Second WGA class action suit filed against Microsoft

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Westlake Village (CA) - A second class action suit has been filed against Microsoft in Seattle's U.S. District Court. The suit, filed by a group of businesses and residents, alleges that Microsoft pushes WGA to all Windows machines, whether or not they have Automatic Updates turned on. In addition, the plaintiffs say customers are not informed about the true nature of WGA.

The plaintiffs to the suit are two businesses, Engineered Process Controls and Univex along with three individuals Edward Mifsud, David DiDomizio and Martin Sifuentes. The group claims that WGA meets the Anti-Spyware Coalition's definition of spyware and should be removable by anti-virus and anti-spyware software. In addition, they believe that WGA is beta softwareand therefore could be unstable and force users into being "Microsoft guinea pigs".

WGA is downloaded to the computer as a Critical Security Update, but the suit says this is misleading because it isn't needed at all by the computer. Another issue raised in the document is that WGA doesn't ask for any type of consent before the install.

Not surprisingly, the suit seeks compensatory and triple punitive damages for millions of Windows users. The plaintiffs say that they don't know the exact number of affected users and that only Microsoft is aware of the true number of affected systems. In addition, the plaintiffs want Microsoft to provide information on how to delete WGA.

The first class action suit was filed in California by Brian Johnson and, in contrast with the current suit, only asks for an injunction rather than monetary damages.

Related content:
Second suit against Microsoft (PDF file on seattlepi.com)