Bought a Vista-Capable 'junk' PC? You may be in luck

If you're one of the poor suckers who bought a "Windows Vista Capable" PC thinking it would actually run Vista well, you may be in luck. A federal judge has given class-action status to a lawsuit against Microsoft for the misleading marketing scheme.

If you bought a Windows Vista Capable PC, you'll be able to be part of the suit. The focus of the suit has been cut down some, but is still pretty substantial. According to the Associate Press, the suit will "focus primarily on whether Microsoft's "Vista Capable" labels created artificial demand for computers during the 2006 holiday shopping season, and inflated prices for computers that couldn't be upgraded to the full-featured version of Vista."

As I explained in a previous blog, the suit charges that Microsoft misled consumers into buying the Windows Vista Capable PCs, even though the PCs couldn't run the most important features of Vista. The PCs were loaded with XP, and could be upgraded to Vista when Vista shipped --- but they could only run the bare-bones Windows Vista Home Basic, which can't run Aero, Windows Media Center, and a lot else. In fact, Vista Home Basic offers few of the features that Microsoft was spending uncounted millions of dollars advertising.

Microsoft officials themselves admitted the PCs were essentially worthless. An unnamed employee wrote in an email, for example, "Even a piece of junk will qualify" to be called Windows Vista Capable. And Mike Nash, now a corporate vice president for Windows product management, wrote in an email message, "I PERSONALLY got burnt...Are we seeing this from a lot of customers?...I now have a $2,100 e-mail machine."

If you were one of those stuck with a $2,100 e-mail machine, or a "piece of junk" it may be your chance to finally get back some of the cash you forked over.

If you're looking to be involved in the lawsuit, check out this blog entry for details.

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