I have been investigating the Windows Vista labels, and I've posted my findings here for those who are also interested in learning more about it. How confusing is it really, and what if any blame does Microsoft have responsibility for with this situation?
So I have been looking at labels on new computers to see what the labels actually look like. Here are some pictures:
So, if you read about the class action lawsuit details and know what it's about:Windows Vista (In)capable
Then you know that the whole issue is that computers with the "Windows Vista Capable" label can run Vista, except for the visual effects like flip 3d and aero. The "Windows Vista" premium ready computers can run it all. The consumers don't understand the difference, and feel gypped since some of them bought a Vista capable computer and expected it to run all Vista features.
So, is this whole issue really so confusing? Well, lots of consumers seem to feel that way. What else about this is confusing? Well, IMO, the fact that the "Windows Vista" labels are really the Windows Vista Premium Ready, then why don't they say plainly "Windows Vista Premium Ready"? Also, notice the "Windows Vista Basic" label pictured above? Where does that fit into all of these labels and classifications that Microsoft has put on Vista computers? What specifically do those labels mean to consumers? Normally, I would expect that they mean exactly what they say, that the computers with this label will run Windows Vista Basic well, and may not run all features of other flavors of Vista, but honestly, you can't understand what each label means and what any given computer will handle based on the labels alone because the labels don't explicitly state the facts and details about any given machine they appear on. So, no, you can't feel safe taking any of these labels at face value without any other knowledge.
The way I see it, there are 2 main things that Microsoft has the responsibility for, caving in to Intel's demands in the first place with the Vista Capable label for Intel's crappy graphics chipsets, and once committing to that poor decision, failing to make a reasonable effort of awareness about the difference between the various labels and what they mean to resellers, retailers, and consumers. Microsoft alone is not to blame for this problem, Intel certainly started it all. But Microsoft needs to get back to treating customers like customers again. Customers may not always be right, but the customer is the customer, and it matters how they feel and how they perceive things because ultimately they pay the bills.
Here is another picture: