‘Vista Capable’ Lawsuit Neutered In Win For Microsoft


A victory for Microsoft (MSFT) in the “Vista capable” lawsuit, that nuisance action that saw Steve Ballmer deposed. A US District judge has stripped the plaintiffs of their “class-action” status, saying only individual consumers can sue Microsoft for alleged “deception,” cutting the legs out from under the case.

We’ve written about the case in greater detail before, but the crux is Microsoft, apparently as a favour to Intel (INTC), certified some low-grade PCs as ready-for-upgrade to Windows Vista in order to boost holiday 2006 computer sales and clear out inventories of soon-to-be outdated chips.

Turns out the “Vista capable” computers weren’t really capable of running Vista (or at least Vista’s more advanced features), something some Windows execs predicted and complained about internally.

On one level, we sympathize with the plaintiffs — branding low-end PCs “Vista capable” while there was still powerful internal dissent over what Vista’s minimum specs should be was hardly Microsoft’s finest moment. But then, that’s merely one error of many in the trainwreck that was Windows Vista.

Rather than suing Microsoft because a “Vista capable” computer couldn’t run Aero, might we suggest the free market option? There are other computers available that don’t run Windows. Apple (AAPL) makes a decent one — for anyone convinced they’ve been burned by Microsoft, might be worth looking into.