RealTime IT News

'Vista Capable' Lawsuit Will Go Forward

A federal judge in Seattle Tuesday declined to dismiss a consumer's lawsuit against Microsoft who claims that the company's "Windows Vista Capable" logo program was deceptive and misleading.

That means that the suit will go forward for now.

The lawsuit revolves around the logo program that Microsoft instituted last year when it became clear that Vista would not ship to consumers in time for the fall and Christmas PC buying seasons – the point, to keep sales of new PCs from slowing radically as consumers waited for Vista to ship.

In response, Microsoft developed a two-tiered logo program so that consumers who purchased new Windows XP-based systems prior to the delivery of Vista would be assured by a sticker saying that they would be able to upgrade to Vista when it became available in late January 2007.

However, the bottom tier of logo certification – Windows Vista Capable – only assured that a PC would be able to run the bare bones version of Vista, called Vista Home Basic. Many consumers were not aware that meant a PC with that logo sticker would not be able to run some of Vista's new, whizbang visuals, including the Aero user interface – one of the major reasons for buying Vista in many consumers' eyes.

Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman denied Microsoft's request to dismiss the suit on two of the grounds the company's attorneys were attacking, but took a third issue under consideration.

The lawsuit was filed in April by Dianne Kelley of Camano Island north of Seattle. She was later joined by a second consumer, and the plaintiffs are seeking to have their suit upgraded to "class action" status.

"This is the first step in the process and we welcome the opportunity to put our case to the court in due course," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement e-mailed to internetnews.com.

If the case is not dismissed or terminated via a settlement in the meantime, it is currently slated for a tentative trial date of October 28, 2008.