Microsoft’s attempt to give Vista’s popularity a boost back in 2006 appears to have backfired, as a federal judge has given class-action status to a lawsuit against Microsoft for allegedly misleading consumers into buying “Vista capable” PCs, even though the PCs couldn’t run some of the OS’ most important features.

The PCs were loaded with XP, and could be upgraded to Vista when it shipped. However, the catch was that they could only run the bare-bones Windows Vista Home Basic, which doesn’t deliver the Vista experience users were likely anticipating. In fact, the stripped-down variant of the OS can’t run Aero, Windows Media Center, and a lot else.

Sure, a lot of new PC owners felt burned but is Microsoft alone to blame? After all, the company sent out the system requirements to computer manufacturers, and it was companies such as Dell, HP, and others that put the labels on their machines.