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Microsoft Dodges Class Action For Now
Topics | 2009/02/20 09:32
Microsoft got rid of the class-action status in the Vista Capable lawsuit, but the plaintiffs might retaliate and appeal the recent ruling. Although they had no immediate comments to make after the ruling, one of the partners in the law firm representing the plaintiffs confirmed that they will take action.
Computerworld quoted Jeffrey Tilden, partner in the Seattle law firm Gordon Tilden Thomas amp; Cordell LLP, as saying: We anticipate further motion practice in the trial court, followed by -- if unsuccessful –an appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

The plaintiffs argued in the court filling that Microsoft was unfair and deceptive in the Vista Capable matter, creating artificial demand, at artificially maintained prices, for PCs that were not Vista ready. Furthermore, consumers paid (more) for the Vista capability, but did not receive the real Vista capability.

A series of emails revealed in court showed how Microsoft representatives were doubtful about tagging some PCs as Vista Capable, as they would deceive consumers. The plaintiffs said consumers bought Vista Capable PCs only to discover that they were able to run just a basic version of the operating system, and were unable to run Vista’s core feature, the Aero interface.

But U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman granted Microsoft the motion for the class decertification of the lawsuit, while also rejecting its demand for summary judgment. This doesn’t absolve Microsoft from coming back to court though, where 6 individual claims are still standing.

Microsoft will still have a hard time proving that consumers have not been deceived when purchasing Vista Capable PCs, but dealing with individual claims is likely to cost them less than it would have under a class-action lawsuit.

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