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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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March 31, 2009 3:07 PM

Vista Capable trial postponed

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman decided today to postpone trial of the Vista Capable lawsuit, which was due to begin April 13. After hearing oral arguments last week on certification of two new classes, Pechman determined that a continuance -- as requested by the plaintiffs' attorneys -- was appropriate.

After Pechman decertified the original class in February, the plaintiffs sought two new narrower classes with the trial date bearing down. Last week, Pechman heard arguments on the new class certification attempt and indicated she would rule on the class certification request as early as today. She also indicated skepticism that the case would proceed to trial on April 13.

In her ruling today, Pechman wrote, "Plaintiffs' motion presents novel legal arguments that require thorough analysis. Without taking any position on the motion for narrowed class certification, the Court believes a continuance is appropriate."

Find more background on the case here.

Comments | Category: Vista Capable |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

March 25, 2009 3:07 PM

Renewed Vista Capable class-action effort gets hearing

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

After the ongoing Vista Capable lawsuit against Microsoft was decertified as a class-action last month, the plaintiffs sought to certify two new, narrower, classes to allow the case to go forward. That effort, and a request to delay the start of the trial, will get a hearing this afternoon in front of U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman.

[See update after the jump, added at 6:33 p.m.]

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Vista Capable |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

February 18, 2009 2:48 PM

Split decision on major Vista Capable ruling; decertification of class action could bring case to a close

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman issued a key ruling in the ongoing Vista Capable class action lawsuit that could bring the case to a close. She denied Microsoft's motion for summary judgment, but decertified the case as a class-action, according to Microsoft spokesman David Bowermaster. I'm reading the ruling now and will update this post ASAP.

Updated 3:30 p.m.: Pechman's 17-page opinion (PDF) lays out her reason for decertifying the class, which, as I understand it (and I'm not a lawyer) will make proceeding with the case untenable for the plaintiffs as individuals because legal costs are much greater than the amount any individual plaintiff may hope to recover from Microsoft. (I'm trying to contact attorneys for the plaintiffs and I'll update this with their comments when I do. Update, 5 p.m.: Jeffrey Thomas, a plaintiffs attorney, said of the ruling, "We're reviewing it and reviewing the options.")

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Legal issues , Vista Capable |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 21, 2009 3:01 PM

Plaintiffs' expert estimates cost to upgrade 'Vista Capable' PCs at $3 billion to $8.5 billion

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Keith Leffler, a University of Washington economics professor and expert witness for the plaintiffs suing Microsoft in the Vista Capable class action suit, was given the task of quantifying the impact of the Vista Capable program on PC prices and on Microsoft. In an exhibit unsealed today, Leffler summarizes his opinions and also estimates the cost of upgrading the 19.4 million PCs sold as "Vista Capable" between April 2006 and January 2007 to meet minimum requirements for running premium versions of the operating system. Leffler put the cost of adding more RAM and graphics cards to these machines in the range of $3.084 billion to $8.522 billion.

That figure could be important if the U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman agrees with the plaintiffs and allows them to use an alternative means of calculating damages to people who purchased Vista Capable PCs -- if, of course, plaintiffs successfully argue that they were, in fact, deceived by the program.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Legal issues , Vista Capable |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 21, 2009 2:15 PM

Vista Capable class action approaches watershed moment

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Attorneys for Microsoft and the plaintiffs challenging its Windows Vista marketing program will go before U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman Thursday morning with the entire case at stake. Pechman will hear oral arguments on two Microsoft motions to dismiss the case on summary judgment and to decertify the class.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Legal issues , Vista Capable |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

January 4, 2009 7:38 PM

Expert witness estimates Microsoft Vista Capable revenue at $1.5 billion

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Among the flurry of recent filings in the ongoing Vista Capable class action lawsuit is an abbreviated report of an expert witness who says Microsoft may have earned $1.505 billion on Windows XP licenses it sold on computers that were marked "Windows Vista Capable" but not "Premium Ready." It's possibly the first time a value for the controversial program has been given publicly.

Continue reading this post ...


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November 26, 2008 10:45 AM

Plaintiffs refine argument in 'Vista Capable' suit, arguing dropped graphics requirement created 'third tier' of Vista

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

In a document unsealed today, plaintiffs challenging Microsoft's marketing practices refined their argument that "Vista Capable"-labeled PCs sold in 2006 and early 2007 allowed an upgrade to an edition of the operating system that "cannot fairly be called Vista".

Continue reading this post ...


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November 21, 2008 5:27 PM

Ballmer to be deposed in Vista Capable case

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman ruled this afternoon that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be deposed in the ongoing Windows Vista Capable class action lawsuit. He must be deposed within 30 days and plaintiffs attorneys will have up to three hours with Microsoft's top executive.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Steve Ballmer , Vista Capable |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 20, 2008 4:24 PM

Microsoft seeks to bring Vista Capable class action suit to a swift end

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Microsoft this afternoon filed two motions seeking to boot the Windows Vista Capable class action lawsuit from court and decertify the class.

While the internal Microsoft e-mails revealed in the case have garnered headlines -- showing internal conflict over Vista marketing and hardware requirements, and the tricky balance Microsoft tried to strike among its PC industry partners -- the company's lawyers argue today that the plaintiffs' have failed to offer evidence that Microsoft violated the Consumer Protection Acts of Washington or other states.

Update, Friday morning: See this story from today's paper for more details.

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Legal issues , Vista Capable |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

November 20, 2008 2:23 PM

Plaintiffs argue why Ballmer should be deposed in Vista Capable suit

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

Another set of documents unsealed in the Windows Vista Capable class action lawsuit lays out the plaintiffs' arguments in favor of deposing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, something the company has opposed on the grounds that he "has no unique personal knowledge of any facts at issue."

Continue reading this post ...


Comments | Category: Legal issues , Vista Capable , Windows Vista |Permalink | Digg Digg | Newsvine Newsvine

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