updated 02:20 pm EDT, Thu March 26, 2009
Vista Capable Suit Hearing
A lawsuit accusing Microsoft of misleading over its Vista Capable logo program may have renewed life based on the results of a hearing held yesterday. Having previously denied class action status for the original lawsuit because its scope was too broad, US District Judge Marsha Pechman now says she will issue a ruling next week on whether the case can go forward using a narrower class of plaintiffs. The case would now include just those who either qualified for an upgrade from Windows Vista to XP separately or else who bought Vista Capable PCs whose graphics weren't capable of Aero Glass and thus couldn't handle the full feature set.
The plaintiffs further attempt to head off attempts by Microsoft to obtain a summary dismissal judgment against them by noting that Judge Pechman had already said some of the complaints regarding the logo were legitimate.
Microsoft was originally sued in 2007 for allegedly providing artificially low specifications for PCs that would qualify for the Vista Capable mark, persuading many users to buy PCs in late 2006 that were too slow to run the OS and accordingly inflate Microsoft's Windows sales for the crucial holiday season. E-mail discovered as part of the case has shown Microsoft to have deliberately lowered specs, though they suggest that the software developer was under pressure from Intel to include a low-end mainboard chipset in the program and preserve hardware sales at a time when a necessary upgrade wasn't ready.