Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart served subpoenas in Vista Capable lawsuit

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Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart served subpoenas in Vista Capable lawsuit

Seattle (WA) – A veritable who’s who of the technology industry has been hit with subpoenas in the lawsuit against Microsoft over its “Vista Capable” marketing campaign.

Plaintiffs in the case contend that Microsoft was misleading with the “Vista Capable” designation, mainly before the operating system officially launched.  Computers were marked as “Vista Capable” even if they were unable to run the higher-end versions of the software, like Vista Ultimate.

The lawsuit complaint discusses the fact that these computers were part of a Vista marketing campaign, and labeled as compatible with Windows Vista while next to displays and brochures about the OS that showed features like the Aero visual interface.  That tricked consumers into thinking low-end computers would be able to run memory-intensive features like that.

According to court documents, Microsoft exchanged e-mails with Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, and Fry’s Electronics in setting up the operating system’s marketing campaign.

IBM, HP Acer, Dell, Toshiba and Sony have also been sent subpoenas in the case, as has former Microsoft executive Jim Allchin.  

In a recently released e-mail from 2006, Allchin commented on the “Vista Capable” campaign, “We really botched this. I was not involved in this decision process and I will support it because I trust you thinking through the logic.”