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Monday, February 25, 2008

Who is guilty, Microsoft or OEMs

This is a comment published today in PC World about a Federal Judge in Seattle who gave the OK to a class-action suit against Microsoft for distributing "Windows Vista Compatible" or capable labels.  

A federal judge in Seattle, Washington has given a lawsuit filed against Microsoft for its "Windows Vista Compatible" labeling program an important thumbs ups ensuring the case will move forward as a class-action.

The gist of the case is this: before Windows Vista was released, during the 2006 holiday shopping season computer manufacturers put "Windows Vista Compatible" stickers on computers that fit the hardware requirements for Windows Vista.

The catch was that most of those computers only fit the minimum system requirements for the most basic version of Vista (Vista Basic). Naturally, customers who bought a Vista compatible PC were disappointed when they found that higher-end versions of Vista didn't work. So mad was Washington residents Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen which filed a lawsuit against Microsoft alleging the Vista capable stickers were misleading.

In another part of the comment, the author says:

New PC owners were burned because they didn't do their research before buying a computer. Why aren't the lawyers going after the PC manufacturers who put those labels on their PCs? After all Microsoft does not actually manufacture computers.

So... who is guilty, Microsoft or OEMs? To be or not to be. Was the Windows Vista Capable label misleading?