Windows XP downgrade suit against Microsoft is dismissed

In February 2009, Emma Alvarado sued the company for using its monopoly power to force her to pay to downgrade from Vista to XP on a new laptop. On February 22, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington agreed with Microsoft and dismissed Alvarado's amended complaint.

Anyone remember this one? Last February -- when Microsoft was fending off Vista complaints (legal and otherwise) left and right -- Emma Alvarado sued the company for using its monopoly power to force her to pay to downgrade from Vista to XP on a new laptop.

On February 22, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington agreed with Microsoft and dismissed Alvarado's amended complaint --  which seemingly added Windows 7 to the list of available operating systems from which Alavarado was unhappy about having to choose for her Lenovo PC.

The original complaint stated that:

Consumers have encountered numerous problems using the Vista operating system, and these problems have been widely publicized in various media outlets. As a result, many consumers would prefer to purchase a new computer pre-installed with the Windows XP operating system or at least not pre-installed with the Vista operating system. However, Microsoft has used its market power to take advantage of consumer demand for the Windows XP operating system by requiring consumers to purchase computers pre-installed with the Vista operating system and to pay additional sums to ‘downgrade’ to the Windows XP operating system.”

Alvarado purchased her PC from Lenovo but Lenovo wasn't named as a codefendant.

According to the order granting motion to dismiss, U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman said Alvarado didn't prove Microsoft's "unjust enrichment" under the terms of the Washington Consumer Protection Act. "(S)he has failed to show Microsoft retained a benefit without providing value," the judge said in her order.

When I wrote about this case a year ago, a number of users were interested in downgrading to XP. These days, some still are, but far fewer... Is this one of those "what a difference a year makes" situations, in your view? Or do you think Alvarado raised/raises some legitimate complaints?

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