Attorneys Aim to Reinstate 'class' in Vista Capable Suit

Attorneys are trying to get the class-action status of a suit against Microsoft's Windows Capable program reinstated by narrowing the number of plaintiffs who can participate in it.

Last week Microsoft won a motion to dismiss the class-action status of the suit, which disallowed it from applying to anyone who purchased a PC labeled with a Windows Vista Capable sticker. However, the presiding judge allowed the case to go forward with six plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs in the suit, filed in April 2007 in a U.S. District Court in Seattle, claim that Microsoft's sticker program was an example of deceptive business practices and violated consumer protection laws. Earlier this week, attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a motion for narrowed class certification, requesting that the suit apply to anyone who purchased Windows Vista Capable PCs in Microsoft's Express Upgrade Guarantee program. They also are requesting the judge push back the trial date, which is currently April 13, to have time to consider the motion.

The TechFlash blog posted a PDF file of the plaintiffs' filing.

The Express Upgrade Guarantee program provided coupons to people who purchased Windows Vista Capable PCs so they could upgrade to the appropriate version of Vista either for free or for little cost once the OS was made available.

Microsoft's hardware partners began shipping PCs with the "Windows Vista Capable" logo in April 2006 as a way for people to know that if they purchased a new Windows XP PC before Vista was available, their machine would be ready to run the new OS. However, the designation was potentially confusing, because a PC with the label was only guaranteed to run the least expensive, most basic version of Vista.

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