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Microsoft Tries To Prevent Further Discovery

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the cying-a-river dept.

The Courts 178

An anonymous reader notes the considerable irony in Microsoft asking for relief from further discovery in the Windows Vista Capable debacle. This is the lawsuit that was recently granted class-action status, and Microsoft wants the wheels of justice to stop while it appeals that designation. It's easy to see why Microsoft wants to prevent further digging around in their and their OEMs' email archives, with stories like this one from the NYTimes (registration may be required) revealing Redmond's highly embarrassing internal emails to a mass audience.

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178 comments

ahoj (5, Funny)

eneville (745111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694608)

chair throwing contest starting in 10...

Re:ahoj (4, Funny)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694662)

I think that Ballmer is secretly Scottish and always wanted to be a caber tosser.

Re:ahoj (4, Funny)

RealSurreal (620564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694708)

Well, he got half of his wish

Re:ahoj (3, Funny)

eneville (745111) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694766)

... hes a dancing monkey tosser

Re:ahoj (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695590)

Wouldn't that be more like a third? He's more of a tosser than a caber tosser...

Re:ahoj (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695708)

Ballmer is clearly re-tossing the deck chairs on RMS Vis^Titanic.

Re:ahoj (1)

jonas_jonas (1135553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695810)

Ballmer is clearly re-tossing the deck chairs on RMS Vis^Titanic.
What does RMS [wikipedia.org] has to do with Vista?

Re:ahoj (2, Informative)

sycotic (26352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695838)

Isn't that HMS [wikipedia.org] ?

Or was the Titanic really a Royal Mail Ship [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:ahoj (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694814)

The CTU (Chair Throwing Unit) has been delayed until 2009

-- Jack B.

Re:ahoj (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695032)

Microsoft is apparently worried that discovery could uncover executive emails that might be misinterpreted or taken out of context. Like this one:

Date: October 18, 2006

>> Jim Allchin wrote:
>> ...
>> far from clear whether the "Vista Capable" label should be allowed
>> in these kinds of low-end hardware configurations.

OEMs! OEMs! OEMs! OEMs! OEMs! OEMs!

Steve

It's only fair (4, Interesting)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694616)

After, all that discovery is only producing documents which will torpedo their appeal of class action status.

Can't have that, can we?

Re:It's only fair (1)

pilsner.urquell (734632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694654)

After, all that discovery is only producing documents which will torpedo their appeal of class action status.

Seal my thunder!

Re:It's only fair (5, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694780)

If their emails are managed in the same manner as the White House emails, then maybe they have nothing to worry about.

Seriously, though, this lawsuit is great stuff. On the one hand, you have a monopoly forced into a measure of transparency and accountability. Then you have that monopoly's shortcomings being made the subject of stories in The New York Times (this one in the Business Section, no less), to say nothing of similar stories in other papers elsewhere. The lawsuit itself may be about Vista, but the emails are about Microsoft. Whether you care about Vista or not, this is good for everyone.

The lawsuit will most likely be decided using a "reasonableness" standard, and the outcome will probably be similarly reasonable, like coupons or some such nonsense. The more interesting question is whether Microsoft itself is Ready(TM) or Capable(TM) to address the more fundamental problems of Vista, and what Windows users forced into upgrades by a variety of means will have to contend with in the interim.

The real problem.... (1, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694878)

is that the email is stored on Vista machines and we all know how long it takes to process files on a Vista machine. They need to buy some time for all the disk processing to complete.

In short, it would be faster to print all the emails and shred them.

Microsoft hired the wrong people! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694634)

They obviously need to hire the White House email administrators.

Problem solved.

Re:Microsoft hired the wrong people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695662)

You seem to imply that the government is not a wholly pwned subsidiary of MicroSoft.

Glad I made the family buy XP (1, Insightful)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694650)

A family member needed a new laptop. Dell (business side) with XP filled the bill. Since I could not get them to go 0$X, this was the next best thing. The bonus is that a dual core machine with a GB of memory will fly on XP. My tech support will be less. I had Windows Me once, so I see where this is going. As my MS machines die, Apple will get more sales.

Re:Glad I made the family buy XP (3, Interesting)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694668)

I'm glad that I gave my Mum (uncontaminated with years of learning Windows) a Linux box, and that both my grilf and father have independently, and without any prompting from me, asked if I can fix their machines the same way (one's on Vista on a budget laptop - yes, I did warn her - the other's on XP "media centre edition". (It's got no TV tuner, surround sound, IR or anything else (even a big HD) that lends the machine to being a media centre, so I guess Dell must have wanted to puff the numbers for Unca Billy.)

Re:Glad I made the family buy XP (2, Interesting)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694870)

It's great but ultimately MS got money from your family so they got the dollar-votes...

Re:Glad I made the family buy XP (4, Insightful)

Delkster (820935) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695014)

It's great but ultimately MS got money from your family so they got the dollar-votes...

Perhaps they won't get their money on the next round.

Re:Glad I made the family buy XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695952)

It's great but ultimately MS got money from your family so they got the dollar-votes...

Perhaps they won't get their money on the next round.


Exactly! And that next time won't have to be soon either. I'm using Ubuntu 6.06LTS on several 8-year-old machines, and I don't have any plans to replace them anytime soon. They work just fine for me, why spend more money? The computer I use daily originally came with WinME, which I actually used for a few years until it became unusable, then I replaced the OS with Linux and it's worked fine ever since. Most people would have replaced the whole pc instead. Many people I know go through at least 3 pc's in the time I've been using the one I'm typing on now.

Re:Glad I made the family buy XP (2, Insightful)

ncohafmuta (577957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695018)

As my MS machines die, Apple will get more sales.
Not if you keep buying machines with windows on them, as in this case.

They Think Differently (5, Insightful)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694680)

"Continued proceedings here would cost Microsoft a substantial sum of money for discovery and divert key personnel from full-time tasks," said Charles Wright, an attorney for Microsoft

How is that not acceptable? If they labeled systems misleadingly then they should be paying to help clean up the mess they caused.

You've decided the case - the court hasn't (5, Insightful)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694912)

How is that not acceptable? If they labeled systems misleadingly then they should be paying to help clean up the mess they caused.

You're operating under the assumption that the case against Microsoft is valid. Since the case has not yet been decided, the court cannot operate under that assumption. During discovery the court has to weigh the cost to Microsoft against the probability that information germane to the case at hand will be revealed. Civil litigation frequently involves analysis of this kind.

If the court allowed every single discovery motion, cases would never be resolved and the cost of litigation would be higher than it already is. I'm not saying that this motion shouldn't be allowed, but the courts don't have the luxury of deciding the case first, then making discovery rulings on that basis.

Re:You've decided the case - the court hasn't (4, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694964)

True, but in this case the discovery has already revealed evidence that is quite damning, namely that Microsoft knew about Vista's many problems.

Re:You've decided the case - the court hasn't (4, Insightful)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695354)

If Microsoft's Email Server and Client lived up to their ADVERTISING, then recovering the relevant email evidence should be fairly straightforward and simple.

But that's another lawsuit, isn't it?

Re:You've decided the case - the court hasn't (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695762)

M$oft is a convicted "child-molester". M$oft has NO rights. Except the right to get whammed in the butt with the biggest baseball bat anybody can find.

Pretty hard to say it isn't valid (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695836)

When senior people at Microsoft say that they were suckered.

At this stage of the case, the court needs to make the guess. Based on what's already been revealed it is hard to say that (a) there is no case -or- (b) there is no further information.

Any judge who was to try whitewash this one would be comitting professional suicide.

Re:They Think Differently (4, Funny)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694934)

"Continued proceedings here would cost the company a substantial sum of money for discovery and divert key personnel from full-time tasks,"
Funny, it is exactly the argument I use to tell my boss it is not in our company's interests to switch to Vista...

Eh? (2, Interesting)

nizo (81281) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694688)

Continued proceedings here would cost Microsoft a substantial sum of money for discovery and divert key personnel from full-time tasks," said Charles Wright, an attorney for Microsoft, in the motion to suspend the case. "[It] would intrude on sensitive pricing decisions and strategies by OEMs, wholesalers, and retailers;


I.e. it would cut even further into Vista sales.


and would jeopardize Microsoft's goodwill with class members.


What does this mean in normal human language, rather than lawyerspeak???

Re:Eh? (4, Funny)

RealSurreal (620564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694722)

What does this mean in normal human language, rather than lawyerspeak???
"Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

Re:Eh? (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694808)

... and would jeopardize Microsoft's goodwill with class members.

If Microsoft had any goodwill with the class members, why would said members be suing Microsoft? That statement doesn't make any sense on the face of it.

Class != current members (3, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694896)

The class is not limited to current members (who have already signed up as being pissed). Further digging and media time also tells those people that were suckered but did nothing that there is a class action and brings them into the action.

Re:Class != current members (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694936)

Ah. Now that makes more sense. Microsoft just wants to keep the class from growing.

Re:Eh? (5, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694938)

What does this mean in normal human language, rather than lawyerspeak???

It means 'we called our customers mindless sheep that go where they're led, and called our VAR partners our bitches that will do what they're told, and we called our 'MVPs our whores that ... well... anyway... we really don't want them finding out this how we refer to them internally...

That's my guess, at least. ;)

Vista disaster (5, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694690)

When I bought a laptop a few months ago, even the sales people were telling me how much Vista sucks (despite the fact that some of the stores didn't even sell XP laptops anymore so they were sure to lose a sale). When the people selling PCs are actively discouraging customers from buying newer systems with newer operating systems, Microsoft clearly have a problem... so I'm not surprised they want to hide their dirty laundry rather than have it exposed in the press.

Re:Vista disaster (4, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695244)

Microsoft clearly have a problem.

Yeah the problem is that they listened to some asshat Marketing VP instead of their program managers

The minimum hardware configuration was set so low that "even a piece of junk will qualify," Anantha Kancherla, a Microsoft program manager, said in an internal e-mail message among those recently unsealed, adding, "It will be a complete tragedy if we allowed it."

She was exactly right, for MS this is a complete tragedy. Any bets on if they give her a big fat rise for trying to warn them? Any bets on if they fire the senior management that pushed for dropping the hardware requirements?

Re:Vista disaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695592)

even the sales people were telling me how much Vista sucks

This is the first time on /. that I've seen someone giving credit to low wage computer salespeople.

good point (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694696)

"Microsoft's interest in avoiding unnecessary litigation costs, preserving the time of its employees, insulating OEMs, wholesalers, and retailers from discovery into confidential pricing policies, and maintaining its goodwill far outweighs the interest of class members in relief they never expected before filing this action," Microsoft said.

Yeah, M$ has a lot more to lose, compared to the average schmuck who's either unaware of or accustomed and resigned to getting f*cked over by M$.

I don't get it (0, Flamebait)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694740)

Really, i don't get it. As an IT professional working in the Small Business market, i paid close attention to Windows Vista. It was the new whizbang that was supposed to come out Nov 06, played with all the betas and informed myself. I remember reading the document detailing the requirements "Vista Premium Ready" and "Vista Capable". It was obvious that the "Vista Capable" label just meant that the machine could run Vista - nothing more, nothing less. You wouldn't have fun with such an underpowered machine.

So for me it was obvious - we recommended customers to buy machines which at least qualified for Vista Premium ready. Many of them have since upgraded to Windows Vista, and are quite content with what they have.

Readiness for new operating systems is important - especially with such security and driver model improvements that Vista shipped with. My company is now running Vista on 90% of all the desktops (the rest are running unsupported legacy applications on a variety of operating systems). We're around 35 people.

Upgrading to Vista was no problem, not even the hardware. We have IBM/Lenovo ThinkCentre machines, of which even two-three year old machines could easily run Vista, with an additional amount of memory installed.

Now what are those people complaining about? That they didn't research what "Vista Capable" entails? That they have no clue on how to do IT?

I don't understand the lawsuit - if they would've informed themselves, they wouldn't have had the problem. And the machines CAN run Windows Vista - all the editions. Just Aero and Moviemaker won't work without a proper graphic card, but that's not much of a problem.

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

medge_42 (173874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694820)

You said it yourself, you are an IT professional.

<analogy>
If you bought a DVD player that, according to the label, would play anything and then it refused to play a DVD someone lent you would you be upset?

Probably.

The DVD you've put in contains half a dozen Divx files. Still upset?

Probably not, but most of my social group still do not understand why that would be.
</analogy>

I think John Q. Public isn't going to realise that undergoing a research project, prior to buying what is rapidly become just another consumer electronics device, is required. They will want what it says on the box.

Re:I don't get it (0, Redundant)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694888)

Yeah, but they exactly DO what was advertised - they run Vista.

I don't see how being unable to use Aero or Windows Movie Maker can be made subject to a lawsuit.

"HD Ready" doesn't mean you can display 1080p content either - it's just advertising. You'll have to look at the actual specs to see what you're buying.

For example, i'm not a car mechanic - so i don't know much about cars. So if i have a problem with my car, i can either a) invest research or b) ask someone who knows. That's why i don't change my oil on my own - i let a professional take care of things i don't know about or don't want to know about (cars are not important to me - they're just a way to get from a to b with the least amount of hassle).

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

nizo (81281) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695260)

Since this is Slashdot, everybody loves a car analogy.


Lets say a car company markets a gas powered car as an "electric motor ready" car. "Sweet" says I the consumer; next year when the company starts selling electric motors, I will be able to stick one in my car. Then next year rolls around, and the only electric motor that will fit in my "electric motor ready" car will only let me go 15mph; oh and the batteries will take up the rest of the car, meaning I can't carry any passengers or cargo. And not too surprisingly all of that was left off the "electric motor ready" car marketing material.

Re:I don't get it (5, Informative)

beav007 (746004) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695676)

I don't see how being unable to use Aero or Windows Movie Maker can be made subject to a lawsuit.
The issue is that all the advertising for Vista was built around the "Wow starts now" and the Vista experience, which was Aeroglass. So the customer buys a cheap laptop with Vista pre-loaded and a shiny "Vista Capable" sticker on it. They get it home to find that it runs like a one-legged dog, and is Vista Home Basic, which doesn't have Aeroglass.

It's deceptive, if not outright false advertising.

Here's a car analogy for you. Imagine a large car company starts advertising a new model of car. The ads feature a soft-top coupe with aggressive sports styling, leather trim, 19" chrome wheels, big twin turbo v12 engine, 6 speed flappy-paddle gearbox, and is capable of 200mph.

You walk into the showroom, and the cars look like they do in the ads, or even better, but they are expensive. The salesman says "no worries" - this is the top model. There are much cheaper ones that are almost as good - you still get most of the features of the top model.

"Great", you say. "I'll take one!"

The salesman tells you that they are all in shipping crates out the back, so you can't look at it now, but they will deliver it to you.

The next morning you find a new car in your driveway. It looks like a Hyundai Excel, has a 4 cylinder engine, 14" wheels with plastic hubcaps, cloth trim, and a 4 speed manual gearbox.

You take it back to complain, but the salesman says "How did I mislead you? It has most of the features of the top model - seats, wheels, a steering wheel, seatbelts, a handbrake, lights, a horn, a gearbox, and it drives on the road. And it's capable of doing 200mph, if you can get it into a cargo plane that moves that fast..."

Re:I don't get it (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695408)

Not saying it's right, but computer software was never particularly useful when your computer just hit the bare minimum system requirements.

It's been a foregone conclusion since sometime in the mid 90s that to run a program reasonably that you have to be at least one step up from the listed processor and have an additional measure of ram as well. That's bare minimum.

What that specifically entails has changed, it used to be 16mhz or so was enough and 1mb of ram. Now it's quite a bit more, but my point is that software sellers have always been misleading consumers in this manner since before most people would be willing to even touch a computer for fear of bringing down modern society.

Re:I don't get it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695554)

I think John Q. Public isn't going to realise that undergoing a research project, prior to buying what is rapidly become just another consumer electronics device, is required. They will want what it says on the box.

Standard American corporate bullshittery.

You want to fly from SF to NY. They ask if you want a flight where you change planes in Houston. You say no, you want a direct flight. Surprise -- your "direct" flight stops in Denver, but you stay on the same plane. Bummer for you that direct doesn't mean what you think it means -- the magic word to describe the flight you wanted is "non-stop". Now don't you feel like a dumb shit?

Same with furniture. A "genuine oak" table only has to have the normally-seen surfaces made of oak, even if it's a veneer only 1/128 inch thick. Tough that you didn't know what you wanted was "solid oak".

Similarly an "on-time" departure means only that the plane backs away from the gate -- within fifteen minutes or so -- of the scheduled time. (Try arriving "on-time" for a job interview, even if you're applying at an airline.) Too bad if it then sits on the tarmac for three hours while the toilets fill up.

Ever been to Starfuck's where the smallest coffee you can get is called large?

Every once in a while, there's a bright spot. Some years back, some financial outfit offered one "free" share of some stock. All you had to do was give them your name and address, plus some personal information. The SEC stepped in and said the company had to follow all the SEC rules for engaging in the sale of stock. The company contended that they were not selling, just giving it away "free". The SEC stamped on them, saying that the additional personal information was of value to the company, therefore the stock was being purchased for something of value and came under SEC purview. So it was a case of send the stock along for just the name and address with no additional information required or comply with all applicable regulations as a seller of stock.

Speaking of "free", have you ever wondered how the grocery industry computes profits? Whenever a clerks' strike is looming, the supermarket chains trot out the old bogeyman of "razor-thin margins", implying that a 2% raise will drive them into bankruptcy, followed by selling their bodies in an unsavory part of town.

Yet, just last night, for using my "club card", they gave me a 33% discount off the listed price of my groceries. WTF??? Allegedly my name and buying habits are worth 1/3 of the price of the groceries.

Not that I care. It's not my card. I misplaced mine many years ago, so the clerk just picked up a blank off the counter and said, "Here, use this one." I'm assuming it's a blank because, when I pay cash (as opposed to using my credit card from which they can get my mane), I get a rather surprised, "Thank you, Mr. ... uh ... Valued Customer".

Re:I don't get it (2, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695736)

For the DVD and Vista comparison and to kill the lies and prevarications, DVD ready does not mean it can only play the DVDs at half speed. People have a expectation of performance, M$ advertises it's products showing it performing at a certain level, and basically lies, when those products can not perform as advertised.

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694836)

While I agree with you from my own perspective as a software engineer that has to make similar recommendations, you also have to look at this from how a typical not-particularly-computer-literate customer would see it. They go to a store to buy a laptop with the latest Microsoft OS on it, and they have certain expectations ... that it will work at least as well as the last version of Windows they had, for one. Given what's been coming out of Microsoft in discovery so far, it seems to me that Microsoft knew they had a dog on their hands, and sold it anyway. They took a chance that nobody would call them on it and lost.

So far as sales go, this is probably gonna hurt. Me, I'm sticking with XP and Linux for the time being.

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694842)

Depending on the situation:

Linux is too difficult for the average person, they will need outside help. But windows is so easy the average person can handle things themselves, no need for outside help.

Whereas other times we see things like you put forward:

"Now what are those people complaining about? That they didn't research what "Vista Capable" entails? That they have no clue on how to do IT?"

Problems with windows really aren't windows problems, they are due to clueless users.

Which is it? Do you need expert skill and knowledge to run windows properly and safely or not?

all the best,

drew
http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694904)

Windows, Linux, Mac OS are all operating systems meant to be used by users, and administrated by administrators.

They are NOT meant to administrated by users. What marketing says is one thing, reality is another. Most users do not possess or are willing to learn the knowledge required for even basic troubleshooting.

I'm not blaming them for that - i'm blaming them for not getting professional help. It's the same way i handle my car. I drive it (user), but i'll leave repais and checkups to qualified professionals (administrators).

Re:I don't get it (4, Interesting)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695004)

"They are NOT meant to administrated by users. What marketing says is one thing, reality is another."

Fine, so again:

Which is it? Do you need expert skill and knowledge to run windows properly and safely or not?

And, if you do need the experts, who should the administrator be for the average home user?

all the best,

drew
http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695752)

I drive it (user), but i'll leave repais and checkups to qualified professionals (administrators).

Years back, I heard about a couple of professional plumbers from a friend in the trades. One hooked a toilet tank up to the hot water line. The other crossed up the lines installing a stove and had water shoot out of the gas jets when he turned the stove on.

I had my (blown head gasket) engine replaced with a short block by a professional mechanic. Some days later, I checked the level of the break-in oil. The dipstick was dry. Not having break-in oil on hand, I added a quart of regular oil. Still dry. Another quart -- still dry. So I went under the car to find out if it was going onto the floor. Nope -- the crazy-fuck mechanic had broken off the dipstick tube so I was measuring the oil level in my garage. The last few inches of the dipstick were hanging out in the air in front of the engine.

Now two quarts over, I had to drain the oil. The plug came out with metal slivers from being cross-threaded. After refilling it properly, I took it in. The lying bastard told me he had never unscrewed the plug, but had dropped the whole pan by removing the attachment bolts up around the gasket area. There is no way that it happened as he said -- I'd been the only one to change the oil in that car from day one. I always replaced the plug and hand-screwed it all the way in before picking up a wrench. The bastard died shortly afterward. I did not attend the funeral. You can get arrested out here for pissing on a grave.

Re:I don't get it (2, Funny)

unapersson (38207) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694906)

"Linux is too difficult for the average person, they will need outside help. But windows is so easy the average person can handle things themselves, no need for outside help."

Which version of Windows is this? And when is it coming out?

Re:I don't get it (0)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695048)

"Which version of Windows is this? And when is it coming out?"

Don't ask me, I see the claim made on a regular basis though.

all the best,

drew
http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:I don't get it (1)

X.25 (255792) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694944)

Problems with windows really aren't windows problems, they are due to clueless users.

Users are not a problem.

Problem is that Microsoft thinks they can redefine the meaning of word "capable".

Re:I don't get it (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694996)

I'm sorry, but Microsoft isn't doing that.

Here's the definition:

1. Possessing ability, qualification, or susceptibility; having capacity; of sufficient size or strength; as, a room capable of holding a large number; a castle capable of resisting a long assault.


Now, i often see computers advertised as "gaming ready". Does that mean that if they can't run Crysis in 1920x1200 at full details they are also fraudulently advertising them?

Vista Ultimate/Enterprise have BitLocker - to use it, you'll either need a TPM module or an USB flash stick - are all machines shipping without TPM/USB stick not Vista capable?

Re:I don't get it (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695112)

"Users are not a problem."

Just to be clear, I was not making that claim, just pointing out that I see it made when it suits certain people.

all the best,

drew
http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:I don't get it (4, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695006)

"Linux is too difficult for the average person"

So the million people that bought Eee PCs are all above average?

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695140)

"So the million people that bought Eee PCs are all above average?"

I guess I wasn't clear enough. People seem to be taking it as if I were making one of the claims in my post. No, those are conflicting claims I see windows supporters or linux detractors making. I say they can't have it both ways.

all the best,

drew
http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:I don't get it (3, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695322)

Which is it? Do you need expert skill and knowledge to run windows properly and safely or not?

You don't need to be an expert to use windows. But you got to be an expert in operating systems, linguistics, etymology, marketing and law to buy Windows systems. Got that?

Re:I don't get it (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695440)

Got it.

But when it comes to virus and spyware issues, claims bubble up that you may need to be expert to safely run the thing even.

all the best,

drew
http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:I don't get it (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695456)

> Linux is too difficult for the average person, they will need outside help. But windows is so easy the average person can handle things themselves, no need for outside help.

Which one is easier to keep updated, both system and apps?
Which one needs activation?
Which one mounts volumes partitioned with other OSs?
Which one comes with different crippled apps for each model so each time you change pc you have a different dvd maker or media player app?
Which one has a different way for each model to backup the system?
Which one lets you reinstall old packages, move an installation on a different media, switch to the newest release of the os with a single boot?
Which one gives you more crashes? (app crashes)
Is dealing with the register easier than editing config files?

Windows is easier than linux if you started with it, and most people started with windows.

Re:I don't get it (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695560)

"Windows is easier than linux if you started with it, and most people started with windows."

Personally, I find linux easier and I did windows before linux. Of course, I was doing fortran on punch cards to start and my first personal work was on a TRS-80 Model I. 16K ram 4K rom iirc.

all the best,

drew
http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

kesuki (321456) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695666)

"Linux is too difficult for the average person"

if you mean having a password to log in and install software, then maybe. If you mean 'switching to linux' then definitely. if you mean 'troubleshooting things that don't work' then they're in the same boat as when windows doesn't behave nicely. as far as 'using' linux goes, it's not hard at all. just tape up a password /log in reminder for the bad of memory, and they're good to go. e-mail, web, installing software via synaptic package manger, all easy as pie. playing card games, using open office, all easy...

the place they're likely to run into problems (most likely) is playing dvds, burning dvds, sending documents from open office to a ms word user. trying to install mpeg encoders, trying to rip dvds, trying to play back drmed audio, etc... but for a lot of users not one of those issues is going to come up. it really depends on who's using the computer and what for. 'the internet' in general works a bit better with linux, so many people who 'just want to use this internet thing' convincing them to use linux isn't that hard. as long as someone else sets it up for them.

Re:I don't get it (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695776)

I was obviously unclear, but it surprises me.

Didn't you see:

"Which is it? Do you need expert skill and knowledge to run windows properly and safely or not?"

Didn't you see that I put forward two opposing claims that people make about windows ease and linux difficulty?

Not saying you or anyone else who didn't get my post are at fault. With so much misunderstanding, I figure I was unclear even though I thought I was.

Can you help me pin down where the lack of clarity was so I don't make the same mistake again.

I have pointed this issue out more than once in the past. This is the first time with so much misunderstanding involved iirc. And the funny thing is, I thought that I had done a better job this time before all the confusion popped up.

all the best,

drew
http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:I don't get it (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695700)

It's sad that so many people misunderstand your post. I'm completely with you: I manage a few Windows machines for family and friends, but I know how to secure them. They're 100% clean, but if they want to install something it's time to call jawtheshark and she may refuse ("No, those smilies are bad for your computer"). I've also been introducing Ubuntu Linux for a few select people. The administration work is still mine. It really is no different from Windows for me. (The problems are different, but problems there are)

To go for the bad car analogy: I know squat about my car and I have an "administrator" take care of my troubles. He's called "a mechanic". ;-)

So the answer is: yes; you need expert skill... Your own or the one you bought...

Re:I don't get it (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695814)

I do some admin work for friends and family myself. These days, I try to do as little gratis support as possible for those who will not give linux a serious try.

all the best,

drew
http://zotzbro.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694862)

I don't understand the lawsuit - if they would've informed themselves, they wouldn't have had the problem. And the machines CAN run Windows Vista - all the editions. Just Aero and Moviemaker won't work without a proper graphic card, but that's not much of a problem.

The point of the lawsuit is that if a product has a sticker saying "Vista Capable", then that should be all the research necessary.

Not running "Aero" is actually a pretty big problem. For most people the only noticeable change in Vista is the new pretty GUI. I know there's supposedly other new features, but that's the only one that sticks out to most people. So when it's not there...

If people would just "inform themselves", there would be no spam, no malware, no viruses, no security problems, ... Obviously that's not going to happen. It's hard enough for the average idiot to buy computer hardware without Microsoft lying to them.

Re:I don't get it (4, Interesting)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694866)

Although I have not read the CLASS documents, this is coming from the consumer side. These are people that are not IT professionals. I am an IT professional, and when I did the very same research you did, I told every customer I had, "Look, what Vista is bringing to the table, you really don't need". The people you have working for you perform about 4 basic functions. a) They type up documents. b) They do basic spreadsheets, nothing fancy nothing remotely resembling complicated. c) They do e-mail correspondence. d) they do minor web research.

I told them 95% of your machines will require a memory upgrade and a new video card, since the on-board video system will not handle Aero and with parts and labor that is going to cost you about $300.00 per machine so that's going to be around $30K PLUS the upgrade licenses, training costs, etc. To a client, they all said, "And I would do this why?".

On the consumer side, all they see is "Vista Capable". Now if they had stickers like "Vista Capable but NOT vista premium Capable" that might have made consumers step back and say "Huh, what you talking about Willis?". Their own e-mail exchanges ( which I have read ) clearly indicate that they knew the marketing was going to confuse the crap about of your average consumer, that they knew the Intel video chip-set was "No Go" but they made the decision to push forward anyway, even after one of their own said, "I now have a $2100.00 e-mail machine", with no printer drivers, no Aero, none of the "WOW" that was being heavily advertised and promoted as the lunchpin of their upgrade sales strategy.

Microsoft really really put shit out there that is now coming around to bite them in the ass, and deservedly so.

Re:I don't get it (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695646)


I told them 95% of your machines will require a memory upgrade and a new video card, since the on-board video system will not handle Aero and with parts and labor that is going to cost you about $300.00 per machine so that's going to be around $30K PLUS the upgrade licenses, training costs, etc. To a client, they all said, "And I would do this why?".

You answered their question in the previous paragraph:

I told every customer I had, "Look, what Vista is bringing to the table, you really don't need".

First you told them there was no benefit, then you told them there was huge cost. And then, big surprise, none of them went for it.

But were you truthful? Is there no benefit? Perhaps if you'd told them Vista moved the security model of Windows into the 20th century, they might have seen more value in an upgrade?

But sure even then, if you've already got XPSP2 and locked it down reasonably well, and are subscribing to an A/V product with rootkit detection, and you run everyone as normal users, then yeah you've already done most of the legwork to get to the benefits that Vista has out of the box with its forced run as user and driver signing on by default, and yeah an upgrade wouldn't be worth much and would cost a fair chunk. So it would be right to conclude you don't need to upgrade... but at the same time, there is no reason to avoid it when replacing the hardware.

Re:I don't get it (2, Interesting)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695802)

I was painfully truthful, I laid out the entire upside/downside. To give an example, one was an accounting firm w/ +-130 desktops. They are not in an AD environment, they are in an Edir environment. They are all running XPsp2 with one common desktop user for every machine, that way each user can work at any vacant desk, they get the same set of app's. E-Mail client loads from the server, no local PST files, nothing makes the machines unique and although it took a lot of trial and error, we made their tax-prep, time & billing software all run with only user level security.

Now at some point there yes new machine will have ONLY Vista, but hopefully by then Vista will be on sp2 and be something worth using.

I still see absolutely no reason for Aero in a business environment. These are not play toys, these are tools for employee's to use and as such Aero provides no value, only additional resource requirements, just generally slows everything down and gets in the way. As to UAC it is pretty pointless as these machines are locked down hard and I have encouraged these companies to implement IT policies that say in nice terms, You install software, you are fired, thats what we pay the IT people for and you are specifically not authorized to do so. Yeah its draconian but these companies were pushed to that extreme by stupid users who tried to or installed any bit of virus spreading, mal-ware installing, root-kitting bit of garbage from places like Facebook, Yahoo, MySpace

These are NOT personal computers they are the companies computers. You want a utility, an additional tool, then make the business case, put it in writing and in about 99% percent of the cases you get it, after its been vetted by the IT guys. When down time costs upwards of $200.00 per hour, per employee, company owners tend to be a tad touchy about this stuff.

Re:I don't get it (4, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695972)

Perhaps if you'd told them Vista moved the security model of Windows into the 20th century, they might have seen more value in an upgrade?

Perhaps if you then told them that the 20th century has been over for nearly a decade, they might ponder on why older versions of Windows have a 19th century security model.

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694976)

Now what are those people complaining about? That they didn't research what "Vista Capable" entails?

No, they didn't. No one should have to. If it's capable of running the Vista that was advertised (all ads showed the Aero interface), it should be labeled Vista Capable. If it only runs a crippled version of Vista that is NEVER seen in an ad, except to be listed by name and price, it should be labeled "Vista Crippled." If it won't run common software and hardware, it should never have been released. Why the hell would anyone assume otherwise? Even people at Microsoft thought so.

That they have no clue on how to do IT?

Again, no they don't, nor should they have to. Not everyone who buys a computer works in an IT department. Most don't know much about the inner workings of computers, so they go by what the promotion says, that Vista is the best OS out there, and you can do all these wonderful things with it. Even many who do work for IT, even Microsoft employees, would not assume that drivers would not exist (and never be planned to exist) for common hardware and software. XP ran these devices and programs, and reasonable people would assume the heavily advertised upgrade to XP would too.

I don't understand the lawsuit - if they would've informed themselves, they wouldn't have had the problem.

If Microsoft hadn't intentionally misinformed the public, they wouldn't have had the problem. You shouldn't have to do research to refute the "facts" that companies

And the machines CAN run Windows Vista - all the editions. Just Aero and Moviemaker won't work without a proper graphic card, but that's not much of a problem.

It is a HUGE problem for a lot of people. Just because you don't use Moviemaker doesn't make it unimportant. Ditto the Aero interface.

It's like buying a DVD player for a TV you bought because it was labeled DVD-Capable, then finding out it will only play in black & white unless you get a DVD-Premium-Ready TV.

Only in America (0, Flamebait)

Dobeln (853794) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695772)

In short, this is a class-action lawsuit based on some people expecting a whooshier, flashier UI from Vista.

A UI the the Slashdot Hivemind (TM) assures us is completely useless.

But of course, a bunch of whiny tech know-nothings being deprived of said UI is a crime against humanity according to the Slashdot Hivemind (TM).

Gotcha.

PS.
Only in America would something like this require divulging internal e-mail, etc. It's ridiculous.
DS.

Re:I don't get it (2, Insightful)

Keyper7 (1160079) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695444)

While I do agree that the correct interpretation of "capable" in this case is not exactly unique and obvious, I would say that the opinion of Microsoft employees (and I mean personal private opinions, not public and clearly marketing-oriented opinions) should be taken into account. The internal emails revealed that some quite relevant people didn't consider certain Intel chipsets Vista-capable, yet they slapped the sticker there to make Intel happy. In other words, machines were displaying on stores words that the people who developed the operating system didn't exactly agree with.

Mwhahahaha (5, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694746)

That's what you get for allowing multi gigabyte PST files.

Oh, the sweet irony.
 

Vistad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694748)

Microsoft is sooo vistad...

What does this mean for me? (1)

Powercube (1179611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694758)

If, somehow, discovery ceases- can I now use this case to prevent litigators from finding out potentially damaging things about me?

Re:What does this mean for me? (1, Informative)

rongage (237813) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694838)

IANAL and all that....

Generally, to protect your email from discovery, write an email retention policy (timestamp on implemention date), and follow it without exception. If your policy says you delete all emails after 30 days - do it. Up until you are served with a discovery request, anything you have destroyed as a part of your retention policy is no problem. Of course, once you get that discovery request and the matching "you are being sued" notice, do not destroy a thing.

Check with YOUR lawyer before you rely on this foolish advice

Re:What does this mean for me? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695088)

If you're deleting emails that's stupid, if a customer brings a lawsuit on the company and shows various emails there's no way for you to confirm the validity of them because you deleted them all.

Anything could happen where you need a clear cut "paper trail".

Re:What does this mean for me? (4, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695166)

If your company is publicly held, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 imposes strict requires on document retention, including email. You can't just adopt a policy and stick to it. If your policy is not in compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, you will be in big trouble should anyone sue you and ask for email or other documents that should have been retained.

Whatever happened to the marketing department? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694818)

The one thing Microsoft were always great at was marketing. Now, apart from the mess they've already got themselves into, they're still not seizing the great way out that's been presented to them. All they have to do is give away some vouchers that are only useful if you have Vista (that's basically how class action lawsuits end) and make a big splash out of how the only problems with Vista were the substandard hardware originally approved for it when in fact to get the power of Vista you need the latest kit. This is easy stuff. Anyone should see it. Why the hell would they think they're better of pretending that the crap performance people are seeing is Vista working properly? That isn't going to make them a penny.

Re:Whatever happened to the marketing department? (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694962)

Because big corporations have a vested interest in never admitting they're wrong until a jury of their peers says so, and even then they keep trying to spin it in their favor. The lengths they go to does get pretty insane sometimes.

Oh call it what it is.... (1, Redundant)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694832)

Bait and switch.

Re:Oh call it what it is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695210)

Bait and switch.

Or, for the customer, wait and bitch.

Why didn't they just settle out of court? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694856)

If Microsoft had just settled the lawsuit instead of letting it go to court, wouldn't they have prevented these emails from becoming public record? I thought one of the main strengths of Microsoft (besides their "innovation") is their legal expertise. So why didn't the Microsoft lawyers foresee this as a problem with letting the case go to court?

Irony? (1)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694898)

Can someoen please explain to me the "irony" that the original poster makes reference to?

Re:Irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695396)

Sadly, few understand nowadays what the word irony actually means. This fact is, of course, not ironic at all.

Microsoft values your money (in their pockets) (4, Insightful)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694900)

FTFA:

"Microsoft's interest in avoiding unnecessary litigation costs, preserving the time of its employees, insulating OEMs, wholesalers, and retailers from discovery into confidential pricing policies, and maintaining its goodwill far outweighs the interest of class members in relief they never expected before filing this action," Microsoft said.
Let's analyse this.

On one hand, there's Microsoft keeping money saved on lawsuits and salaries, preventing anyone besides themselves (and probably few of themselves at that) from knowing just how much money they extract from you and trying to seem like a Good Corporate Citizen (TM).

On the other hand, there's your interest in saving the money that Microsoft has only been able to demand because they've been able to keep their pricing scheme secret from you.

Microsoft says that money in their pockets is more important than money in your pockets. Colour me unsurprised.

why stop now? (2, Informative)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695062)

It's just getting interesting.

Am I the only one... (2, Interesting)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695134)

... who thought from the very beginning, having experience with minimum sys reqs and having the ability to see through marketing, that 'capable' meant: It can boot and nothing more?

And BTW (this rule always aplies...): always get informed about a product first before you buy it. I can't say this enough times. There are always products that may have downsides/flaws.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695158)

Indeed... as someone who game on PC a lot, Im used to minimum requirements ("capable") meaning "the game won't crash when you start it up, and thats all you get". So thats what I expected there too, honestly.

I guess the only thing is the marketing swing to it...it wasnt very obvious when you saw a "Capable" sticker that there even WAS a "Designed For" one, as opposed to a game box, where the "recommended" requirements are right next to the "minimum" requirements...

simply as a change in pace (0, Offtopic)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695296)

How about giving kdawson a weekend off?

Definitions (1)

Aegis Runestone (1248876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695346)

The Definition of Vista:

From the Oxford English Dictionary:
Vista, n.

    1. A view or prospect, especially one seen through an avenue of trees or other long and narrow opening.
    2. a. A long narrow opening (esp. one made on purpose) in a wood, etc., through which a view may be obtained, or which in itself affords a pleasant prospect; an avenue or glade.
        b. An open corridor or long passage in or through a large building; an interior portion of a building affording a continuous view.
      c. An opening or passage-way. Obs.1 (Obsolete I think?)
3. fig. a. A mental view or vision of a far-reaching nature.
        b. A view or vision, in prospect or retrospect, of an extensive period of time or series of events, experiences, etc.


I just wanted to point out the "narrow" and "long" parts with "experiences,etc." If we used those words alone, then Vista is a very long and narrow OS, unlike others, even other MS OSes, that were much broader (in capability and compatibility). :P

Re:Definitions (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695616)

I love your definitions, and the way they take point of view into account. If you stop and think about it for a moment, Microsoft's "Vista" and a tapeworm's "vista" have more than a little in common.

I Object... (4, Funny)

tokki (604363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695394)

On the grounds that it makes my client look bad!

hasta la vista (0, Troll)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695470)

Perhaps people should invest all of this effort into learning and improving Linux, instead of relying on Microsoft's monopoly to provide software that isn't really what people want on a mass scale. Too many people are complaining about Vista.

Credibility (1)

ichbineinneuben (1065378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695670)

The funniest and the saddest line in the NYT article came at the end, "Now that Microsoft faces a certified class action, a judge may be the one who oversees the fix. In the meantime, where does Microsoft go to buy back its lost credibility?" This qualifies as news. Microsoft still has credibility to lose?!?
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