Microsoft Sued Because It Overloaded Surface Tablet With Pre-Installed Apps

from the truth-in-advertising dept

Recently, people noticed that -- in classic Microsoft fashion -- its new 32GB Microsoft Surface tablet only had 16GB of free storage when you took it out of the box. Why? Because this is Microsoft and it loaded the damn thing down with pre-installed software that took up a ton of storage (including, of course, its own bloated tablet operating system, Windows RT). Competing tablets, including the iPad and various Android tablets, come with significantly more free space, even on models advertised as having the same storage. Microsoft has tried to play up the value of the pre-installed software, the fact that you can expand storage via a microSDXC card slot and that it offers 7GB of free "cloud" storage with the device. And, oh yes, you can also manually delete stuff and get back some space.

None of this was enough for one guy, however, as Andrew Sokolowski is now suing Microsoft claiming that Microsoft is misrepresenting the device. While he's seeking class action status, unlike many class action lawsuits that are all about money, it's actually nice to see that he's not seeking any money -- just asking Microsoft to stop misrepresenting the product.

I can't find the actual lawsuit on PACER yet, though I imagine it'll be up soon. On the whole, while I find it incredible (and so typically Microsoft) that Microsoft is selling the tablet loaded down with so much software, does that really require a legal response? The story is getting out in the press, and people must know that at least some of the tablets they buy have pre-installed apps on them. It seems like a situation where an informed consumer is likely to know that this is one of the downsides of buying the Surface, and it's not clear that Microsoft needs to be legally compelled to explain how much free space is on the device out of the box.

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  1. icon
    DannyB (profile), 15 Nov 2012 @ 7:55am

    Microsoft should be required to disclose free space

    > It seems like a situation where an informed consumer is likely
    > to know that this is one of the downsides of buying the Surface,
    > and it's not clear that Microsoft needs to be legally compelled
    > to explain how much free space is on the device out of the box.


    Whether or not an informed consumer is likely to know or not is irrelevant.

    An uninformed consumer is a lot less likely to know.

    In either case, you don't actually provide a reason, other than a vague "it's not clear" why Microsoft should not be legally required to properly state the free space out of the box.

    Using that thinking, why should the orange juice company be legally required to disclose how much actual juice is in that sealed opaque carton of orange juice? Informed consumers probably know it is not filled to the tippy-top of the carton. So just how much empty space in that carton is not clear. In any case, it's not clear why the orange juice company should be legally required to disclose the amount of actual juice I am buying.

    The amount of free space on the SSD is the useful feature that is being misrepresented. So how far would you think based on "it's not clear" should Microsoft be allowed to go? Suppose a tablet was advertised as having 64 GB of SSD, but only have 2 GB free space out of the box? Would that be okay? Should Microsoft not be legally required to disclose the actual useful amount that the consumer is expecting?

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