Microsoft sued over Vista Capable label

By Justin Mann on April 3, 2007, 9:00 PM
I guess Microsoft forgot to put the proper small print under “Vista Capable”, because one irate customer is taking them to court. When she learned her “Vista Capable” machine only met the requirements for Vista Home Basic and not the more demanding requirements of Aero and Vista versions that include it. Does the lawsuit have feet to stand on? Obviously, Microsoft says no:

Microsoft said Monday that the suit wrongly overlooks its efforts to make clear the differences between the different versions. The company "conducted a very broad and unprecedented effort" to help PC makers, retailers and consumers "understand the hardware requirements to run the various flavors of the Windows Vista operating system," said Linda Norman, a Microsoft associate general counsel
Microsoft even has a separate labeling system for machines meeting the requirements for Vista Premium, but according to the lawyers trying the case it is a case of bait and switch – where a “Vista” capable machine should be able to run any version. Does Microsoft really need to go so far as to create individual stickers for each version of Vista and the machines that could run them? I'm certainly no fan of Microsoft's marketing, but on the other hand at one point the user has to take over and do some research themselves.

User Comments: 12

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Julio said:
Agreed, and agreed once more... nevertheless Microsoft should have seen this coming with the creation of Vista "Home Basic". This version of the OS should have never existed.
canadian said:
Home basic does have a purpose, in being just a stripped down version of vista for someone who doesn't want the OS for all the fancy features. But still, the labels are all correct, its Vista Capable, I really hope this case gets dismissed.
buttus said:
I can empathize with the consumer on this one. Although I myself am more then aware of the varriants of Windows Vista, the marketing compaign around the OS launch has use the titling of Vista as a blanket statement. Even the "Wow" commercials do not differentiate between the flavours that are available.Imagine a notebook that says "Acrobat Capable". Does one assume that the entire Acrobat family of products can run on it? Yes. However what happens if only Acrobat reader, or basic can run on the machine and not the Professional version?The lawsuit is nitpicking. It is also basically blaming the lazy nature of the end user in their failure to properly research the OS before the purchase. That being said however I can certainly believe that some consumers are being mislead by shoddy sales people or companies to make the sale by glossing over the asterix that should be on the end of Vista Capable.Does anyone remember when HD first came our and many TV's were branded HD Capable (as opposed to other models which were HD Ready)? And since when did marketing become about the future potential of products anyways?
ravisunny2 said:
This a either a deliberate attempt to mislead the consumer or a major blunder.The basic point is that if 'Microsoft even has a separate labeling system for machines meeting the requirements for Vista Premium', then Microsoft goofed real big.The label on the machine, that only met the requirements for Vista Home Basic, should have said so clearly.Microsoft with its financial muscle & a battery of lawyers, is obviosly going to win.UNLESS, there happens to a Brave Judge, or a Class Action Suit.
IBN said:
The label is misleading and they should be taken to court over it. I am sure there will be or are thousands of families and individuals which will be dissapointed when they find out that they dont have all the features, despite buying the machine with the "Vista Capable" label.I know there are thousands of potential lawsuits of other instances as well. The public are being misled wholesale style and its disgusting that a comapany like Microsoft and others to mislead people like this.
pxshawk said:
So MS distributes a Vista Capable label and a Vista "Premium Ready" label. MS also clearly explains (to their distributors) the requirements for each version.Local computer assembler puts Vista Ready label on a PC that can only support Vista Basic edition.And we think that its MS' fault for not being clear?where is the requirement for the assembler and the salesperson to do their job?I used to sell PCs and if I was in that field right now, the first thing I'd ask a potential customer who is asking about vista, is what version they want.if they don't know the differences, and I'm willing to push a lesser pc on them claiming it will support vista... MS is not liable.that said, I still don't approve of the huge variation in versions available under one product name.I don't see it as intenionally misleading, but its so complicated that it creates an environment where confusion thrives. I think her case is a lawsuit pointed in the wrong direction. she should have returned her pc where she bought it, slapped the salesman that sold it to her, or had the retail establishments owner give her a discount on the proper machine taking it from that salesmans salary if necessary.but no... she aims for the deep pockets, and she'll lose.but enough babbling by mejust my $.02
ravisunny2 said:
"MS also clearly explains (to their distributors) the requirements for each version."Is that quite enough ?
m0nty said:
i think the case should be dismissed.. this suing for any particular reason lark is what keeps prices far higher because of the possibility of litigation. i'm not a fan of microsoft but this is ridiculous.when you buy a house or a car do you just buy it or do you do some research 1st? like have a look at the location, find out what the neighbourhood is like? etc etcmy car is capable of doing 204mph, should i sue BMW because it can only do 155mph due to the engine being electronically limited to that speed? i'm pretty sure that case would be thrown out of court. people should grow up and go earn their money instead of suing people in order to make a quick buck.
mark16_15 said:
Vista capable means capable of running Vista in plain English. If Microslop doesn't make it clear on the box that capable that that doesn't include all versions that is extremely misleading language. How can you expect the salespeople to be responsible to explain this to the buyer when many people don't consult a salesperson before buying the computer. I picked min off a pile of computers and went straight to the checkout stand (of course I had done a lot of research on the web before making my purchase, but that shouldn't be a requiremnt if the labeling is truthful.) Even after all that research, Vista turned out to be much worse than Tech Spot, PC Mag and ZDnet had predicted and after 2 weeks I reformatted my HD and installed XP over my OEM Vista. I think this will help Apple sales imensely.
ThomasNews said:
Hmmm. But can't all these "Vista capable" PCs actually run any version of Vista? Is there anything other than Aero which may or may not work?
Mictlantecuhtli said:
Yes, they can. A Pentium III 450 MHz, 384 MB RAM, Matrox G200 8 MB graphics card, runs Vista Ultimate fine here in my apartment.In my opinion, stickers and labels like "designed for XP" or "Vista capable" should not have been invented.
m0nty said:
[b]Originally posted by mark16_15:[/b][quote]Vista capable means capable of running Vista in plain English. If Microslop doesn't make it clear on the box that capable that that doesn't include all versions that is extremely misleading language. How can you expect the salespeople to be responsible to explain this to the buyer when many people don't consult a salesperson before buying the computer.[/quote]i think it's clear enough. and certainly isn't a problem worth suing over.christ people just want to make a quick buck out of anything these wristwatch says water resistant to 100m. but hell that doesn't mean I can go diving to a depth of 100m.. it means i can goto a depth of 100m with it, but in practice just the action of swimming or moving at that depth will cause more pressure and the watch will fail.. should i sue the watch manufacturer for that?Vista Capable > if a computer can run at least 1 version of Vista then the lable is not misleading!!! how can it be? the fact that the computer can run vista (even the smallest version) is proof that the computer is vista capable!look up the word 'capable' in a dictionary. capable does not have a 'definite' in it's description!!my Pc fails on some of the checks for Vista, mainly in the graphics card area, but yes it will run Vista without problems, but No i will not be able to make use of the most advanced features of Vista.. but non the less my pc is still Vista capable!! end of..the courts should throw this case straight out!!buyers SHOULD do their research and stop moaning when they don't get what they paid for because they never dictated exactly what they wanted in the 1st place. if a buyer said to me i want a PC capable of running vista, that doesn't leave much to go buy.. but if they said they wanted a pc that would run the best vista in all it's glory so to speak, then they would get a machine that will do that. people should stop[ being lazy and actually go out and read somethings before hand.. do you always trust a salesperson anyway? they want the sale (in effect they will tell you what you want to know, but only answer the exact questions you ask them in the 1st place, if you don't say you want it to run vista premium or Aero) then in all fairness they could sell you a pentium 450mhz and you will have got a pc capable of runnin 'A version' of Vista (or a vista capable pc)but i also agree the labels are pointless after the fact..
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