back to article Judge strips MS 'Vista Capable' lawsuit of class action status

Microsoft scored a major win in the ongoing “Vista Capable” lawsuit yesterday after a US federal judge ruled that the case no longer warranted class action status. Judge Marsha Pechman said that each PC buyer who claims to have been hoodwinked by Microsoft’s Vista marketing campaign has to bring their own legal action if they …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Bought and paid for....

    M$ lawyers can be proud of themselves...

  2. dervheid

    A dead duck then?

    Looks that way.

    If you can't get any money out of the monster, stop putting money IN, people!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    America definitely has the best judges money can buy..

    I am implying nothing.. what you infer is your own business.

    AC because...

  4. Greg

    Well that's a bit poor

    But this does all come down to your definition of "capable," or "capable of running x." I'm willing to bet some of the crappy old machines I've got lying around would run Vista. They'd run it at a speed about that of permafrost movement, but they'd run it. So technically, they're Vista capable, right?

    We've got some first-generation Vista machines around the office. Half a gig of RAM and Vista basic. They run it, but all I hear from their users is how slow the machines are, and how they randomly lock up for several minutes at a time. More RAM is on the way...

  5. thomas k.


    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. Aero is certainly easier on the eyes than that gawdawful XP.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    .. in this case ms arn't in the wrong (i can't imagine how many linux/apple boys are now foaming at the mouth at me saying that). The machines were capable of running vista. Next they will be complaining cause they got crysis and it runs on there machine, but doesn't have the post processing effects cause they only have the minimum required specs!

  7. the spectacularly refined chap

    Making a rod for your own back

    Affected users can use this to punish Microsoft (assuming they can be bothered of course). If enough users bring individual cases MS will end up paying out far more in legal costs than if they had simply settled the class action.

  8. Lager And Crisps
    Jobs Horns

    Well, what did you expect...?

    I think what you are seeing here is just how much money Microsoft put into lawyers and advertising rather than research and development (and yes I am aware a recent shareholder revolt on the supposed frivolous expenditure on R and D that lead to nothing profitable).

    And to Microsoft's apologist in residence (Anonymous Coward, never was a moniker so apt), people do get mighty ticked off when they see that the law of the land can be bought by the corporate elite. Civil or criminal, the outcome sold to the highest bidder.

  9. TimNevins
    Gates Horns

    Divide and Conquer

    What do you expect in a country that now wears corruption as a badge of honour?

    When a country becomes morally bankrupt (and then ethically bankrupt) then be sure that financial bancruptcy is not far behind.

    MS is untouchable because the NSA have marked it as so as part of its GWoT

    MS is allowed free rein and in return MS use Windows as a backdoor into (almost) every PC around the world for the spooks.

    Plenty of trade secrets/corporate espionage have probably been made available to the spooks as part of this cosy agreement.

    So the ability to spy on almost every PC in the world outweighs the odd user who has been hoodwinked into buying a barely capable PC for the shipped OS.

    Billy boy because the Back Helicopters icon is gone :(

  10. Robert Pogson


    Now, instead of one Vista-Incapable suit there could be 100 million. That should finish M$.

    What was the judge thinking? hundreds of millions of copies sold and there is no class???

  11. Mike

    Linux capable

    Oh yes, all PCs are "Linux capable", oh you wanted to run your wireless pcmcia card x? oh yes you can, it's Linux capable, I'll even give you the source code to complile, trevor from bulgaria wrote a patch for it, oh yes don't forget to to set --X-pass-7bit-arseitch-Opt55=HexOverflowHack or it won't work, oh yes and you'll need the extra include files, I'll give you the web site reference, they're probably still up and running, apt get this apt get that, yes you can use your TV tuner card, just put a copy of the bios in folder Z and it will load it on boot, oh that doesn't work... strange, it's meant to, perhaps you should consult the support people... oh dear....

    Imagine if these moaners were "sold" a Linux system instead (like the woman who bought the Dell PC) would they a. give up and install windows or b. try and sue somebody? some people have no perspective.

  12. Major N

    I hate myself but...

    As much as I hate to say it, I am pleased with this, as I don't think Microsoft did anything wrong here - the machines were capable of running the OS. I'm not a fan of Vista personally, but, as someone said above, I suppose it comes down to the definition of 'Capable', as well as proving the point that it was reasonable to assume that capable meant able to run the most resource hungry parts of the premium edition (I personally think not, and also people should have done some research). Since it did not state "Vista Premium Capable", there is no case to answer, except the inevitable slap on the wrist for not making it clearer.

    You could compare it to cars, in a somewhat bad analogy, I grant - Whilst a Citroen 2CV and a Ferrari are both "Motorway Capable", you wouldn't expect the cheaper 2CV to compete with the Ferrari.

  13. Hombre sin nombre

    Vista is Vista by any other name

    Vista Home Basic is still Vista after all. Any box with a half gig of ram and a 2Ghz processor is really 'Vista capable'. The stickers didn't say Vista Ultimate capable or anything like that.

    Next people will be mad that their prebuilt gaming PCs won't run Crysis at 16x AA.

  14. Sandmich

    Chicken and Egg

    Doesn't someone have to buy Vista before they can be scammed by it? I'm sure that a dearth of plaintiffs with standing is what led to the stripping of class action status.

  15. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Rabid Capitalism Sinking further into the MIre ..... Truth Quicksands

    Is that a running scared, tacit admission of guilt, with the very real likelihood of them losing in Open Court and/or a slap on the wrists for "ambulance chasing" lawyers?

  16. Nicholas Ettel
    Thumb Down


    I'm not a Microsoft fan at all - not at all. However, playing Devil's Advocate, those stickers only said "Vista Capable," not "Vista Premium plus the Aero interface Capable." And technically, those machines COULD run Windows Vista... albeit maybe the most basic version sans Aero, but still Windows Vista. Was it shifty marketing? Absolutely, what else do you expect? Was it illegal? No.

  17. Corrine

    Mixed feelings

    I'm disappointed that Microsoft won't have to bankrupt itself paying people off for the Vista Capable debacle. But personal feelings aside, I'm forced to admit the judge is right. The majority of people who got vista capable notebooks probably don't *want* Vista. And some of the ones who do are probably OK with Vista Basic (its cheaper after all) So a class action suit isn't really appropriate.

  18. Kevin Bailey


    If this wasn't a class action suite then someone please tell me what is?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    I knew it

    I said it while this whole thing was going on a couple times here on El Reg that this is what would happen. M$ has pockets deep enough to make the Marianas trench look like a pot hole in the street. I knew this wouldn't ever materialize into a suite that could really squeeze MS, and now today with the finest judge money can buy it comes true.

    Oh well it made for some nice wishful thinking for a while.

  20. John O'Hare
    Paris Hilton


    " Imagine if these moaners were "sold" a Linux system instead (like the woman who bought the Dell PC) would they a. give up and install windows or b. try and sue somebody? some people have no perspective."

    You are so right.

    Looks like not all MS apologists respond as 'anonymous coward'.

    My 'perspective' would be c) customer happily runs Ubuntu linux, has no viruses, all their hardware works out of the box and at a very nice pace as well. Customer then trades in the unused Vista licence at the newly opened MS Store around the corner to get their MS tax back.

  21. Walter Brown
    Black Helicopters



    maybe your psychotic illusions has affected your sight too, because the black helicopter icon is alive and well...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re : Disapointing

    "If this wasn't a class action suite then someone please tell me what is?"

    A hotel room in Bangkok?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    HD Ready

    How is PC labeled as "Vista Capable" any different to TVs being labeled as "HD Ready"? Neither of which says you are given that function (Vista or HD), just that if you CHOOSE to buy the option (Vista, or Sky HD etc) its guaranteed to work, I don't think they have a leg to stand on, and rightly so.

  24. kain preacher

    MS tax

    Can some show me this so called windows tax ???

    I'm looking at Dells web page and Ubuntu Is cheaper then Vista. yes it's the same specs,51800~0~1932545&page=1

  25. Anonymous Coward

    No Lawsuit against M$ will go anywhere

    in the US of A. M$ owns too many politicians/judges there for there to be any other outcome. Makes me sad though, this obvious miscarriage of justice.

    I see above people are agreeing that this should not be a class action suit. I disagree as any advertisements for Vista that I saw always showed Vista with all the eye-candy and I don't recall the adds going into any depth about the 6 or 8 levels? of Vista. So I disagree with those who think this is not class actionable, I believe that those adds were purposefully misleading.

  26. Rex Alfie Lee

    Judge is a Moron

    This judge is just another M$ sweetheart. While the truth is that anyone with half a tech brain should no what the constraints are the truth is that even within the tech-world there are those who don't understand hardware that well & with the ongoing changes that are occurring within the hardware industry on a moment-by-moment basis the truth is that not everyone truly understands. The fact is that M$ did mislead people. The vast majority of the population do not understand what memory is as opposed to a hard drive let alone the CPU. As far as video card capability is concerned their understanding is zero, zip, nuffin. I'd bet the judge has problems with this stuff & so when M$ played him he was hooked completely.

    The vast majority of people are over 30 years of age & in fact the majority are over 40. For those over 50, there was never a computer at school, the first I ever saw was just a large calculator with one memory space & about 10" square. How would these people unless they had spent several years focussed on computing know anything about the hardware. They're told they can have an upgrade of memory but do they actually know what the memory does? Most of them have not a clue. Many of those over 40 have minimal knowledge. My partner of 45 requires a computer for her business. It has taken her 3 years to learn how to create a word document. She hardly realises the difference between saving a file on the hard drive as opposed to saving it on a USB drive. She just doesn't get it. I'm not criticising her but what I am saying is that there are many people like this who just don't get it at all.

    The judge is wrong.

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