No class action status for WGA lawsuit

A federal judge has refused to certify a lawsuit against Microsoft as a class action, a move that has saved the Redmond giant hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages.

A federal judge has refused to certify a lawsuit against Microsoft as a class action, a move that has saved the Redmond giant hundreds of millions of dollars in potential damages.

The lawsuit claimed that Microsoft was being deceptive when it pushed Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy technology onto Windows XP users disguised as a high priority update through the Windows Update mechanism. While the lawsuit will continue though the courts, if it had been given class action status it would have meant that anyone who had owned an XP-based PC in mid 2006 would have been able to join the lawsuit without needed to hire a lawyer.

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The suit seeks, amongst other remedies, "actual damages or one hundred thousand dollars per violation, whichever is greater," and an easy way for users to remove WGA from their PCs.