Vista Capable Appeal Upheld, MS Stays in Court

A lawsuit alleging that Microsoft misled customers with its "Vista Capable" product claims is free to move forward now that an appeals court has denied the companyis request to block class-action status. The company had hoped to keep the case from moving forward so that it could keep potentially damaging internal communications from seeing the light of day, according to Computerworld.

Microsoft filed its request with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after a U.S. District Court Judge ruled in February that the lawsuit qualified for class-action status. The appeals court upheld the lower courtis ruling on April 21.

The lawsuit against Microsoft claimed that the software company deceived customers with its "Vista Capable" program that identified certain PCs as ready to run the newest version of the Windows operating system. Many of the computers identified as Windows Vista compatible, according to the suit, were able to run only the Home Basic version of the operating system -- a stripped down version that does not include many of operating systemis the more prominently featured components.

Microsoft denied that it misled customers and moved to stall the case while it worked to get the class-action status reversed. According to the Redmond companyis filing, continuing the legal action could "jeopardize Microsoftis goodwill" and "disrupt Microsoftis relationships with its business partners" because it would be required to reveal potentially damaging internal email messages.

Now that the case is free to move forward, Microsoft says that it is looking forward to its day in court. Company spokesman Jack Evan commented "The Ninth Circuitis decision not to accept our request for interim review is not a ruling on the merits of our case. We look forward to presenting all of the facts on what the district court itself said is a novel claim."