing and finding information, security, and reliability. All Windows Vista Capable PCs will run these core experiences at a minimum. Some features available in the premium editions of Windows Vistalike the new Windows Aero user experiencemay require advanced or additional hardware.

A Windows Vista Capable PC includes at least:

  • A modern processor (at least 800MHz).
  • 512 MB of system memory.
  • A graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable.
  • Windows Vista Premium Ready PCs

Some Windows Vista Capable PCs have been designated Premium Ready. These PCs will provide an even better Windows Vista experience, including the Windows Aero user experience. Features available in specific premium editions of Windows Vista, such as the ability to watch and record live TV, may require additional hardware.

A Windows Vista Premium Ready PC includes at least:

  • 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor).
  • 1 GB of system memory.
  • Support for DirectX 9 graphics with a WDDM driver, 128 MB of graphics memory (minimum), Pixel Shader 2.0 and 32 bits per pixel.
  • 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space.
  • DVD-ROM Drive.
  • Audio output capability.
  • Internet access capability.

I do NOT know if this page has been changed since the ad campaign was started but in its current form it is quit clear that Windows Vista Capable means just the bare bones of Vista and that if you want everything you need a Vista Premium Ready machine.

Yes it is weasly, but that is marketing for you, buyer beware.

Does anyone know if MS had the same text at launch, if so, then the case is without merit. If not then quit a few games are in trouble, because they ALWAYS show the screenshots at the highest setting, that may be impossible on the minimum requirements they list on the box.

Now if you excuse me, I have to chastise myself for defending Microsoft.

Re:Well MS got a point (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531565)

The wording on Microsoft's web site is quite inappropriate.

Windows Vista minimum supported system requirements

        Home Basic / Home Premium / Business / Ultimate

        * 800 MHz processor and 512 MB of system memory
        * 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
        * Support for Super VGA graphics
        * CD-ROM drive


I have a Personal Computer that fulfills these requirements. It will definitely not run any version of Vista. It's a G4 Mac.

Re:Well MS got a point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21531571)

Well I have been following this story from the beginning and I have to tell you that those bolded passages that you have in your post were edited by Microsoft to say that after the suit was filed.
(This is the first thing I found about it in a Google Search)
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9016178 [computerworld.com]
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003652011_brier05.html [nwsource.com]

Additionally, I believe the suit alleges that because Aero was highly marketed as one of the new features of the Vista Operating System in the commercials so it can only be reasonably assumed that the new interface was a "core" experience. (I tend to believe her because unlike an IT professional who would care about a new file system or whatever, all a "Regular Joe" sees or cares about is the new interface)

Yes, Vista can be "run" on any "capable" machine, but thats like saying that a high-end sportscar can run on basic unleaded gas.

XP Capable (0, Flamebait)

thegermanpolice (1194811) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530763)

I'm running a Compaq NX9420 which has/had a sticker on it saying Designed for Microsoft Windows XP.

Yet when I try to install windows XP on my pc it fails to see my hard drive. Who'd a thought that a SATA hard drive is incompatible with an out of the box XP installation disk?

Even though my laptop is designed for XP doesn't mean it will work. After purchasing a USB floppy disk drive it's up and running.

Strangely it runs Vista with no problems at all. (from a fresh install as well)

When I said my laptop has/had a sticker on it, it's now sitting proudly on my nortel norstar phone as that is probably just as capable as my laptop, of running XP from an installation disk.

Re:XP Capable (1)

rolfc (842110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530867)

The same thing happened to my wx4300, but a driver disk from internet saved my day.

Re:XP Capable (2, Informative)

MichaelTheDrummer (1130657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530939)

How old is the XP disk you have? The point being that SATA [wikipedia.org] wasn't even around when XP was released. If you're using an old install disk, then it won't have drivers for it. I'm fairly certain I haven't had any problems with a SP2 disk and SATA...

Re:XP Capable (1)

thegermanpolice (1194811) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531317)

The problem is well resolved. The disk was a HP supplied sp2 disk for an ATA laptop (only 1 month older than mine), the installation disk for the laptop was a PRESS F11 to restore your setup type operation.

Which doesn't help when your hard drive fails. I know the ways to fix these things.

Tech support not needed, unless you do know away of putting XP on the above mentioned phone?

Incidentally the up to date HP disk came through 3 days after I'd got it up and running.

Caveat Emptor (4, Interesting)

Graftweed (742763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530783)

It seems that more and more often we're returning to the good old days of caveat emptor. In the past few months I've seen quite a few number of shady advertisements that, if not exactly illegal, certainly push the boundaries of the law.

Example: my cable company is running this huge ad campaign promising net access at X Mbps for $Y per month. Fantastic deal... until you read the fine print where it's stated that it's a time limited promotion and that after 6 months it's X/2 Mbps for $Y*2 per month, or something to that effect.

Maybe I'm just seeing what I want to see and things have always been like this, but when MS starts arguing about the definition of "capable" and saying it's all explained in the fine print, it's a bit like saying "Well, you should have been more careful, you should have been aware of the fine print, it's all explained there." In other words, caveat emptor.

It's like labeling a PC "Linux Capable", someone buys it after reading all the articles about compiz and bling and rotating cubes, is ultimately disappointed, goes to the vendor and gets told that the computer they just purchased can clearly run BusyBox, a version of Linux.

Re:Caveat Emptor (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530969)

It seems that more and more often we're returning to the good old days of caveat emptor

I wasn't aware we'd ever left those days.



Re:Caveat Emptor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21531473)

It's like labeling a PC "Linux Capable", someone buys it after reading all the articles about compiz and bling and rotating cubes, is ultimately disappointed, goes to the vendor and gets told that the computer they just purchased can clearly run BusyBox, a version of Linux.

No, it not like that. GNU/Linux is a kernel and not a distribution, while Vista is a distribution.

Your analogy should be like Red Hat Capable, but then it does not work.

Re:Caveat Emptor (1)

Graftweed (742763) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531731)

No, it not like that. GNU/Linux is a kernel and not a distribution, while Vista is a distribution. Your analogy should be like Red Hat Capable, but then it does not work.

No, GNU/Linux is the combination of the GNU userland tools and the Linux kernel. A distribution is a combination of GNU/Linux and several other applications that run on top of it, all nicely packaged and ready to be used in a (hopefully) coherent manner.

In any case, Vista can be considered a term that applies to several different versions, or distributions if you want to call them that, of MS's operating system, of which there are five. All of these versions have different capabilities, even if the core of them stays the same. So to say that a computer is Vista capable is the same as saying that a computer is Linux capable. It doesn't mean much if you don't qualify this statement further with exactly what version of Vista or what distribution of Linux the "capable" part is referring to.

any version of vista. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530839)

Mr markting man is right. You can run ANY version (well, not always 64 bit...) of vista on a "capable pc. But as the MS page [microsoft.com] explains you will experience only core functions (=same as "vista basic).

There is no point buying premium, or ultimate on a capable pc, you pay too much ,UNLESS you upgrade hardware later.

I am sure some people here can come up with a better word than "capable".

Vista capable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21530863)

means you can put Vista DVD in the drive.

"Vista Confusing Even To Microsoft" (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530915)

sounds much better and simpler. Is branding the only thing confusing about Vista? Hardware requirements, Multiple versions, User Access Control, DRM, New Features, Service Pack Release Date, Activation, Remote SwitchOff, Genuine (Dis)Advantage... etc.; the list is long of things very vague and confusing about Vista. Not just the Branding.

Right before Christmas. (1)

PieterBr (1013955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21530941)

The way I remember it: It's almost Christmas. -Windows Vista is Delayed. -Computerbuilders fear lower sales right before Christmas. -Microsoft introduces logo. -Consumers buy PC hoping to upgrade when Vista comes out. Vista comes out. -Consumers upgrade to Vista but can't use features they wanted to use with their new pc. -Consumer have to pull out the cash for yet another hardware upgrade. -Double profit?

Re:Right before Christmas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21531483)

"... -Consumer have to pull out the cash for yet another hardware upgrade. -Double profit?"

-Consumer gets Vista running on upgraded machine. -Consumer doesn't like it. -Consumer buys and downgrades to XP.

**TRIPLE PROFIT BONUS!!**

oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21531013)

Someone said something and retracted it.....

Not even the most militant Amiga site does follow the development of their favorit OS like slashdot follws Vista, makes one wonder...

Microsoft Marketing Telling Tall Tales .... again (1)

nfractal (1039722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531027)

Nothing new actually. But to be fair those poor marketing guys get saddled with actually trying to sell the stuff and all they get from the Developers is pure gloss, (admittedly they ain't that well versed beyond a few buzzwords).

Case in point - all that brouhaha about XP3 SP3 increasing performance by about 10-12% being much much faster than Vista, and believe me no one there knows what the fuck they did to get that. The Vista development people would be shitting stones by now trying to replicate the same performance as XP when the poor sods there themselves are in the dark.

I'm sure pretty soon Microsoft will come out with an explanation which might explain oh, about a 0.1% percent perf. improvement but if you'd look closely what they say will actually be full of holes. This is just to avoid getting negatively mentioned by the likes of nytimes and wsj and their ilk. ( not to mention /. ! )

It bothers me (1)

Martian_Kyo (1161137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531077)

that an operating system should consume so much resources. If I buy a Windows Vista Capable computer, it means I can run windows vista.....just as long as I don't run Notepad at the same time. Operating system should be just a platform to run other programs, it should aim to consume less resources, thus leaving it for applications to consume. This is not news, I know...but I shouldn't a Gig of Ram just start up my system. OS by itself is a useless thing, I don't use a computer because its OS I use the computer because the applications that can run on a particular OS. I think computing has become too OS centered. I know bunch of people who have these really neat Opearting systems, with all the widget and gadgets and security policies but when I ask them 'what do you use the computer for?'....the usual answer is 'well I surf ...and check e-mail'... I think there is a Linus (or somebody else) quote about this...which sums it up better then me. There is a reason why OS isn't called an application....because in all reality it cannot be applied anywhere.

Re:It bothers me (1)

mindwanderer (1169521) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531239)

Disable SuperFetch if you want more free RAM, though I see no reason why you should want to (unless you have less than 2 gigs of RAM). SuperFetch will preload your favourite programs to make the OS feel snappier, but it will free that memory should another program need it (like say, a game).

I've Never Understood Microsoft's "Home" Concept (2, Interesting)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531089)

Why sell a crippled version of your operating system? Even if the average user may not think she needs the more advanced features, chances are another application she may install will, and then the user is left angry and confused.

But on the other hand, this may be a good thing - it was when I discovered I couldn't install an Oracle database on XP Home edition that I began to explore Linux.

greed/fear/ego based billyonerrors not confusing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21531143)

in fact, it's nothing gnu at all, there's just quite a few more sheeples now to pay for it/be held hostage.

the # of humans controlled by unprecedented evile = less than 1/10 of 1% of planet's population. they sure do a lot of damage though. time to get real.

the lights are coming up all over now.

micro management of populations has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster.

we're intending for the nazis to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather'.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com] [google.com]

the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption.

fortunately there's an 'army' of angels, coming yOUR way

do not be afraid/dismayed, it is the way it was meant to be.

the little ones/innocents must/will be protected.

after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit?

for each of the creators' innocents harmed, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available.

beware the illusionary smoke&mirrors.con

all is not lost/forgotten.

no need to fret (unless you're associated/joined at the hype with, unprecedented evile), it's all just a part of the creators' wwwildly popular, newclear powered, planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

or, is it (literally) ground hog day, again? many of US are obviously not interested in how we appear (which is whoreabull) from the other side of the 'lens', or even from across the oceans.

vote with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable.

we still haven't read (here) about the 2/3'rds of you kids who are investigating/pursuing a spiritual/conscience/concious re-awakening, in amongst the 'stuff that matters'? another big surprise?

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

Average Man Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21531213)

It all goes back to the Average Man Theory. What would the average Mom, Dad, Grandparent that buys a home computer from Wal-Mart, Dell, Office Depot think when they see "Vista Capable" listed boldly on the front of the "Brand Spanking New" computer they just purchased? Would they think that it would run part Vista but not other parts? Would they think it would barely perform? The term capable was used so that vendors could say that "Vista is not loaded on the machine but you'll get a copy sent to you when it comes out". It was completely known what "capable" would do in the market place. It would keep people purchasing computers, give Vista "feet" but provide a need for an upgrade of both in a few years. Companies spend millions on data that tells them exactly what people will perceive certain terms to mean. Capable was picked because it would be perceived exactly has they wished.

aRRR!! (0, Troll)

Tsukasah (1196037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531257)

Once again, M$ screws up, we pay the consequences. Especially when my grandma got a new computer that said "capable of running vista" it couldnt even run glass or what ever. 1gb of RAM, on-board video & audio, and a centerion processor... Also, Final Fantasy 11 hardly worked! Go look at the specs yourself! >.... So my other grandma got a "Vista Capable" computer with an NVIDIA 8800, and an Intel Quad Core processor and 4 gb of RAM. I really need to learn how to type more fluently... but meh its too early for that.

"capable" (1)

goldaryn (834427) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531621)

Croft's explanation was that "'capable'... ...a PC would be able to run any version of the Windows operating system"

..Except ME, obviously.

XP computers, Vista Capable. (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531643)

Quite a lot of PCs were sold with XP and labled as Vista Capable.

This turns out to be a somewhat faulty statement, unless the manufacturer has made sure that there are Vista drivers for all the parts in the computer. Gets even better when the computer came with a voucher for Vista.

Not fun working in a hotline

what Vista Capable really meant was... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531745)

only being able to boot the OS up... and that was it... just get it to show the basic desktop... not that you could do anything glitzy with it... launching any program would immediately mean thrashing the disk as the OS started swapping stuff out to make way for what you were trying to run...


however, it was only when you examined the small print on any advertisements for computers that you discovered this fact...


case in point, PCWorld staff would say when questioned about a basic vista capable computer that it was good for booting the OS...


here's what they were saying back in 2006... [pcworld.com]


"A system that will run Windows Vista may not be capable of using all of its features," he points out. For example, a machine branded "Windows Vista Capable" that is a high-end Media Center PC with superior graphics capabilities will be ready for even the most feature-intensive versions of Vista, Wilcox explains. But if it's a low-cost PC and it has a "Capable" sticker on it, "it will probably run the features of Home Basic but not anything else," he warns.

Vista is turning into Microsoft's "New Coke" (1)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21531767)

This whole Vista thing reminds me of "New Coke" back in the '80s. I don't think even Bill Cosby can turn this ship away from the rocks.
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