The judge overseeing the "Vista Capable" suit against Microsoft has removed the "class-action" designation from it, but also declined Microsoft's motion for summary judgment.
The latest court action on February 18, resulted in Judge Marsha Pechman reversing her original decision to allow the case class-action status. Pechman did note that individual plaintiffs will be allowed to continue legal proceedings if they can prove harm.
As TechFlash blogger Todd Bishop explains:
"According to today's ruling, Pechman removed the class-action status after finding that the plaintiffs hadn't adequately shown that the Vista Capable program caused widespread, artificial inflation in PC prices. However, she said, that doesn't preclude specific plaintiffs from pursuing claims against Microsoft if they can provide 'evidence of individual deception.'"
The Vista Capable suit, filed in March 2007, claimed Microsoft “engaged in bait and switch — assuring consumers they were purchasing ‘Vista Capable’ machines when, in fact, they could obtain only a stripped-down operating system lacking the functionality and features that Microsoft advertised as ‘Vista.’”
Microsoft internal e-mail messages that have been made public as part of the case have shown that some of Microsoft's own executives (many of whom now no longer work for the company) were not in favor of Microsoft's marketing classifications, fearing they would confuse customers and anger partners.
I'm sure Microsoft officials are breathing a collective sigh of relief (but won't be rolling out a Windows 7 Capable/Premium program any time soon). What's your take: Do you agree with the judge's latest decisions?