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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 technology reporter Matt Day.

October 2, 2008 at 7:20 AM

Update: ‘Vista Capable’ class-action suit against Microsoft moves forward

Things in the class-action lawsuit challenging Microsoft’s marketing of Vista are heating up.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment last week, backed by a sheaf of sealed exhibits. Now the ball is in Microsoft’s court to prove to the judge why the documents, designated “confidential,” should remain sealed. Included are documents from Microsoft, Intel and an attorney for Sony.

Previous discovery in this case has been damaging to Microsoft. E-mails that came out in the class certification process outlined an internal debate about Vista’s marketing and readiness for certain types of hardware.

Some background:

A Camano Island woman sued Microsoft in April 2007 because the computer she purchased in November 2006, marked “Vista Capable,” could handle only the basic version of Microsoft’s new operating system, which did not have all the features touted in the company’s marketing, such as the translucent Aero user interface and many of the digital media applications for photos and DVDs.

Microsoft has argued that its marketing made clear that certain machines would only be able to handle certain versions of Vista.

The case was certified as a class action in February. Microsoft appealed and the U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman halted the case. But the Ninth Circuit declined to hear Microsoft’s appeal in April.

In May, the Pechman reset the schedule for the case. Right now, a trial is scheduled for April 13, 2009, with several important deadlines for expert witnesses and discovery approaching this fall.

(Note: I’m out of the office this week. This post was written in advance and schedule for publication today.)

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