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Microsoft Sued Over Vista Marketing 556

Posted by Zonk
from the my-toaster-is-vista-capable dept.
daviddennis writes "According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a lawsuit alleges that Microsoft engaged in deceptive practices by letting PC makers promote hardware as 'Windows Vista Capable' even though they knew it could not run most of Vista's widely-promoted features. Microsoft responds by saying that the differences have been promoted with one of the most extensive marketing pushes in company history. 'In sum, Microsoft engaged in bait and switch -- assuring consumers they were purchasing Vista Capable machines when, in fact, they could obtain only a stripped-down operating system lacking the functionality and features that Microsoft advertised as Vista ... As a result, the suit said, people were buying machines that couldn't run the real Vista.'"
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Microsoft Sued Over Vista Marketing

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:15PM (#18592263)
    1 GB ram is the minimum for a responsive experience with windows .. especially with the required anti-virus running.

    The should start off at 1GB. PC makers lose credibility selling systems with less than that because the experience is going to suck.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Barny (103770)
      That's intriguing. I am able to run a vista with "a few" things turned off (the "required" anti virus you mention, windows 2k interface, indexing, etc) idling on 270M of ram.

      Yes with all the bells, and a lot of the whistles turned on, its a memory hog, but then so is XP once you load up your AV of choice, firefox faststart, google desktop and throw window blinds onto it.

      Theres bloat there, of course, but it is mainly the interface and the extras, at its core (you know, the new driver model, dx10, etc) its o
      • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:39PM (#18592747)
        idling on 270M of ram.

        I lol'd.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Gr8Apes (679165)
        You do realize you can get XP running under 60MB of RAM, right? In a Parallels VM you can hit about 43MB.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:00PM (#18593163) Homepage Journal

        at its core (you know, the new driver model, dx10, etc) its only a little bigger than its predecessor.

        Exactly. The fact that Vista is ANY bigger than its predecessor tells me everything I need to know about it. Do you think Microsoft is serving customer demands when it makes each successive operating system bigger and requiring more resources? Do you think customers are demanding that a computer should slow down just because you upgraded your operating system?

        I've got a brand new PC that's right in the sweet spot for Vista performance. Yet, Windows XP runs faster and better on it than Vista. So how can anyone possibly say that Vista is "better"?

        The entire PC industry is so tied to Microsoft that they don't have to even pretend to make each operating system better than the one before. All they have to do is get the PC makers to sign contracts saying that they'll put Windows on all of their new computers. Then, they sell big organizations on the idea that they need the latest software, which requires the latest OS, which requires a faster computer.

        Net benefit to consumers? Negative. We are the consumables.
        • by MBGMorden (803437) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:06PM (#18593273)
          So by your definition every single OS that comes out should use less resources than it's predecessor?

          Damn. I guess 640k IS all the RAM anyone should ever need . . .
          • by SL Baur (19540) <steve@xemacs.org> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:44PM (#18593989) Homepage Journal

            So by your definition every single OS that comes out should use less resources than it's predecessor?
            I think that's generally a fair assessment for any piece of software. Smaller, faster and the feature set should be designed such that the user can make things go away that he doesn't need. Doable if you have capable programmers as in the XEmacs development community.
            • by Weh (219305) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @05:25PM (#18594903)
              look at modern cars; Are engines becoming more efficient? yes they are. Are the constructive aspects of the cars more efficient? yes they are. Are the materials being used becoming lighter? yes they are. But do cars today consume less fuel than 10 or 20 years ago? No they don't... Why? because the average car is much heavier and thus needs a larger engine; people want the car padded with airbags, power everything (including ashtray covers) steel beams for side impact protection, etc. etc. and they still want the car to accelerate like a sports car. Moral of the story, when technology advances it is used for more comfort, not for more efficiency.
              • by TuringTest (533084) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @06:04PM (#18595623) Journal
                Cars marketed to Europe do consume less fuel, even with all the airbags and electronic controllers. When the major maintenance cost is the power supply, efficiency is a priority. Moral of the story, American car market does not care about fuel consumption - until now they've had an unlimited cheap supply.
                • by Weh (219305) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @06:23PM (#18595937)
                  maybe they have slightly, compare the fuel consumption of an entry level vw golf for example;


                  1974 golf fuel consumption
                  petrol (1093 cc, 750 kg) 8.5l/100km
                  diesel (1588 cc, 820 kg) 6.7 l/100km

                  2003 golf fuel consumption
                  petrol (1390 cc, 1164 kg) 6.8 l/100km
                  diesel (1588 cc, 1227 kg) 5.3 l/100km


                  The consumption has gone down a bit but in more than 30 years you'd expect a bit more.
                  • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                    by TeXMaster (593524)
                    A 30% mileage increase with a car that weights 50% more (74 vs 02 diesel) is a pretty good advancement, if you ask me.
                    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                      by ozmanjusri (601766)
                      Interesting that you said "the market" decides

                      Actually, what I said was that in a monopoly situation, the vendor decides what consumers get. That's what's wrong with the OS market at the moment.

                      As to the rest of your question, "the market" is a collective name for consumers and vendors, and the balance they negotiate between themselves. Advertising is a tool used by vendors to persuade consumers to want their product, so demand is always what the consumer really wants.

                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by TheNetAvenger (624455)
                  Like fossil fuels, are we running out of materials to make RAM already?

                  Damn, just when computers started to get interesting...
                  (j/k) :)

                  BTW the Parent Post is 100% right about the European car markets.

                  Americans would be shocked to see the differences, just take the GM (USA) and Opel (Belgium) for example (technically, the same company), and the differences in standard fuel mileage, saftey features, etc are staggering.

                  There even a few performance geared Opel models that I wish GM would offer in the US, as they
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Rimbo (139781)
              Or Apple's OS X, for that matter.
          • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:44PM (#18593991) Journal
            A new version is supposed to have new features, eventually at a performance cost.
            A new version is supposed to have at least the same functionalities as the previous versions.
            When using exactly the same functionalities as the previous version, one could expect the new version to take less resource or at least, to not take more.

            In my company that's what our clients require.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          "I've got a brand new PC that's right in the sweet spot for Vista performance. Yet, Windows XP runs faster and better on it than Vista. So how can anyone possibly say that Vista is "better"?"

          Simple: If Vista has a feature (yes, I'm being hypothetical here...) that XP doesn't have and it makes the computer more useful, it's better. If application performance is your sole measurement of the 'better-ness' of an OS, then you aren't doing much more than making a bunch of noise.
      • Yes with all the bells, and a lot of the whistles turned on, its a memory hog, but then so is XP once you load up your AV of choice, firefox faststart, google desktop and throw window blinds onto it.

        RTFAS (Read The Fucking Article Summary)

        The point is that MS advertises those bells and whistles, and then goes and brands computers as Vista compatible that cannot do those things.

        If MS says 'Vista has X', and then says 'This computer supports Vista', that computer damn well better be able to do X, or, like the lawsuit asserts, there's false advertising somewhere going on.

  • by operagost (62405) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:17PM (#18592307) Homepage Journal

    Vista Home Basic includes the "core experience," which means Microsoft admits that the rest is useless window dressing.

    Hey... which version comes without the DRM feature?

  • by namityadav (989838) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:17PM (#18592313)

    Among other things, Microsoft created the additional designation of Windows Vista "Premium Ready" to indicate that a machine was capable of running the operating system's advanced features, meeting premium hardware requirements including a full gigabyte of system memory. That "premium" designation was made available for PC makers and retailers to use in places such as computer boxes and in-store marketing materials, said Mike Burk, a Windows product manager. Microsoft also detailed the hardware requirements for the various Windows Vista versions in places including its own Web site. However, the distinction wasn't made in the general "Windows Vista Capable" stickers. The suit alleges that it was deceptive to include that logo on machines not capable of running all the features Microsoft was touting as capabilities of Windows Vista in general.
    If the PC can run Vista (Aero is not Vista), then it can say it's Vista capable. What's wrong with that? I am also a Linux user and MS basher (Like much of Slashdot), but this is just stupid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rainman_bc (735332)

      I am also a Linux user and MS basher (Like much of Slashdot), but this is just stupid.
      Me too - just because I am running Gnome on my Linux box doesn't mean that because I am lacking XGL and Beryl/Compiz functionality I'm not running Gnome on Linux. Aero != Vista
      • by Coryoth (254751) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:55PM (#18593055) Homepage Journal

        Me too - just because I am running Gnome on my Linux box doesn't mean that because I am lacking XGL and Beryl/Compiz functionality I'm not running Gnome on Linux. Aero != Vista
        I believe the difference here is that Gnome doesn't have all its advertising show off the cool 3D effects available from Beryl/Compiz. The issue is that Microsoft is playing both sides here: they advertise Vista based on its fancy new UI, and then advertise "Vista Capable machines" that offer none of the features for which they are advertising Vista with. If I advertise my hamburgers as having 1/2 a pound of beef, and also have advertisements saying that my salads come with a free hamburger (not mentioning that the free hamburger is a McDonalds hamburger) then the advertising is being deceptive. Sure, both ads are technically true, but in conjucction they are designed to mislead.

        It is true that the machines are technically Vista Capable in that they can run, and the features MS advertises for Vista are features that Vista has. However, the machines that are Vista Capable are not capable of running what MS is advertising Vista to be. Sure, both ads are technically true, but in conjunction they are designed to mislead.
        • by pkulak (815640) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:20PM (#18593545)
          I shouldn't let this bother me. I'm on /. now. It's my job to be repetitive. My job. My job. Repetitiveness is my job.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mymaxx (924704)
          Your hamburger analogy is flawed. The correct analogy would be to advertise that your hamburgers can come with 1/2 pound of beef, double cheese, etc. and then advertise that if you buy a salad you will get the basic hamburger. Is it your fault that customers don't check into what a basic hamburger means? Every manufacturer advertised that Windows XP Home upgraded to Windows Vista Home Basic. If you bought a machine with an Express Upgrade to Vista Home Premium then you bought one that could run the Aero ef
      • by Jim_Maryland (718224) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:04PM (#18593231)
        Aero != Vista but the Microsoft "Wow" marketing campaign certainly highlights it.

        Go through the interactive demo for MS Vista "Wow starts now" [microsoft.com] and click on the "Easier" link (magnifying glass). Funny how the "3D flip" feature is displayed here without any sort of qualification on the product level or hardware level needed to use it. Even automobile advertisements include a note showing that some features are not "base model". While it may be obvious to advanced computer users that these features will require more system resources, the average PC user is not so educated to understand that the low end Dell they bought can't run the "Wow".
    • s/suite/suit
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zappepcs (820751)
      The whole thing makes the 'upgrade' to Linux (pick your distro) a whole lot more palatable!

      Seriously, while this suit might be a bit stupid, it sure makes F/OSS sound damned good!
    • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:23PM (#18592447) Homepage Journal
      Unfortunately, you are correct. There was nothing in their promotions that indicated "Capable" at a certain productivity or usability level. If the machine says "Vista Capable" and it runs any version of Vista - then it's Vista Capable. MS is just taking advantage of consumers' inability to interpret what is stated... just like someone complaining about a store sale that says up to 50% off - "Why is this only 10% off?" - "Because it says UP TO 50%".
    • M$ was pushing areo as big thing.
      • by Anivair (921745) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:33PM (#18592623)
        Agreed. Aero is not vista, but MS never really mentioned that in their advertising, did they? As far as the public knew Aero did not exist. it was all just "vista". I actually concur with the article. I think this case has merit. Not just because I want to see MS go down, but also because I'm sick of bait and switch advertising in technology. I also want to see someone sue a video game company for advertising a game showing all cut scenes with no real gameplay. I hate that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DarthChris (960471)

      Aero is not Vista
      The key question here is, how many people will be unable to make that distinction? As I understand it, if all the eye candy is disabled then Vista will run satisfactorily on any XP-capable machine.
    • M$ was pushing Aero as a big thing in vista to point of having it on by default of low end on board video cards ruining on systems where it will slow the system down a lot.
    • by jdray (645332)
      I've got no mod points, so will post an agreement. If people are pissed about a PC vendor's advertising practices, then they should go after the PC vendor, not the OS vendor that "allowed them" to say something about their own product. This is a simple case of MS-haters wanting to find a way to stick it to the OS vendor anyway they can. Two things we need (among others) in this country are a) people who take responsibility for their own (purchasing) choices, and b) companies that back what they advertise
    • by ClaraBow (212734) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:42PM (#18592785)
      If the PC can run Vista (Aero is not Vista), then it can say it's Vista capable. What's wrong with that?

      The problem is that Vista is all about the WOW, so if you don't get the WOW, you don't get Vista. Can you imagine getting home with a brand new machine and turning it on and not seeing the WOW?.

      I'd be mad and mislead!

    • by a.d.trick (894813) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:46PM (#18592879) Homepage

      If the PC can run Vista (Aero is not Vista), then it can say it's Vista capable. What's wrong with that? I am also a Linux user and MS basher (Like much of Slashdot), but this is just stupid.

      Because whenever Microsoft advertises Vista, they always showcase Aero. Therefore, consumers have been lead to believe that they are the same.

    • Yep... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mobby_6kl (668092)
      What kind of new (or 1 year old) computer can't run all Vista features? For fuck's sake, Aero works fine on Intel GMA graphics chips! 512 megs of RAM will also be enough for most day to day tasks like office work or web browsing. And they don't even make processors as slow as the one I ran Vista on (with all features), a 2.6 @ 2.8 Ghz Northwood P4.

      So... if the plaintiffs claim that the computers were advertised as being able to run Vista with all features, then I'm 99.99% sure the computer can run Vista wit
  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:19PM (#18592355) Journal

    assuring consumers they were purchasing Vista Capable machines when, in fact, they could obtain only a stripped-down operating system lacking the functionality and features that Microsoft advertised as Vista
    don't they get a stripped down operating system anyway?
  • by muntumbomoklik (806936) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:19PM (#18592365)
    The fact is that the vast majority of users don't need a hog like Vista for anything they don't already use XP for, making an incentive to upgrade almost nonexistent aside from having the latest Shiny New Thing(tm). Making Vista seem more attractive would be the only way to get grandma to pay $500 just to be able to send the same emails at the same speed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mdielmann (514750)
      I agree with most of your post, but please explain to me what makes you think Vista can send email as fast as XP.
  • by Glowing Fish (155236) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:20PM (#18592375) Homepage
    I think that Microsoft is being wrongly sued in this, and I bet the suit will be thrown out quickly enough.

    Basically, what it seems to be is a consumer thought that "Windows Vista Capable" meant that the computer would be able to do all the pretty things that Microsoft portrayed in ads.

    To me, this is a little bit like suing because even after buying a bag of chocolate chips, you couldn't make cookies that look as nice as the ones on the package. Or even, for that matter, that even after buying an SUV, you are not suddenly scaling mountains in the wilderness.

    I don't think that Microsoft was concealing anything. They were advertising a product with its niftiest features, but I think that about 15 minutes of research would have let someone know that they couldn't use the Aero interface. Microsoft used marketing and advertising to make their product look the best, that isn't the same as cheating someone.
    • by Volante3192 (953645) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:37PM (#18592707)
      They were advertising a product with its niftiest features, but I think that about 15 minutes of research would have let someone know that they couldn't use the Aero interface.

      Me thinks you put too much faith in the ability of US consumers to do 'research.'

      This is the same country that sues fast food places because they didn't know fast food is fattening and unhealthy, despite needing only 15 minutes of research to tell them what large quantities of saturated fat and sodium would do to the human body.
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:37PM (#18592711) Homepage

      Basically, what it seems to be is a consumer thought that "Windows Vista Capable" meant that the computer would be able to do all the pretty things that Microsoft portrayed in ads.

      Well, people assumed that certification meant they could run Vista. It didn't say "Mostly Windows Vista Capable". It didn't say "Windows Vista Capable Without Aero". It simply said it was 'capable' of running Vista, which doesn't imply a subset.

      There were so damned many versions of Vista, people were relying on that sticker to know if the machine was worth running Vista on. Finding out that you can run the crippled version on your new machine you just forked money over for is probably not what consumers were expecting. If professionals in the industry haven't been entirely clear on what macine resources you need, your average consumer doesn't stand a chance of sorting this crap out.

      Or even, for that matter, that even after buying an SUV, you are not suddenly scaling mountains in the wilderness.

      Well, except that in those SUV ads they have little wee fine print at the bottom of the screen which says the vehicle isn't actually being offered as something which scales wilderness mountains, and that you shouldn't try to replicate what you see.

      In the case of Vista, people have been told to expect all of this shinyness, they've been told that their machines are capable of doing it, and then they're discovering that sticker means "well, you can sorta kinda mostly do the stuff we claimed, but all of the good reasons to buy Vista aren't actually implied by that sticker -- that was just a marketing campaign".

      Microsoft used marketing and advertising to make their product look the best, that isn't the same as cheating someone.

      Some of us would argue those two things are one and the same. ;-)

      Cheers
    • I think it's more like the car commercials where someone's backing into a parking place, and the caption says "Professional driver. Closed course. Do not attempt", while the narrator is saying "...with available (meaning optional) blahblah...".
    • by div_2n (525075) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:39PM (#18592749)
      To me, this is a little bit like suing because even after buying a bag of chocolate chips, you couldn't make cookies that look as nice as the ones on the package.

      No, this is like buying "ready to bake" cookies only to find you have to add eggs in order to bake them. Well, you didn't buy eggs while you were at the store because you thought they are ready to bake as the bag advertises. Sure you could try to bake them without the eggs, but you aren't getting the full cookie experience you expected.

      but I think that about 15 minutes of research would have let someone know that they couldn't use the Aero interface

      It isn't the job of the consumer to research whether an advertisement means what it says. That's why there are consumer protection laws in the first place. Not everyone is capable of figuring out how to do such research. Now if you want to the computer that runs Aero the best, then sure that is the job of the consumer to do their homework.

      If the stickers say "Vista Capable" then they should be Vista capable and not some smaller subset which provides minimal functionality. If you can't see why that's deceptive, then you don't fully understand what the word means. [reference.com]

    • by porkThreeWays (895269) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:43PM (#18592813)
      A couple of my friends work retail doing geeksquid/firedog type work and I would say customers were mislead. There are a certain number of machines that were sold as vista compatible that don't have vista drivers yet. They are fast enough to run vista, but in their current state won't fully function. I would say that is misleading. A significant number of machines they have to flat out turn away for the time being until they are confident they won't hose the customers machines. Also, it wasn't made clear that Vista would have a new feature model as previous versions only had Home and Professional. I think if you are going to change your model that drastically it should be made clear that is the case. Saying it is "Vista compatible" is misleading and should have been advertised "Vista Version X compatible". Even if the customer had no clue the new feature model at least they were told upfront what they were or weren't getting. Illegal? Maybe. Underhanded and misleading to the point it could win a civil suit? Most definitely.
    • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:55PM (#18593065) Homepage

      Actually, what you say is why this suit's unlikely to be simply thrown out. As you said, MS advertised only the versions with the niftiest features. Not a peep in the ads about anything lower down on the scale. And one thing courts have done over the years, in response to games with the fine print is to say "The product is what the advertising says it is.". That's why, in car ads, when they quote the "starting from $X" price you always see, in type that's not too much smaller, an "as shown, $Y" after it. A couple of dealerships ran ads that showed the top-of-the-line luxury variant with all the extras, and then said "starting from $X" where the price they advertised was for the bottom-end stripped-down variant. And when a couple of consumers sued, the judge said "You showed that model. You said it started at $X. You didn't mention or show any other models, nor mention anything about that $X price not being for the model shown. So the consumers have every right to assume that that $X starting price applies to that car exactly as you advertised it.". So in this case it's quite possible that the courts will say that Vista with Aero and all the bells and whistles was what Microsoft advertised, none of the advertising made any mention of lower-end versions or lack of Aero and the bells and whistles, so the buyers are entitled to assume that "Vista Ready" means exactly that: ready to run exactly what Microsoft was advertising, not something that looks completely different and wasn't shown anywhere in the advertising.

  • Saw this coming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geek (5680) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:21PM (#18592389) Homepage
    That's what happens when you market stripped down versions and feature full versions at the same time. It's like being promised a BMW and getting a Honda instead. Most average users don't understand all these differences and the sales person happily told them "Vista will run on it" to make a sale.

    Microsoft may or may not win this one but regardless, the damage is done as far as end users are concerned.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordPhantom (763327)
      That's what happens when you market stripped down versions and feature full versions at the same time. It's like being promised a BMW and getting a Honda instead. Most average users don't understand all these differences and the sales person happily told them "Vista will run on it" to make a sale.

      You see the bolded text up there? That would be why it's not exactly Microsoft's fault.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by PitaBred (632671)
        They needed Microsoft's blessing to put that "Vista Capable" sticker on the machine. It most certainly IS their fault.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      That's what happens when you market stripped down versions and feature full versions at the same time. It's like being promised a BMW and getting a Honda instead.

      No, no it isn't.

      If it was, it would mean the difference between a german piece of shit whose day is long gone, and a finely engineered piece of Japanese machinery that will be relatively reliable (dramatically moreso than the BMW) and hold its value, also unlike the beemer.

      There is no direct automotive metaphor here because the cars don't have d

  • by ktappe (747125) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:22PM (#18592423)

    The suit also alleges that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates contributed to the company's "deceptive marketing" during a Jan. 29 appearance on the "Today" show, when he said that PC users could upgrade to Windows Vista for less than $100. "In fact, one can only 'upgrade' to Home Basic for that price, which Mr. Gates and Microsoft know is a product that lacks the features marketed by Microsoft as being Vista," the suit said.
    It would be interesting to see Bill get deposed on this one. My main question is how long will it take for this to get to court. Class actions are notoriously slow-moving cases. By the time they get there, nobody will care. And any settlement, if history repeats itself, will just be a $50 certificate applicable to the cost of the next version of Windows.
  • Enough! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigtallmofo (695287) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:23PM (#18592445)
    Can everyone please just stop suing everyone?

    I am so sick of lawyers.
    • It's what lawyers do, their sole function. (At least, professionally.) As such, it's in their vested financial interest to make sure that people sue each other as much as possible, even if that means for totally silly reasons.

      As long as they continue to make lots and lots of money for doing so, and as long as our legislators continue to be disproportionately of that profession, it's not likely to change.

      :-(

    • Sure (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tacokill (531275) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @05:45PM (#18595263)
      Sure, we can do that. Just as soon as we work out this whole "social interaction" thing among us humans of different temperaments, talents, and convictions.

      Whether you like it or not, our legal system is a fairly good way to work out disagreements. Yes, it has it's flaws like any system. But, on the whole, it is far better than duking it out with guns, gangs, or otherwise. I would much rather hire an attorney than hire an army.

      If you think America is violent NOW, imagine what it would be like without any "legal", state-recognized way to work out disagreements. Do you really want to be in a system where the biggest gun wins? You would stand absolutely no chance in a system like that.

  • So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LordPhantom (763327) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:24PM (#18592463)
    Look, I hate Windows.

    I run Linux exclusively and in general throw punches at Microsoft when they're valid.....
    ...but the core of an OS is NOT the graphical fluff. They didn't mislead the customers with the "Vista Capable" stickers, the machine IS. If you applied this standard to -any- software it would be in trouble. Take games, for example. "Runs best on ATI"? "System Requirements"? If I ran most FPS games with the bare minimum, my gaming experience with them would be, say, about the same as the users buying stripped down PCs to run Vista. You don't buy a cheap 4-banger and expect a race car, and although the cheaper car can go 70mph, it's not going to feel as nice as a Ferrari doing the same thing.

    • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by PhxBlue (562201) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:29PM (#18592549) Homepage Journal

      ...but the core of an OS is NOT the graphical fluff.

      To most of the people who use computers, there's no difference between the core of an OS and the user interface. It's the software that makes the computer work, and it's not the same software that they thought they'd be able to run when they saw "Vista capable" on the machines.

      That doesn't necessarily mean the suit itself has any merit, but I can definitely see where the customers are coming from.

      • To most of the people who use computers, there's no difference between the core of an OS and the user interface. It's the software that makes the computer work, and it's not the same software that they thought they'd be able to run when they saw "Vista capable" on the machines. That doesn't necessarily mean the suit itself has any merit, but I can definitely see where the customers are coming from. Are you sure about that? And if true, should the customers be required to educate themselves about what
    • So let's keep users like the one mentioned in TFA using Windows. We don't want them touching Linux. No siree. Not in any way, shape or form.
  • Vista vs XP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:28PM (#18592539)
    A recently helped my girlfriends uncle buy a new laptop since he's on the road a lot. We went the normal consumer route and went around town looking for the best deal. As a big Toshiba fan I kept my eye on those. To my surprise everywhere we went offered ONLY vista installed. Problem being when we took the machine home and booted, the machine is dead slow. It's a 2ghz machine with 1gig memory. (Not bad I run my own desktop with less, though I run linux) Just to boot this thing takes 5-10 minutes, and the user experience just blows. I dont blame Toshiba as I've seen and used many of their laptops and never had a problem. Just wish they would let you have XP instead of Vista if you wanted.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by shadow169 (203669)
      I suspect you are referring to the first boot? Yes it does take anywhere from 5-10 minutes strait out of the box, after that the boot time should be much faster. I just got an HP dv9000 notebook myself about a month ago, 2Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB ram, 7200 spin hard drive. When I first turned it on it also took a good 5-10 minutes to get up and running, it had to go through driver detection and all that crap. The image that is put on the machine at the factory is designed for that *series*, not that specific
  • I've got a Toshiba Tecra notebook computer that proudly exclaims "Vista Capable". I'm not planning to put Vista on it but I ran the update advisor anyway. It warned me not to install Vista on it because it would be incompatible with my BIOS and I should get an update from the manufacturer.

    All well and good, but who was making those stickers in the first place? As I recall, it was Microsoft offering them to manufacturers last year as compromise for Vista being late. As of today Toshiba still doesn't have an
  • Anyone been keeping tabs on the laptops at say BestBuy, CompUSA and Fry's and noting that the same old laptops seem to be there, but now they have vister blister AND sporting a price increase? Or, are they keeping the price unchanged, but hoping to move inventory?

  • by peipas (809350) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:30PM (#18592575)
    I bought a monitor that has a "Works with Windows Vista" sticker on it but my Packard Bell still isn't cooperating.
  • by insanemime (985459) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:38PM (#18592731)
    There is another aspect that the lawsuit is most likely going to cover and that is the crippling DRM built into the system. You have people buying supposed HD-ready machines with HD-DVD players and a nice big screen HD Screen and they plug it all up, put in a HD-DVD and...lookie..nothing. If I were to buy a big "Vista Ready" system that one of its main features is to play HD content, and then I find that Vista won't allow it, I would sue too.
  • Perhaps Overblown (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AeroIllini (726211) <aeroillini.gmail@com> on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:40PM (#18592761)
    I'm all for making Microsoft follow the rules, but at what point does this cross the line from "buyer beware" to "deceptive advertising"?

    Car analogy time!

    Car companies use phrases like "starting at $22,900" all the time in their commercials, when we know damn well that if you want power windows, A/C, a CD player, and a decent sized engine, you will be paying significantly more than that price. The "starting at" price is always the most basic model. I don't see any difference between this and advertising "Windows Vista Capable" and only being able to run basic version of Windows Vista. The computer is, in fact, capable of running Windows Vista.

    "But wait!" TFA exclaims. "It can't run ALL of Vista, at least not all the features that Microsoft advertised as being in Vista!"

    So? That same car commercial has the car making hairpin mountain pass turns at 65 miles an hour, probably with custom tires, a beefy engine, and a specially trained driver. Do those things come with the $22,900 car? Certainly not. Why then are these same people not filing suits about the Ford Edge not being able to climb buildings and park on walls?

    I can't see this suit going anywhere. There is a fine line between letting a company advertise their products and forcing them to tell everyone how shitty their stuff is, and this suit crosses it.
  • by DCheesi (150068) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:40PM (#18592765) Homepage
    Is there such a thing as a reverse class-action suit? 'Cause if they're going to sue M$ for this, then they need to include the developers of every PC game ever made!

    Everyone knows that trying to play a game on the minimum hardware is an excercise in frustration and futility. You need at least the recommended specs to run the game decently in most cases.

    Even more to the point, modern games turn off resource-intensive features when running on older PCs; and since much of the hype around the latest FPS is centered on the advanced (read: resource-intensive) graphics, anyone playing "Half-Quake of Doom 37" on an older PC is missing much of the advertised experience. Micro$oft is simply copying the 3D game developers' design/business model, just as they copied the 3D idea itself.
  • by Churla (936633) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:42PM (#18592793)
    All the Linux evangelizers who boast about how low the specs are to run a system on Linux. But then if you want something like, say, any kind of serious DB pushing (SQL), or number crunching suddenly the specs go up?

    Advertising is all about making the most out of the least. If a version of Vista will run on a system, no matter how stripped down, then you get to call it Vista capable.

    By the same point I am , to the best of my knowledge, marathon capable.
    My car is baja rally capable.
    My weenie dog is "burglar killing" capable. (Although the burglar in question would probably have to lay down very still, and rub meat juice on his neck or something)

    Mildly deceptive? probably. Lawsuit worthy? no.
  • by Neil Watson (60859) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:45PM (#18592857) Homepage
    This just in. Buying beer will not attract hot girls. Should we sue brewers? How about cosmetic companies? The makers of weight loss pills? Movie studios for making me pay $20 to see crap?
  • Silver lining (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FauxPasIII (75900) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @03:53PM (#18593029)
    This suit is silly and will probably be thrown out. The best result I can hope for is that hopefully in the future a few of the people bitten by this will be a bit more wary of marketing promises in general and Microsoft in particular.
  • DX10 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:06PM (#18593283)
    Consiering that Vista is really based on DirectX 10 graphics, and the only card that pretends to have it (Nvidia G8800) has virtually unusable Vista drivers, can any system claim to be full Vista Ready?
  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:08PM (#18593327) Homepage
    Matters are further complicated by the fact that what Vista actually is, isn't what they marketed. At least not initially, when they were marketing the beta for apparent years before the actual release. WinFS? And all those other features that'd have made Vista functional? Yeah, they don't exist.
  • Technically... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SleepyHappyDoc (813919) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @04:26PM (#18593631)
    http://www.downloadsquad.com/2007/02/25/installing -windows-xp-pro-on-8mhz-pc-with-20mb-ram/ [downloadsquad.com]

    This machine is capable of running XP...but I wouldn't want to. Microsoft will probably win on the technicalities, but (IMO) ethically, they're in the wrong.
  • From TFA: "Anybody who purchased a PC that had the Windows Vista Capable logo got the core experience of Windows Vista"

    What would that be? Even more annoying pop-ups and lower performance than they got from XP?
  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Tuesday April 03, 2007 @10:09PM (#18598481)
    I actually agree with the general concepts here...

    As anyone can tell from my posting history, I am quick to step in to correct wrong or ignornant comments about the NT architecture and the Slashdot myths of Vista, as most people really have very little technical understanding of either.

    However, Vista Home 'Basic' should NEVER have existed. MS really screwed up here, they should have just made the Business version which doesn't install games and non business features by default and Vista Ultimate for home users. They could have moved their pricing model so that Ultimate was provided at the Home Premium price and not only made more money, but gave users more features and not caused the version confusion that exists.

    Businesses usually get the need for a different version, and the Business version of Vista is a good idea as it doesn't install the 'toys' by default. However, home users should not be put in the position of choosing a version, especially when there are 3 versions for the Home Market.

    (Home Basic = Vista Core without next gen Video subsystem enabled)

    (Home Premium = Vista that meets the needs of 95% of the users) and

    (Ultimate = The complete OS with both business domain features and all the home toys, and the toys that used to be part of the Plus Program.)

    There is no reason the Ultimate License and the Business license couldn't have been available at a comparable price point, and just not screwed with the other versions.

    This is the MS marketing and logic that I refer to as the Steve Ballmer side of thinking, something MS would never have done when he dind't have the control or his mindset in control of things like this.

    I can almost understand Vista Home Premium, but Vista Home Basic truly denies users of most of the features that make Vista a true benefit over XP. Sure the kernel is optimized, the caching is brilliant, new audio, new network, the graphic subsystem sees some benefits even in Vista Home Basic, but by not including the accelerated features of the new GUI subsystem 'aka Aero/Glass' they are screwing users as this is a major performance gain even in desktop applications.

    And don't forget gaming for DX10 that depends on the WDDM/Aero model. So in theory DX10 games running on Home Basic will probably fail, as DX10 expects the full GPU scheduling and GPU memory sharing that is what makes Vista a next generation OS for Gaming and Graphics.

    Sadly one of the desgin goals and beauty of the NT code base was the unified structure for all classes of users and business from the home desktop to the massive servers, all sharing a common modular kernel and code base.

    MS still has this, but their marketing and business idiots screw this up by disecting Vista into 5 versions for just the desktop. Why even keep a common code base, especially if you are going to turn off features in Home Basic that are 'architectural' in nature?

    I hope MS loses and they re-consider the whole Vista versioning mess and at the very least pull Home Basic from ever being sold again.

    Attention Everyone:
    Anyone out there that is actually considering a new computer with Vista installed, DO NOT BUY a computer with anything less than Vista Home Premium installed. PERIOD.

    Fortunately, most of the computers and laptops you find that have Vista preinstalled at places like BestBuy are using Vista Home Premimum.

    It does seem the market has already spoken quite loudly about Home Basic and MFRs and retailers are getting the hint to not even bother with Home Basic already.

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