How misleading was the "Windows Vista Capable" campaign?

Summary:How misleading was the "Windows Vista Capable" campaign that Microsoft ran during the run-up to the January release of the operating system? Seems that it was misleading enough for a judge to approve a federal trial for the class action suit. The trial is scheduled for October.

How misleading was the "Windows Vista Capable" campaign that Microsoft ran during the run-up to the January release of the operating system?  Seems that it was misleading enough for a judge to approve a federal trial for the class action suit.  The trial is scheduled for October.

Some background.  Two Windows XP PC buyers, Dianne Kelley and Kenneth Hansen, filed a class action lawsuit in March claiming that Microsoft used "bait and switch" tricks to sell XP systems labeled as "Windows Vista Capable" which, as it turned out, could only run the lowest, most cut-down version of Vista - Home Basic.  Home Basic meant no media center support and no Aero.  Microsoft had asked that the case be dismissed; the judge decided that the case should proceed.

It's highly unlikely that this case will make it to court, but it's still interesting that the case has gone this far.  The only problem with class-action suits is that the only people who win are lawyers.

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But the question remains - was the "Windows Vista Capable" campaign deceptive?  My take on it at the time was the whole campaign was too complicated.  The whole "Vista Capable" verses "Vista Ready" distinction make it too difficult for consumers to pick a system that was right for them - all some would have seen was a Vista sticker - how many customers that needed a sticker to tell them that a system could run Vista would know of the different versions?

This is a mistake that's likely to cost Microsoft a fair few bucks, make the lawyers involved richer and leave consumers with vouchers worth a few bucks.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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