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"Vista Capable" Lawsuit Is Now a Class Action

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the go-to-the-head-of-the-class dept.

The Courts 225

An anonymous reader notes an update in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporting that the lawsuit against Microsoft's "Windows Vista Capable" marketing campaign has been granted class-action status. We discussed the company's internal misgivings with this campaign a while back. The suit alleges that "...Microsoft unjustly enriched itself by promoting PCs as 'Windows Vista Capable' even when they could only run a bare-bones version of the operating system, called 'Vista Home Basic.'" In the 2006 pre-holiday season, Microsoft had placed "Windows Vista Capable" stickers on machines to keep the sale of Windows XP machines going after Vista was delayed. Microsoft didn't lose out totally in the recent ruling — the article notes that the judge "narrowed the basis on which plaintiffs could move forward with their claims."

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Vista Capable is a bit of an oxymoron (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533078)

first

Depends (1, Offtopic)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533136)

Vista means view. Nothing in the name about running anything, stability, or whatnot. Narf.

Now, seriously... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22534134)

The whole point of me (and maybe some of us) searching for alternatives (OS/2 etc.) and eventually come to know and use Linux is that I (and perhaps others) find "Windows capable" a lie -- not just Vista.

How many did not feel frustrated remembering an old computer could do things a Windows one could not? How many didn't feel restrained by having a tumor-growth-like GUI posing as OS? In which you have to use an entire application to change OS settings? In which capabilities are not available on a system-wide basis but only in a few special apps? In which implementations were weak because no developer could have access to "undocumented" (i.e., secret) features? In which there were taps permitting eavesdropping by some foreign (i.e. American) institution? In which one had to forcefully pirate an app, not because of money but because there was simply NO simple way of paying (paypal and credit card buying didn't exist then)?

And the most evil one: one situation where one does not want to pirate -- that is, violate copyrights -- and everybody does it, because the software maker clearly benefits from the net marketing, and so the one who wants to abide by the law is actually deemed a fool.

It has been argued over and over that a new Windows version is a way of pushing newer hardware onto customers thus effectively sucking their pocket's money. And you know what?

I think I myself warned about these things a thousand times -- only to be scorned. Now Microsoft could walk free from this, IMO, because they can safely say everyone has been warned about all that.

If you were fooled and misled, it's all your fault. Don't blame the lion if you get into its jail and put your head into his mouth. I actually get angry at those people who complain about Vista; I think it's only fair that they lose their money -- no, they should be fined for wasting public money by using justice after choosing themselves to believe in vendor propaganda while calling us "zealots".

silver lining (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533096)

Hey, can we really complain that much? They pushed XP right before Vista came out. That means because of that, more people are running XP instead of Vista. How many people do you think really upgraded? And if they did they probably went back to their valid copy of XP after that.

Its not a lie! (1, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533110)

Just barely Vista Capable machines crash with Vista just as quickly as fully maxed out speed demons do. Sometimes faster!

Re:Its not a lie! (3, Funny)

obstalesgone (1231810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533128)

AH! This explains the claim that Vista is faster than XP. All this time I thought it was just marketing nonsense.

Re:Its not a lie! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533424)

you can always tell who the people are that pretend to run MS OSs in order to slam them. it is obvious by the statements you make, that you have never even run vista... what a stupid thing to say, are you retarded? If what you say is true for you, you just need to learn some computer skills. Vista doesn't crash. Where do you get your info? from reading slasdont? you speak without knowledge

Re:Its not a lie! (0)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533478)

It was just a fucking joke. Get a grip.

Re:Its not a lie! (5, Funny)

Alcoholic Synonymous (990318) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533676)

He's just a little sore from having to post quickly between crashes.

Chair Warning.. Watch yourself.. (2, Funny)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534238)

you can always tell who the people are that pretend to run MS OSs in order to slam them. it is obvious by the statements you make, that you have never even run vista... what a stupid thing to say, are you retarded? If what you say is true for you, you just need to learn some computer skills. Vista doesn't crash. Where do you get your info? from reading slasdont? you speak without knowledge
-Signed Steve B.

MS selling hardware? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533122)

Since when is Microsoft selling PC's? Or did they send someone around to go put those stickers on the machines?
I'd have thought the hardware manufacturers would be the ones who didn't want sales to fall.

I remember the same sort of campaign when XP came out. The laptop I bought then had an "XP capable" (or something that sounded similar) sticker on the box, even though it came with ME installed and with a voucher for a cheap XP Home upgrade when it came out. After having upgraded it and having seen the performance under XP, I reformatted it and downgraded. Not to ME, but to Win2000, which it still runs fine.

Re:MS selling hardware? (4, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533372)

Since when is Microsoft selling PC's? Or did they send someone around to go put those stickers on the machines?
I'd have thought the hardware manufacturers would be the ones who didn't want sales to fall.
I agree that the hardware vendors should also share part of the blame. However, Microsoft designed the campaign, and in addition is responsible for the capabilities of Vista (for all the hardware manufacturers knew, it might get faster before it was released to the general public). Therefore, on the face of it, the case might have merit.


I remember the same sort of campaign when XP came out. The laptop I bought then had an "XP capable" (or something that sounded similar) sticker on the box, even though it came with ME installed and with a voucher for a cheap XP Home upgrade when it came out. After having upgraded it and having seen the performance under XP, I reformatted it and downgraded. Not to ME, but to Win2000, which it still runs fine.
Yes, this isn't entirely new. But that doesn't justify things in any way. In fact Microsoft should have learned from past experience and done things better this time.

Re:MS selling hardware? (5, Insightful)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533574)

For some reason it still bothers me when people claim to have "downgraded" to Win2k. it's like saying you "Downgrade" from Vista to XP. How can it be a downgrade when your computer runs faster, you have less problems, etc?

Re:MS selling hardware? (1, Insightful)

asd-Strom (792539) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533686)

Well why stop there? Use Windows 95, or perhaps even DOS. It runs faster and you have less problems.

Re:MS selling hardware? (4, Informative)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533876)

Use Windows 95, or perhaps even DOS. It runs faster and you have less problems.

Except, only one part of that statement is true....

Re:MS selling hardware? (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533892)

actually, the plateau is around Win2k, and is slowly moving towards WinXP pro 64. Dos is sometimes difficult to run on modern hardware, and while Win95 OSR2 is still pretty usable, it's not a good overall platform for applications and games and far from trouble free. So I guess you could say that going to win95 is a upgrade from Vista in terms of basic performance, but it's counter productive overall. Much better to stick with the best currently available, Win2k & WinXP Pro 64.

Re:MS selling hardware? (3, Interesting)

asd-Strom (792539) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533942)

Well, 2k is faster than Vista because it has a lot less features. If you don't use any of those features, then sure, ok you can stick with the older stuff. But I personally benefit from Vista features and thus I'm also using Vista.

Re:MS selling hardware? (1)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533976)

Which Vista features do you benefit from? Do you have a Tablet PC? I know the Vista support for Tablet PC's is pretty nice, in comparison to Previous Windows OS's.

Re:MS selling hardware? (1)

asd-Strom (792539) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534232)

I don't have a Tablet PC, but some of the features that I like are: * The new sound system, with per-application volume control * The kernel transaction manager * Drivers running in user mode * The new windows update

Re:MS selling hardware? (2, Informative)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534426)

Drivers in user space sure is great. Now when my video driver has issues, which is about twice a week, the screen blinks 3 times. Between each blink Vista tells me in a little ballon that it reasted my video driver. Well great except that after the 3rd time it BSODs anyway. Keep in mind this is a brand new HP right out of the box. Factory image the only things I have installed are litterally firefox and MS Office.

No hacks no new drivers, just sucks.

Re:MS selling hardware? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534590)

* The new sound system, with per-application volume control * The kernel transaction manager * Drivers running in user mode * The new windows update

Ok, let's say each of those features requires a gigabyte of compiled code to implement. What do you reckon the other eleven giggabytes are being used for?

Corporate path: Windows 98, Windows XP. (2, Informative)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534214)

That is moderated insightful?

This Slashdot story is part of the complaining about Microsoft's abusiveness, and so is the class-action lawsuit. At present, Windows 2000 will be completely killed on 7/13/2010 [microsoft.com] . However, that is only because people complained intensely. The original death date for Windows 2000 Professional was 2007. That's why it is so important to complain.

See a quote from this comment [slashdot.org] on an earlier Slashdot story: "Microsoft's customers were forced to upgrade to Windows XP because Windows 98 had an unstable file system, an unstable registry, and lots of problems with "DLL Hell" and the "Blue Screen of Death"." There were things that could have been done to make the FAT file system more stable, and Microsoft didn't do that.

Windows 2000 Professional represents a plateau of usefulness. However, most corporations moved from Windows 95 or Windows 98 to Windows XP.

Later in the thread mentioned above, there is another comment [slashdot.org] with a quote from a December 2003 Seclists article [seclists.org] about corporate Windows users: "Inventory data of more than 372,000 PCs - from some 670 companies with between 10 and 49,000 employees - found that more than 80 percent of these companies were still using Windows 98 and/or Windows 95."

The Slashdot moderation system allows moderation only from those who have no interest in participating in the conversation about a story. That brings a lot of moderators to stories in which they have no interest. They simply look for a place to unload their moderation points. Moderators are likely to be ignorant about the issues being discussed.

Re:MS selling hardware? (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534542)

Faster, yes, less problems, likely not.

Re:MS selling hardware? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534226)

"Cheap XP home"?

Name one thing XP pro can do that XP home cannot that home users would be interested in.

Re:MS selling hardware? (2, Insightful)

nodan (1172027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534306)

Of course, MS is not selling hardware. In a reasonable world, users should not care too much about the operating system but should care about the hardware performance and the applications they can run. However, the world is not reasonable at all and the "Vista Capable" campaign is the usual spread of fear and exploitation of computer users. Fear, because it implies not having Vista might be a disadvantage, and exploitation, because people are asked to pay for stuff they don't need at all which even works to their disadvantage because Vista consumes way too much resources. What most people do with their computers it internet surfing, email, text documents and possibly spreadsheets. There is no need at all to have Vista or any MS operating system for this. Only games are a bit of a problem but I predict this improves as soon as enough users are migrating to other platforms.

Re:MS selling hardware? (1)

Monoliath (738369) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534454)

I reformatted it and downgraded. Not to ME, but to Win2000, which it still runs fine.

Amen to that.

Server 2003 has been doing me just fine for everything from gaming to graphic design...it's perfect. Screw XP, screw Vista.

I'm slowly making the transition to using Linux full time.

Ugh... (3, Insightful)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533124)

I hate class action suits. They do next to no good for the consumer save for putting a couple (literally) bucks in the pocket, benefit lawyers almost exclusively and in the end make products cost more. I hate Vista, and I don't care for (and therefor do not use the products produced by) Microsoft but this is going to do little good in the long run.

Re:Ugh... (5, Insightful)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533218)

True but without class actions are really the only way to punish companies when it would be way too costly for a single person to go after them. I consider class actions to be necessary evils.

Re:Ugh... (0, Redundant)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533310)

The only winners of a class action lawsuit are the lawyers.

The winners don't matter. The losers do. (1)

graymocker (753063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533486)

The only winners of a class action lawsuit are the lawyers.
This is very true. But class actions lawsuits - when successful - also create deterrent effects by making some companies into very big losers. The potential threat of class actions lawsuits, and the fiscal liability they represent, must thus be accounted for in a corporation's cost-benefit evaluations when they decide whether or not to shaft the consumers in some way. There should be more of them, frankly, and I say that as someone who once qualified for a trivial class-action award and never bothered to cash it in.

Re:Ugh... (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533332)

[CA's only benefit lawyers] True but without class actions are really the only way to punish companies when it would be way too costly for a single person to go after them. I consider class actions to be necessary evils.

Agreed. It's about the only way to punish big greedy companies enough to make them think twice the next time. I wish we could find an alternative, but so far none exists. If somebody can come up with a better way, please state it. What we have in CA's is better than fly-spec individual suits. Basically this is the current options:

A. Move a very little bit of perpetrator's money to consumer (individual suits)
B. Move a lot of perpetrator's money to lawyers and a little bit to consumers. (class-action)
C. Don't do anything.
D. Make Gates and Balmer do the Chicken Dance on American Idol.

Until E is invented, B is the best choice. (Okay, D is not viable, I admit. Besides, Balmer seems to like dancing funny.)
     

Re:Ugh... (4, Interesting)

MikeyVB (787338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533532)

E. Revoke their charter of incorporation.

I bet they would start to get the point after the first few.

Re:Ugh... (4, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533630)

B. Move a lot of perpetrator's money to lawyers and a little bit to consumers. (class-action)
Tier the rate lawyers get paid. For awards up to, say, $1 million, they get 33%. For the fraction of awards between $1-$10 million, they get 10%. Between $10-$100 million they get 3%. Over $100 million, they get 1%. Over $1 billion they get 0.1% ($1 million per $1 billion awarded). Right now they get 33% of everything, which is flat out ridiculous. A class action reduces the lawyers' workload by taking advantage of efficiencies of scale, their compensation should be reduced to reflect that.

Also, punitive awards should go to the government - either regulatory agencies or law enforcement, not the victims. The victims already get compensatory damages to compensate them for their suffering. The punitive damages are designed to punish the guilty, and should go to society as recompense for violating the public trust. The U.S. court system is currently biased against punitive damages because often even when the defendant deserves to have to pay, the victim doesn't deserve the money so the court system errs on the side of the defendant. This change would help fix that.

Re:Ugh... (2, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533764)

Also, punitive awards should go to the government - either regulatory agencies or law enforcement, not the victims.

I've had the same thoughts before, that the defendant deserves to get punished, but that the victim doesn't deserve to be rewarded to that degree. My solution would be that the victim gets to nominate a charity and the money gets directed to them.

I wonder how that would change our court-happy society - if the victim knew that even if they won, they'd only more or less get compensated for their losses, they probably wouldn't get the punitive damages themselves.

Re:Ugh... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22534090)

What would change?

People wouldn't have incentives (charity? oh, come on!) to go after the perpetrators. I'm not talking about the cost of the lawsuit itself, but the alternative cost. Basically doing something better than hauling your behind to court. Instead of that you could go to work make an extra buck, or spending quality time with your family. It doesn't really matter, almost all activities will be more benficial for the potential plaintiff than going to court without hope of compensation.

Re:Ugh... (1, Insightful)

DilutedImage (769059) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533344)

While I agree that class-action suits may be a necessary evil in cases where consumer safety is concerned, cases like this only punish consumers. Any costs incurred by Microsoft will surely be passed along to their customers, and their customers will comply. After all, what choice do they have? Linux is beyond the abilities of the common consumer, and they'll still need Office if they migrate to Mac, so it's a catch 22. And while the consumer suffers, Microsoft's only hardships will be deciding where to distribute their costs, and what to do with all those Vista Capable stickers.

The hardware companies are sure to love this though. When word spreads that more powerful hardware is required to run Vista, more people will spend the extra money for the higher-end models.

Re:Ugh... (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533404)

cases like this only punish consumers. Any costs incurred by Microsoft will surely be passed along to their customers
The passing along of costs is indeed one of the disadvantages. But are you sure this disadvantage is big enough to just let it slip?

Re:Ugh... (1)

DilutedImage (769059) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533444)

Absolutely. In the end, it's the consumer that's suffered. Microsoft won't miss a beat.

Re:Ugh... (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533768)

OK, but then they would assume they'd get away with anything. Also, your premise that management 'just passes on the cost' is true, but there are other factors involved. This costs money and while not significantly, cuts into the company fund set aside for these matters. If this happens too much, that fund will be higher than that of MS its competitors, which will be noted by analysts. I think it's still worth it.

Re:Ugh... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533582)

True but without class actions are really the only way to punish companies when it would be way too costly for a single person to go after them.

What about lots of small claims? The plaintiffs can file these in person, but the corporation must pay a lawyer to deal with them.

Re:Ugh... (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534582)

They can just not bother showing up, receive a default judgment, and not pay. How are you going to collect on your judgment?

Re:Ugh... (5, Interesting)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533264)

I guess you don't understand the purpose of a class action. The purpose is never to benefit the consumer. The purpose is to punish the target of the class action. That is a valid purpose in a situation like this where the individual losses of the consumer were negligible but, in aggregate, add up to a significant amount.

No reasonable person is going to file an individual lawsuit against Microsoft because of this because the amount of money they could recover (if they win) is less than the value of the time it would take to file in small claims court, prepare the evidence, take a day off work...heck, it's not even worth the effort of typing it all out. But does that mean Microsoft should be off the hook? No. That's where the class action comes in.

Re:Ugh... (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533356)

In this particular case, the consumer would be best served by filing a Small Claims Court action. At most, the consumer lost $300.

A class action would be perfect for things like drug companies failing to test a drug and killing people. Or insurance companies dropping coverage after a disease is discovered.

However, in 99% of class-actions, the *best* situation would be to have a Federal prosecutor charge the CEO and Board Members with committing a crime. Throw their asses in jail and you'd see a lot of companies clean up real quick. As it stands, a Class Action loss is still result to appeal and the company will continue business as usual while increasing the price of the product.

Re:Ugh... (5, Funny)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533388)

Yeah but if the suit succeeds everyone will win $25!

Re:Ugh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533772)

Or a coupon for a free copy of VISTA.

Re:Ugh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533498)

One word. FRAUD.

The entire board and big block shareholders should be tried for FRAUD. This is what it was, if they dont it sets the example that one can break the law.

Re:Ugh... (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534566)

All well and good, but why, then, do the lawyers profit from the punishment more than those who were actually hurt by the problem? I wouldn't even care about making money from the deal, but to get a few dollars or a coupon in the mail over something that may have cost me hundreds of dollars while the bad behavior was going on is insulting and is certainly not just.

Re:Ugh... (5, Insightful)

coaxial (28297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533646)

I hate class action suits. They do next to no good for the consumer save for putting a couple (literally) bucks in the pocket, benefit lawyers almost exclusively and in the end make products cost more.
You don't understand the point of class action lawsuits.

It's not compensation, it's punishment. Punishment for bad behavior is good. It makes companies think twice about conducting bad behavior in the future. It's essentially a civil fine. Lawyers making money? Well look, for members of the class, it is essentially free money. You fill out online form, and then you wait for a check. That's it.

but this is going to do little good in the long run.
If it makes them not knowingly [slashdot.org] engage in an extremely confusing (at best) and deceptive (at worse) campaign, then it would have achieved it's goal.

"B-b-b-but it's a lawsuit! and Lawyers are Evil(tm)!!!11!eleventy-one!11!" you say. If you don't bring civil suits, how do you expect private citizens assert their rights and correct the behavior of those who have wronged them? Unless of course, you think that people shouldn't be able to defend themselves. Do you believe that?

Re:Ugh... (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533660)

Entirely false. Class action law suits do not add one cent to the price of a product. I am sick of this same lie being spread over and over again, just like piracy does not add one cent to the price of a product. It is all supply and demand, greedy corporations charge as much as they possible can, there is absolutely no limit to their greed, 100%, 1000%, 10000% markups not a problem at all.

It is well known that M$ puts a huge margin of the price of windows, which is why it so agressively and currptly purseus a monopoly to protect the absurd profit margins. So the more 'profit' eating, capital reserve draining class action law suits the better, who cares if it only enricghes a bunch of lawyers, as long as it bleeds M$ dry, and maybe, just maybe, finally forces some respect out of M$ for the customer.

Home basic?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533126)

What? Home Basic? I thought I was getting Vista.

Microsoft only tried to please eager public! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533134)

This sort of thing happens when the general public just can't wait to have the "newest" technology, operating system, what have you.... so thereby causing companies like Microsoft, and others, to "push" out thier newest prodcts in an attempt to try and please the general public.... now, now.... I have to say shame on Microsoft for marketing thier newest OS to computer producers as "Vista ready", or "Windows Visa capable". On the other hand, let this be a lesson to the general public that waiting for something can be a "good" thing and, not nessessarily nice to have the newest of anything,(Vista or whatever the case), as quickly as it can be had, which can cause many companies to be sloppy in thier final products rushed to the retail world. Let's all try waiting fo a change an encourage quality..... not quantity!
Here's a very informative discussion/blog that I've been following on the lawsuit. Much interesting information here:
http://www.topix.com/tech/judge-rules-vista-capable-lawsuit-can-proceedarticle.pl?sid=08/02/10/174240 [xrl.us]

Re:Microsoft only tried to please eager public! (1)

ThinkingInBinary (899485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533154)

Link is MyMiniCity, please treat post with utter disregard and contempt.

Re:Microsoft only tried to please eager public! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533224)

CALUMNY! Let me guess. You must be a linux fanboi.

Re:Microsoft only tried to please eager public! (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533234)

All it tells me is my 'Flash version is outdated.'

It's usually a good thing to run a platform that flash is unsupported on.

What did I miss this time?

Vista Capable, not version specific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533160)

Anyone else notice it never said it was only "Windows Vista Home Basic capable"

Consumers see these kind of campaigns in every market. From what I recall when ordering computers and operating systems, Microsoft makes it really clear what features each version has and what you need to run that version.

Re:Vista Capable, not version specific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533208)

To clarify, I meant it never said what version it was capable of running.

Do people really expect a $500 desktop or laptop to run Windows Vista Ultimate at the same performance as a high-end gaming machine?

Re:Vista Capable, not version specific (2, Interesting)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534038)

Do people really expect a $500 desktop or laptop to run Windows Vista Ultimate at the same performance as a high-end gaming machine?

No, but they do expect to be able to use all features. My laptop is Vista Capable (bought it because of the sticker, but not for the reasons you might think), but it cannot run Aero. Hence, it cannot run Vista Ultimate with all features on, hence you can't really call it "Vista Capable".

Re:Vista Capable, not version specific (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534170)

...hence you can't really call it "Vista Capable".


Why not? Taking the definition of capable [reference.com] ("Permitting an action to be performed" or "Having capacity or ability") then can your machine run Vista? No, not "can it run Vista with all the flashy bits", but can it run Vista without falling in a heap? (Excluding any normal Windows crashes but instead aiming at "will it install and run and be functional to some degree")

Okay, so it is slightly under-handed to make people expect Aero when they're going to get core Vista, but that's just marketing. I'm sure there would have been machines around the release of XP that could handle old-style window decorations but not the fancy MS themes as well (which was potentially a blessing with the XP windows) and this is the same situation - you can run the OS, your machine is capable of running the core OS, it just isn't capable of eye candy.

Re:Vista Capable, not version specific (3, Interesting)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534422)

Well, that's just shows that the problem is their version policy, isn't it? The fact that "Vista" is an encompassing brandname for a whole bunch of different OSes with different capabilities makes it extremely hard to say what "Vista" is. As anyone, I'd expect it to meet the requirements to run "Vista Ultimate" with everything on, because it's "Vista".

Okay, so it is slightly under-handed to make people expect Aero when they're going to get core Vista, but that's just marketing.

It's not "just marketing", it is plainly misleading... that's the whole problem. I run Linux on mine anyway, and that was the reason I bought it. The sticker to me meant, "Cheap computer where I can run Linux on". ;-)

Re:Vista Capable, not version specific (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534526)

No, that's a problem with the customer's assumption of the version policy ;) I wouldn't touch Vista anyway (my wife has it on her laptop and it is okay but not great) but if I saw "Vista capable" I would read it as "it is about capable of running Vista". If I saw "Vista Ready" then I'd read it as "it can handle more Vista or be decently quick while doing it" and if I saw "Vista Premium Ready" then I'd assume it could run Ultimate with everything.

Vista Ultimate isn't Vista. The lowest common denominator of all versions of Vista is Vista. That means Vista Home Basic is Vista, where as everything else is "Vista plus extras". Yes, the multiple versions made it worse, but then how can half a dozen or more versions ever make it better?

mod d0Wn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533240)

GOOOO!!! LINUX (0, Offtopic)

DeftPunk79 (1232522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533246)

I have decided I won't be upgrading from XP to VISTA. When my XP usefullness starts to decline I am moving to Linux. I just hope WINE gets updated faster than it does now.

Re:GOOOO!!! LINUX (1, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533278)

Um, I didn't see you at the meeting, but it was decided that moving from XP to Vista is a downgrade, not an upgrade.

Re:GOOOO!!! LINUX (1, Interesting)

Menkhaf (627996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533312)

I've used Linux for some years now, and almost every time I try to run a program with WINE, I get surprised at how well it actually works. There are bugs, of course, but I find that WINE is an exceptional piece of software and it works well with a lot of things...

Re:GOOOO!!! LINUX (0, Offtopic)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533398)

almost every time I try to run a program with WINE, I get surprised at how well it actually works.
I suppose you don't play many recent games.

Re:GOOOO!!! LINUX (1)

chubs730 (1095151) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533390)

Wine gets a new release out just about every two weeks, consistently. I'd say that's pretty fast, and you could always just CVS/SVN/whatever they're using.

Re:GOOOO!!! LINUX (2, Informative)

KURAAKU Deibiddo (740939) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534532)

Give it time, Google is already paying for work on getting Photoshop to run better in it [slashdot.org] . You might also check out Xen [wikipedia.org] or VMware [wikipedia.org] . Having helped a number of friends and customers migrate to SuSE [wikipedia.org] (now pre-installed by Lenovo) and Ubuntu [wikipedia.org] (now pre-installed by Dell), I'm impressed at the advances being made in desktop GNU/Linux.

Back to the main topic, though, at least for a moment: Personally, I'm glad to hear that the class action status was approved; Microsoft needs to be smacked into not deliberately misleading customers into thinking a product will do ____ when it clearly won't. (See also PlaysForSure on Zune [wikipedia.org] .) I only know one person who actually seems to like Vista, and it's mostly because he doesn't realize that his >$900 laptop doesn't need to run like Gnome on a sub-600MHz Pentium.

what are they complaining about? (0, Flamebait)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533286)

It runs something even better than Vista... XP. And even better still, you can always install Linux :-)

In other news (3, Funny)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533288)

Judge granted a class action status to a lawsuit of customers against a company selling an "under a thousand dollars" TV for $999.95

Re:In other news (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533526)

Judge granted a class action status to a lawsuit of customers against a company selling an "under a thousand dollars" TV for $999.95

It would be a more apt analagy if said TVs were could only average 10 frames per second, american idol was too taxing on the set for it even to start. This line of TVs was also heavily advertised as having 5.1 surround sound playback, a remote and very shiny sexy digital knobs going to 300 channels but when you got it hom and set it up there was no remote, and you had to change channels by turning a 13 channel knob. Oh, and there was no sound either. none. not 5.1, not even mono.

Such a unit may meet the barest qualifications of being a TV, but any reasonable consumer who got such a thing home would feel justifiably ripped off and return it immediately.

But the insidious part of Vista capable, was that they bought it on the promise that it would run vista when it came out, and when Vista came out, they found out that their reasonable expection of 'run vista' was not met, but they were now entirely unable to return the computer, and even downgrading is a 'reformat from scratch' procedure.

They feel ripped off, justifiably, in my opinon, and they want their money back.

If bought a computer that "ran Vista", and ended up with a computer that could only run Vista Home Basic... and did even that poorly, then I'd take it back. These people can't. And hence there is a lawsuit.

Re:In other news (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533786)

Can't they return it? I don't know about US consumer protections, but here in the UK an item must be 'as described'. A computer described as vista capable that could not run vista would not fit this description and be able to be returned for a full refund.

Re:In other news (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534530)

You would probably have to go to small claims court to force the merchant to accept a return or pay damages. Otherwise, they will just point to the sign that says "no returns after N days".

Re:In other news (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533540)

You guys get all the best deals. Here in the UK it would be £999.99

Ridiculous. (2, Insightful)

Brieeyebarr (938678) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533320)

What ever happened to researching products before buying them? Is the average consumer so strapped for time that they just purchase the first product to fall under their gaze? My point is that Microsoft had made available information regarding these 'Vista capable' stickers before they started showing up (http://arstechnica.com/journals/microsoft.ars/2006/3/31/3421 [arstechnica.com] .) The stickers say "Designed for Windows XP", Goddamnit!

Re:Ridiculous. (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533452)

What ever happened to researching products before buying them?

So people shouldn't be able to make manufacturers and vendors live up to their promises? Of ot saus "Vista Capable", with no limitations, no "fine print", no disclaimers, then it should be capable of running Vista - not some crippled version.

Re:Ridiculous. (3, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533910)

But it is "Vista capable", just not "Full Vista-with-all-eye-candy-features capable".

As much as I dislike Microsoft products, I can't see how they have a basis for this law suit.

Is the machine incapable of running Vista? No, just the flashy bits that aren't a requirement of the OS. Did Microsoft have a separate designation for machines that could run Vista better? Yes, it was "Premium Ready [microsoft.com] ". Is Vista completely unusable because of their system specs? No (or not any more than normal).

It isn't as if they've been sold a "High Def capable TV" that only has 640x480 res, they've been sold the equivalent of a 720i/p TV - it is capable of what is classed as "High Def", just not the really high HD because it is only "capable" of some minimum requirement to be called what it is called.

As a similar situation: Am I capable of running a marathon? Probably. Would I do very good at it? No, because I'm not ready, not trained and not fit enough.

People need to get a dictionary and learn the definition of the word "capable".

Re:Ridiculous. (2, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533974)

I have one of these "Vista Capable [slashdot.org] " computers. To be honest, I bought it because I knew what the sticker meant. Of course my intention was to run Linux (which it does, thank you very much). I mean, it was extremely cheap and that was the sole reason to buy it.

That's not why I posted this. The box did came with fine print (added later as a sticker), and I am still pissed that I didn't copy the whole text because it really basically said: "Don't run Vista on me".

Re:Ridiculous. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533996)

Of ot saus "Vista Capable", with no limitations, no "fine print", no disclaimers, then it should be capable of running Vista

Which it can.

How is it crippled? It's missing a few nice graphical effects and a couple of incredibly useless extra programs. OHNOES LAWSUIT.

Re:Ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22534060)

1. I figured it out hence I waited to get what would ultimately turn out to be my Vista Ultimate laptop. .a. This apparently means I'm a fricken genious. .b. Since when has a company ever used "capable" in advertising to mean anything other than "just barely, but probably not"

2. I'd be stunned if I couldn't get Vista Basic to install and run respectably on one of my old AMD K6 450s .a. if I stripped all the garbage off .b. all the ad ware out .c. particularly if I left off the virus protection

Re:Ridiculous. (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534210)

it should be capable of running Vista - not some crippled version.
The "Cripple" basically is sans Areo.

Like most people are even going to notice.

Re:Ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22534444)

then it should be capable of running Vista - not some crippled version.

What other version is there?

Specificity in reporting (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533340)

From the submission:

In the 2006 pre-holiday season,

Yeah, that's real specific. How many holidays are there in a calendar year? And the 'pre' means any non-specific period of time before one of those, just wish the editors could have narrowed down to which one. Any particular reason why whichever holiday was being referenced just wasn't mentioned by name? Anyone? Bueller?

Just so I've got this right.. (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533446)

1. Honey, should we buy a new computer now?
2. No, Vista is about to come out, we should wait.
3. But this computer over here says "Vista Capable" on it.. we can upgrade when Vista comes out.
4. Ok, let's trust the advertising and buy now.
5. [time passes]
6. [more time passes]
7. [yet, MORE time passes]
8. Honey, Vista has finally come out.
9. You're fucking with me.
10. No really! Let's upgrade.
11. Ok, which of the 400 versions of Vista should we upgrade to?
12. Oh, seems that our machine can only run Vista Basic.
13. Those bastards!! Call the lawyers.
14. Meanwhile, the rest of the world makes it blatantly obvious that *all* version of Vista blow, not just Basic.
15. ???
16. Profit.

This did not really happen.

Re:Just so I've got this right.. (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533800)

This did not really happen.

Bet it did. Thousands of times.

Well, apart from step 16 (unless you meant the profit that MS made).

yo0 FAILK it!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533454)

Are you kidding me? (1, Troll)

Serious Lemur (1236978) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533544)

Microsoft is being sued for something that basically amounts for false advertising over "Windows Vista Capable"...when do we get to sue for false advertising on "enhanced security features"? The only bit they enhanced was the DRM - oh, right, and the annoying pop-up factor. And I thought AOL was dead. Seriously, Vista receives worse press than Bush. Let's take some REAL action here.

Re:Are you kidding me? (0, Troll)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534354)

Vista receives worse press than Bush. Let's take some REAL action here. That's the most idiotic thing I read in a while. Just hook yourself up to some virtual reality shizzle already and refrain from polluting meatspace please, kthxbye.

mega refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533616)

After making consumers buy such crap software, Microsoft should have to pay for any PC that only supports that POS OS that is vista....

oh yeah... (4, Insightful)

DSVaughan (1007255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533638)

Recently bought a laptop that came with vita home premium. Look at the "Windows Experience Index", and am getting about 60 percent of what I could be. Brand new laptop, meets all recommended requirements (except video card) for vista ultimate, and I still only get a 60%. I also see computers that are less than a quarter as powerful as that laptop being sold with vista on them. There should be at least a minimum spec increase to certify the hardware as vista enabled. Like you can run XP Pro on as low as a 233 MHz core, with 128 Mb ram, and 1.5 GB of hard drive. It will run, just about as fast as the mold growing in Antarctica. It runs, but you can't do more than idle without it freezing up on you. Therefore, in my opinion, you should change the minimum system requirements so that you could at least open notepad within 5 minutes.

Re:oh yeah... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533810)

Try SP1. They seem to have removed quite a bit of the bloat... no seriously. SP1 is what *should* have been released as Vista. The UI still blows and it still runs at half the speed of XP on a brand new laptop, but compared to the original it's like night and day, as the base footprint is down to about 350mb so it's not constantly thrashing with 2GB of RAM.

PC World Tests Final Version of Vista SP1 (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533908)

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/07/1911213 [slashdot.org]

"PC World ran the final version of Windows Vista SP1 through a first set of tests last night. Here's the bottom line: 'File copying, one of the main performance-related complaints from Vista users, was significantly faster. But other tests showed little improvement and, in two tests, our experience was actually a little better without the service pack installed than with it.'"

Re: PC World Tests Final Version of Vista SP1 (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533966)

Odd. I'm no lover of Vista but pre-SP1 it was *completely* unusable in 2GB. Post SP1 it's still very slow but the reduced memory footprint means that it's not in swap all the time, so it seems better. Plus they've fixed some of the more annoying bugs.

I don't get the file copying bit at all. The problem was it didn't work, not that it was slow - copying multiple files would abort halfway with no warning, and trying to copy would invoke about 6 UAC warnings. Copy speed was *not* the issue.

Have you actually read that review or just the slashdot 'summary'. They only tested file copy and startup time.. and only for a couple of hours.

Pre-SP1 I was getting startup times of 4-5 minutes. That's down to under a minutes.
Time to open notepad was of the order of 5-10 seconds. Down to about 1 second.
Number of UAC prompts to get anything done used to be insane, now I rarely see them.
Network throughput is about 20% better.

I have to write code that runs on that POS OS.. I have to use it whether I like it or not - and SP1 *is* an improvement.. it makes using vista from a living hell into just damned annoying. I still hate it, but I might have to revise my stance of refusing point blank to support it if a friend asks for help (providing they have SP1 installed, which won't be for a while for most of them).

summary accuracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533852)

The summary states:
    "In the 2006 pre-holiday season, Microsoft had placed "Windows Vista Capable" stickers on machines ..."

The article does NOT say this. Rather, it says:
    "The slogan was emblazoned on PCs during the 2006 holiday shopping season ..."

Microsoft does not put stickers on the computers, hardware vendors do.

Why do the editors modify the summary, with false information? Is this just to get hits on Slashdot for this story?

I realize that Microsoft bashing is popular on Slashdot, but when people have to resort to bullshit and lies...

Re:summary accuracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22533888)

"but when people have to resort to bullshit and lies" .... This is a typical Microsoft policy isn't it ??

Class Action Blows (2, Interesting)

Flash0424 (1231554) | more than 6 years ago | (#22533872)

There are so many things in this world that fall into this similar pattern, but it's always (mostly) MS that gets hit with it. It annoys me, because the judges that OK these lawsuits don't have a clue about technology (mostly) and are making decisions based on guesses and their 'gut feeling' that day. It scares me because these same judges are dismissing real law, or not allowing things into the courtroom, arbitrarily (and again, depending on their mood)... As an example, I recently purchased a car stereo. It states clearly on the box that it's HD Radio Ready. It doesn't mention that I have to purchase equipment from the same manufacturer, which costs at least 50% more. It's also iPod capable (I don't own an iPod, and haven't tested this feature), but the cable is sold seperately. Another example would be car manufacturers...I've never tested whether my vehicle does 0-60 in 9 seconds, but no one would dream of taking Chrysler, Chevrolet or any of them to task for their obvious failings. I have to admit that I prefer MS products to any of the other OS flavors out there, so I may be a little biased. I just wish everyone would go about their business and leave the lawyers to find new jobs!!

This is shite (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534182)

Vista Home Basic is basically Vista minus Areo.

So directly comparable to Windows XP Home. It's for people that don't have 3d acceleration, but want the rest.

Therefore it's still Vista, and Vista 'capable' seems like a reasonable tag for me.

I must be missing something here (1)

Mr. Vage (1084371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534188)

I don't understand how this lawsuit will get anywhere. The case is arguing that computers that have Vista Capable logos on them CAN run Vista.

Vista Home Basic is Vista, just a very stripped down version.

If this lawsuit wins, I think I'll need to go and sue EA because my computer meets the minimum sysreqs for Crysis, but it runs poorly at Very High and looks bad at Low.

Yes you are missing the fine print (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534320)

I don't actually have the Crysis box but every game I seen with a minimum set of requirements on it ALSO listed a recommended spec.

MS with this Vista advertising campaign made a simple mistake, they designed a sticker that was not clear enough about what was promised.

With PC games, a reasonable person would assume that if you see who different specs then it is obvious that this means that the game will look perform less well on this lower hardware. You would only expect it to run well on the recommended spec.

MS left this out, they basically said "This PC can run Vista". No further explenation was given. It is clear how unclear this was by the fact that MS later added extra information on its website to explain what it meant.

Basically MS screwed up. Now it is for the legal to decide wether people should have known better, wether this is all just a simple misunderstanding or wether MS is guilty of false advertising. Considering MS own people have had doubts during the development of this campaign I think MS has a case to answer.

Advertisers always push the truth as far as it can go. Remember the claims that linux can run on a 386? Why sure it can. The kernel. Run a full distro on it and prepare for slideshow hell. Run windows on the minimum amount of memory? Sure you can, just hope you never have to anything remotely tasking.

It is possible that MS marketting went to far in this case. They could have put on the sticker "This PC is Vista Basic ready". They didn't. They didn't for the simple reason that this would have been less attractive to consumers. Personally I think truth is important, yes "The PC is Vista ready" is the truth, but "This PC is Vista Basic ready" is the greater truth. Sometimes even when you are telling the truth you can be lying.

And apparently 512 MB RAM is "Vista Capable" (5, Funny)

mathnerd314 (1212880) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534334)

I bought a computer with a "Vista Capable" sticker, which had only 512 MB of RAM. Now, according to Dell [dell.com] , such a configuration is "Great for... Booting the Operating System, without running applications or games".

Which, incidentally, was pretty much all I could do.

Another wasteful abuse of the legal system (1)

maleb (908783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22534408)

This is absurd. With people behind idiotic lawsuits like this, they have no reason to bitch about costs going up! -Should I sue if I can't install VISTA at all, and it claimed to be VISTA capable, yes -Should I sue because I choose to buy a cheap $600 model and expect that I get all the performance that a $1200 + one has... hell the F* no! There's no common sense behind this in my opinion.
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