Microsoft accused over $8.52bn Vista bill

Microsoft accused over $8.52bn Vista bill

Summary: A Washington academic has estimated just how much it cost the world to become "Vista Capable" and the figure is a very heft $8.52bn.

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TOPICS: After Hours
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A Washington academic has estimated just how much it cost the world to become "Vista Capable" and the figure is a very heft $8.52bn. "Vista Capable" in this sense is the term that Microsoft and IT suppliers used when Windows Vista was launched in 2006, to show that their PCs and laptops were capable if running Microsoft's operating system (OS).

An academic at the University of Washington, the economist Keith Leffler, came up with the estimate of between $3.92 billion (£2.8bn)and $8.52bn to upgrade the world's notebooks and PCs so that they can run a full version of the OS.

The question came up because of a court action taking place before US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman and the unsealing of some documents relating to the action on Wednesday. Microsoft is facing some criticism for, is is argued, misleading people over what made a PC, Vista Capable.

Microsoft said at the launch of Vista that it only needed 1GB of memory to run but 2GB would be better and also 2GB would be required if you wanted to run the Vista Aero interface. According to the legal action, as Vista needs 2GB memory to run properly, Microsoft should have made this clear.

Now 19.4 million PCs will need 1GB of memory and graphics cards or onboard chipsets to run Aero, it is argued. Leffler put the maximum cost of upgrading the desktops at $155 a shot, and suggests that the notebooks' integrated graphics would be more tricky to replace and would cost between $245 and $590 per unit. This could make a total cost of from $3.92 billion to $8.52 billion and in some cases would include complete replacements of notebooks that could not be feasibly upgraded, according to testimony from Leffler said CRN.

Microsoft could face a total price tag of $3.92 billion to $8.52 billion and in some cases if you include the complete replacements of notebooks that could not be feasibly upgraded, according to Leffler.

Topic: After Hours

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Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • Microsoft accused over $8.52bn Vista bill

    Perhaps this is the reason that Microsoft is pushing so hard to get Windows 7 out. If they do in some way get stuck with a bill for the Vista Capable fiasco, rather than offering to fix/upgrade low end systems, they may offer free or discounted versions of Windows 7. Of course, a lot of people would consider this to be the same as putting salt on the wound.
    j.a.watson@...