Plaintiffs Revisit 'Vista Capable' Class Action

The plaintiffs in the "Vista Capable" lawsuit against Microsoft have filed new documents with the court to try to regain the class-action status a judge threw out on Feb. 18. Now the plaintiffs have narrowed the focus of their case.

Plaintiffs in the "Vista Capable" class-action lawsuit that was recently decertified as a class action have filed new papers in their case under narrower criteria in an attempt to regain class-action status.

In a ruling on Feb. 18, Judge Marsha Pechman of the U.S. District Court in Seattle said the lawsuit could go forward, but the judge denied the class-action status of the case.

However, on Feb. 26, the plaintiffs' attorneys in the case filed new documents with the court asking the judge to reinstate a class-action status based on two narrower criteria.

In 2006, Microsoft allowed computer makers to label PCs as being Vista Capable, but many consumers balked at the campaign as being misleading because a large number of the so-called Vista Capable machines could only be upgraded to "Windows Home Basic," a version of Vista that lacks a number of features included with the Premium version. That is the gist of the lawsuit.

However, as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

""Initially, the class included anyone who bought Windows Vista Capable PCs. Now plaintiffs are asking the judge to certify the class based on two subgroups: Those who participated in a Vista upgrade program and those who purchased Vista Capable PCs that could not support a specific driver, which plaintiffs say is essential to run Vista.""

In a blog post on the judge's decision to decertify the class-action suit, Microsoft Watch's Joe Wilcox said he believes the case is all but over. Said Wilcox:

""The real crime here wasn't against consumers but Microsoft partners."One Microsoft partner may yet come to accounting. The European Union is actively investigating Intel for antitrust violations. Surely I'm not alone coming up with this different theory of events. The European Competition Commission employs some smart lawyers. Not being a lawyer, I can't say that there is a violation of European antitrust laws. But if I were Intel, given what's happened to Microsoft on the Continent, I would worry over everything, including events now three years past.""