That's Gonna Leave a Mark

Microsoft’s misleading “Vista Capable” ad campaign from a couple years ago could cost them up to nearly nine billion dollars:

Vista Home Basic is key to the lawsuit, which alleges that Microsoft’s Vista Capable program inflated the prices of PCs that could run only that edition and enticed users into buying machines that could not be later upgraded to any other version of Vista. Home Basic, the plaintiffs have contended, is not the “real” Vista, in large part because it lacks the Aero user interface.

Microsoft has denied that it duped consumers and has countered that Home Basic is a legitimate version of Vista.

Months before the “capable” campaign, I noted that to get the full benefits of then-unreleased Vista would require a DirectX 10 video card. At the time there were exactly two of those, and I think they cost something like $500 each — that’s nearly as much as entire computers bearing the “Vista Capable” sticker. First time I saw those stickers on el-cheapo Dell boxes, I knew Microsoft was scamming buyers.

And now it looks like Microsoft might have to pay for the scam, writing checks for $3.5-8.5 billion dollars.

Join the conversation as a VIP Member