Judge gives Microsoft big win in 'Vista Capable' case

Strips class-action status from the case; plaintiffs must sue Microsoft separately

One of the most notable such e-mails, and one which Pechman cited in her ruling, was from Jim Allchin, at the time a co-president of the company's platform product group and in charge of Vista's development and delivery. When another Microsoft executive decided to relax the eligibility rules for Vista Capable so that PCs equipped with older graphic chip sets made by Intel Corp. would qualify, Allchin went ballistic.

"I believe we are going to be misleading customers with the Capable program," Allchin said in e-mail from early 2006. "OEMs will say a machine is Capable, and customers will believe it will run all the core Vista features. The fact that Aero won't be there EVER for many of these machines is misleading to customers."

It's unclear if the lawyers leading the class-action lawsuit will continue the case with individual plaintiffs. Jeffrey Tilden, of law firm Gordon Tilden Thomas & Cordell, did not respond to a request for comment. He and other attorneys at the firm who are involved in the case were in a meeting, presumably about the ruling, a receptionist at the firm said.

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