Vista Capable Suit Downgraded to "Home Basic" from "Class Action Ultimate"
In sum, Microsoft engaged in bait and switch–assuring consumers they were purchasing ‘Vista Capable’ machines when, in fact, they could obtain only a stripped-down operating system lacking the functionality and features that Microsoft advertised as ‘Vista.'”
— Excerpt from the Vista Capable lawsuit
Looks like the three-hour deposition Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave in the so-called “Vista Capable” class action suit was for naught. A judge Wednesday ruled that the lawsuit, which has troubled Microsoft for nearly two years now, cannot go forward as a class action. Instead, plaintiffs who claim Microsoft labeled PCs “Windows Vista Capable” even though the computers were capable of running only the stripped down “Home Basic” version of the OS, must pursue their cases individually. Seems the plaintiffs were unable to convincingly demonstrate that the “Windows Vista Capable” marketing program resulted in increased sales for Microsoft, an argument essential to supporting their class action claim.
A lucky turn of events for Microsoft (MSFT) and one that could potentially save the company millions of dollars in compensatory damages and, by some accounts, up to $8.52 billion-worth of memory and graphics cards if it should lose the case–assuming any of the plaintiffs have the courage to go up against Microsoft on their own.