back to article Lawyer sues Microsoft rather than slot an SD card into his Surface

A lawyer is suing Microsoft for false advertising after his 32GB Surface slab turned up with 16GB of free space. Andrew Sokolowski claims that he quickly ran out of storage capacity on the tablet when he was loading it with music and documents because half the flash memory was filled by the operating system and pre-installed …

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Facepalm

What will happen...

...if we do not get rid of the lawyers...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcwTxRuq-uk

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Re: What will happen...

WWZ trailer - don't know if you've read the book, but this appears to be the exact opposite! The book is wonderful, social insights and commentaries from all different survivors, and entirely not about one guy and his family.

I did wonder how they could adapt the book when I heard they were working on it - seems they just didn't bother and just kept the name. Try the book, it is actually rather superior and touching in places.

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Alien

Re: What will happen...

Oh these Americans with their Zombie Neurosis.

Please lie down...

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Re: What will happen...

however they all seem to be perfectly happy with snogging vampires.

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A world without lawyers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0u9JAt6gFqM

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Joke

Re: A world without lawyers (hopefully)

An engineer dies and goes to hell. After a while, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in there and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, hell has air conditioning, flushing toilets, water fountains and escalators - making the engineer a pretty popular guy.

One day God phones Satan up and asks with a sneer: “Hey buddy, how’s it goin down there in hell?”

Satan snickered back, “Things are going great actually. We’ve got air conditioning, flush toilets, escalators and the works. Hell (no pun intended), there’s no telling what this engineer guy is gonna come up with next.”

God replies, “What? You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake - he should never have gotten down there; send him back up.”

To which Satan replied, “No way dude. I like having an engineer on staff, I’m keepin him.”

God retorted, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue.”

Satan laughs loudly and answers, “Yeah, right. And just where are you gonna find a lawyer?”

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What a load of crap.

He'll have to sue just about every tablet and smartphone maker too, as this is ever thus.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap.

So? doesn't mean it is right.

If someone said they will give you £100 then gives you £50 and says the other £50 is their admin charge you would be annoyed.

It's a fair expectation that a 32-GB device had 32-GB available to the end user or mentions somewhere how much is free.

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WTF?

Re: What a load of crap.

uhhh... no

If someone says they will give me £100, and they instead give me £50, claiming the rest is an admin fee, I still got £50 for nothing. I would shake his/her/it's hand and be happily on my way!

God, some of you people are ungrateful pricks.

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Facepalm

Re: What a load of crap.

As noted, it does say (somewhere) that there is less than the full amount available as free space... and to be fair, every device since the dawn of computing that was sold as having X amount of space available also had the OS and accompanying programs installed, using some of that 'free space'. I think Microsoft should give him a new tablet (in trade), with exactly as much free space as suggested - no OS, no programs, nothing. Just a big, blank chunk of flash. Doesn't run? Who cares! Think of all that space you could have been using if you weren't such an idiot!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap.

I guess the issue is how much less space you get with the windows stuff as opposed to android or ios?

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Re: What a load of crap.

Well, yawn, the example you give is not relevant. But if it was it would be perfect.

It does, "...mention(s) somewhere how much is free...2 , both in the article on Microsoft's site.

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Re: What a load of crap.

SO when you buy a PC with 500gb HD you would be upset is 14GB was used by the OS ?

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Re: What a load of crap.

Seriously!?

Are you a lawyer too? Your explanation has no meaning and cannot be related to technology. From the very beginning of hard disks and computer use that the amount of data of a hard disk is not the same as what's available.

Even when someone bought the windows 95, and the specs at the store showed 40GB hard disk, we all knew it would be about 15-20% less than full capacity. Absolutely all tech companies advertise that way.

That's the standard, and we all expect it.

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Anonymous Coward

@kain preacher - Re: What a load of crap.

I would be only if you advertize it with 500GB. I don't mind buying it with 486GB but, the hell, just advertize it like that and we'll still be friends. That's what the lawyer said IMHO.

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Re: What a load of crap.

He's right.

You need to see it from a user viewpoint - if a camera is sold with 32GB space then you'd expect to be able to get 32GB of images on it. If you sell a PVR with 320GB HDD you'd be expected to get 320GB of recordings on it.

These tablets are sold as consumer devices. So if you sell a tablet with 32GB space you'd expect to be able to get 32GB of data on to it. Simples.

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Mushroom

Re: What a load of crap.

The specs only mention that "formatted capacity may be less", in close proximity to the explanation that 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. i.e. that "32GB" might be reported as "29.8 G(i)B"

Nowhere in the specs does it say "and of that 29.8 G(i)B, almost half is already taken up by system software".

If you advertise a device with a quantity of storage then the user has the right to expect that the significant proportion of that storage will be available for them to use for... well, storage.

If not, then why shouldn't MS also be allowed to include all the storage in the device used to hold the various firmware images for the onboard devices that don't take up any of the "user storage" but which are never-the-less storage, and just as "usable" by the user as the chunk of storage used for the OS and pre-installed gunk ?

What if you advertised a graphics resolution of 2560x1600 with a not-advertised fact that "unfortunately the LCD we've used can only display 1280x800, so we scale down the graphics to fit that display capability accordingly". Would that be fair enough, as long as it is somewhere in the specs ?

This isn't about how how much storage the user can fit themselves, it's about how much storage the vendor claims to be providing in their advertising in an attempt to extract money from the consumers pocket. Unlike, as that dufus up above tried to imply, giving less away for free than they actually do.

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Mushroom

Re: What a load of crap.

No, because the HDD specification on a PC is a specification of a device, not advertised in terms of it's function.

Microsoft Surface: with 32GB Flash Drive

Microsoft Surface: with 32GB storage

See the difference ? No ? Then you're precisely the kind of consumer that Microsoft are banking on.

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Re: What a load of crap.

WTF???

you are quoting in pounds sterling, yet you are clearly one of the 47% mitt romney was moaning about.

the ad says it has 32G of memory

and it does

so STFU

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Alert

Re: What a load of crap.

Lets sue every harddrive manufacturer in existence too as they all lie! Firstly they use 1000 instead of 1024, artificially inflating the size of the harddrive. Secondly they give the unformatted capacity. Everyone has to format their harddrive before they can use it so they should account for all that wasted space from the filesystem's overhead. It's insane that in this day and age they can so blatantly lie to all of us, cheating us out of tens of gigs of space on modern harddrives!

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Megaphone

@kain preacher Re: What a load of crap.

No, but I'd be horse-whippin' pissed if it took up 250GB.

As a lawyer, he holds that only your ex-wife has a right to half your shit.

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Facepalm

@ChilenoInUSA Re: What a load of crap.

On what fucking planet did Win 95 ship on a PC with a 40GB HDD, let alone occupy 15-20% thereof? Question goes out to the upvoters as much as the commentard.

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Windows

Re: "What a load of crap." -- "sue every tablet maker then" etc.

Checking Apple's website [ http://www.apple.com/uk/ipad/specs/ ], I notice for the first time they market it as 'storage', not 'memory'. I'm assuming that is indeed the free space (otherwise we'd have had lots of lawsuits).

So arguably, given that the iPad is the complete market leader, if MS finally comes up with their own version shouting similar numbers, you'd expect them to be comparable. But they're not, so the guy has a fair point. And I'm sorry, but even for a desktop OS, eating 16GB out of the box is just shocking... Realistically, you'd buy a tablet guessing at worst 2GB gets eaten by the OS.

[ElReg readers know that it's saddled with a FrankenOS being both desktop and mobile plunked on it, a regular customer cannot be expected to know; similarly I know MS was heavily backing tablets as the future about a decade ago, so it's not really "MS finally comes up with their version" but that's what the street sees.]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap.

Actually, that's the lie: HD manufacturers are telling the truth when they quote capacities in GB. "G", "K" and so on are SI prefixes which can only ever mean 1000x, NOT 1024x as mistakenly understood by just about everyone; the International Electrotechnical Commission, the guardian of SI units, made this clear back in 1998. What most people think of as a gigabyte is actually a gibibyte or GiB. On this issue, the hard disk manufacturers are pretty much the only people actually telling the truth. Amazingly.

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WTF?

Re: What a load of crap.

If someone says "I will get you £100 if you agree." Then gets the £100, you have in effect agreed a contract that says he will work to get you £100 and he is due a reward - which he must declare to the revenue authorities. In this case MS have declared the capacity of the machine - not the capacity left over after essential services have been installed as is standard practice.

This is not quite the sharp practice as that indulged in by the PPI and personal accident sharks who can leave you with less than nothing in some cases.

I guess this will also be down voted but how many of you will go to work for nothing today?

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FAIL

@Oninoshiko

Nobody 'gave' him 32GB memory though, did they. He paid for it in the price of the device.

I think even you would be pissed off if you paid for a 1TiB hard disk and found you could only use 512GiB of it.

You confused, innumerate prick.

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Holmes

Re: What a load of crap.

Given the price tablet makers bend customers over for on flash memory I'd think he had a reasonable expectation for 80% of that storage to be usable at least. Losing half of it does seem unduly excessive.

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Re: What a load of crap.

And every computer manufacturer too. The 1 TB hard drive your computer is advertised as having, contains Windows 7 || 8, and various trial versions of Norton Anti-Virus, Office and so on.

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Stop

Re: What a load of crap.

"t's a fair expectation that a 32-GB device had 32-GB available to the end user "

No it's not. Storage has never been sold like that on computers. Only someone without any real compouting experience would expect the OS and software to be in some magical other place. A lawyer is by definition supposed to have enough brain power to already know this, making his seeming stupidity a transparent ploy.

"or mentions somewhere how much is free."

If you read the article, it did in the literature and on the website.

This is basically lame-ass lawyer bullshit. Any reasonable person would either stick in an SD card or return it to Microsoft saying "Hey, this isn't what I wanted, can I upgrade to the bigger one, please?"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap.

If I buy any device that advertises X amount of storage/flash/disk space then I expect to have nearly all of that space available to me.

It is unacceptable to have half the space unavailable. At most I would expect somewhere between 10 and 15% (a lot less with larger storage) taken up by the OS.

Microsoft's advertising about the storage is deceptive simple because so much of it is reserved and the disclaimer about this is so well hidden.

Perhaps manufacturers should be forced to scale the disclaimer in proportion to the amount of storage taken up. With the 32GB model the disclaimer should be given equal prominence and with the 64GB model the ratio should be 70/30.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap.

"the International Electrotechnical Commission, the guardian of SI units, made this clear back in 1998. "

Who asked them, and who cares what they think? What do SI have to do with it? We know what K and M and G mean in computing and what they mean in some electrical lab somewhere is a different domain of no relevance.

Also, "gibibyte" is a stupid word.

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Trollface

Re: What a load of crap.

If he wants his full 32gb of storage then he can format the drive.

Simple.

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Thumb Up

Reminds me of BOFH

User is complaining of having filled his 4MB* allocation and wanting more free space.

BOFH: <clickety-click> there you go, you now have 4MB free

User: Cool, so 8MB total

BOFH: No, 4MB total

User: Aaaaaargh

* Shows that this is one of the REALLY early episodes

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Meh

Re: What a load of crap.

"the disclaimer about this is so well hidden."

So when you shell out £500 for something, you don't read the disclaimer unless it's in really big writing on the front page?

Really?

The amount of time I spend reading them is proportional to the cost of the product, and inversely proportional to font size!

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Stop

Re: What a load of crap. 14Gb used

No, but I'd be well upset if my 500Gb computer only had 250Gb free, duh! It's not the fact that some space is used but fully half of it seems like the guy has a point to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap.

> So when you shell out £500 for something, you don't read the disclaimer unless it's in really big writing on the front page?

When I'm buying a piece of computer equipment I go straight to specs and read them. But I've just been to the MS site (http://www.microsoft.com/Surface/en-GB/surface-with-windows-rt/home) to see what sort of disclaimer they use. Here it is:

32GB*, 64GB

*1GB = 1 billion bytes; formatted storage capacity may be less

I've looked on the overview and specifications pages and can find no mention that half the storage is unavailable. Perhaps you could point me to where it is?

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Stop

Re: What a load of crap. 14Gb used

"No, but I'd be well upset if my 500Gb computer only had 250Gb free, duh! It's not the fact that some space is used but fully half of it seems like the guy has a point to me."

According to a lawyer, remember?

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Re: @kain preacher - What a load of crap.

I don't know if that's quite "all the lawyer said". I mean I can certainly understand the disappointment if he wasn't familiar with standard practice or didn't read the small print (irony - a lawyer complaining about small print), but he's also trying to sue for damages. If he just wanted his money back, okay - I'd agree with him (and under UK law he could have it). But how do you suffer any significant damages from this?

And he's trying to turn it into a class action suit. With my conspiracy hat on, he isn't hoping to be the one to manage the class action suit is he and to deduct some from the final award for his fees? Is that legal / plausible in the USA? Anyone comment on that?

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Re: @kain preacher - What a load of crap.

But that is how they advertise it .Look on the box. It will say 500gb not 500gb minus OS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a load of crap.

"... the OS and software to be in some magical other place..."

Once upon a time, you had a ROM (occasionally PROM, or even EPROM) for your operating system, and could load more programs from a floppy, while saving your files to yet another floppy.

Now-a-days, the nicer PC shops I know will stick a small-ish (by today's standards) disk drive in your machine for the operating system and programs, while encouraging the user to make use of a larger, second disk for their data.

Cost cutting and ignorance or thoughtlessness have lead to this magical alternative default, wherein program data and user data are congealed within the same storage medium

"If someone says they will give me £100, and they instead give me £50, claiming the rest is an admin fee, I still got £50 for nothing. I would shake his/her/it's hand and be happily on my way!"

It's really more as though one were assured $100 for a service rendered, then when it comes time to be paid, only gives $50, saying the rest is their payment for the opportunity they gave you at all - oh but didn't they thought that was made clear already.

"SO when you buy a PC with 500gb HD you would be upset is 14GB was used by the OS ?"

14GB of 500 is less than 5% of the capacity if my math hasn't become too wonkey.

I'm pretty sure that 16 of 32 is 50%, and that's a fair thing to be miffed about.

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Stop

Re: What a load of crap.

Not quite.

You see, that's the glitch:

"iB" (gibibyte and friends) were made AFTER the HD manufacturers started this weasel talking about x1000 and x1024. Exactly to put an end to this confusion.

So, yes. TODAY they are talking the truth. In a sense, since they don't publish GiB - the value everybody is used to, when talking about computers.

Funny thing is: memory makers, who didn't try to weasel the units, now sell memory in GB - giving us GiB instead!

It's a funny world, I tell Ya

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Holmes

Re: What a load of crap.

You realise that if you don't like it, you can take it back, though?

That's the response of a reasonable person; not to sue someone.

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Re: "What a load of crap." -- "sue every tablet maker then" etc. iPad stuff

Well, I just checked my "16Gb" iPad 2 with iOS 5 on it, and I have a total of 13.7Gb for installs/file.

Even accounting for the 1000/1024 "confusion", the OS still takes up around 15% of the available "storage".

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Re: What a load of crap.

I remember reading an article in Commodore Format (I think) saying that the devs behind Mayhem in Monsterland managed to find a spare 1K and use 65K.

(If you don't know it, it was like all the good bits from Sonic & Mario combined!)

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Joke

Re: What a load of crap.

The easy solution, courtesy of the BOFH

"There, you've got *plenty* of space now!"

"How much have I got?" he simps.

Now this *REALLY* *PISSES* *ME* *OFF*! Not only do they want me to give them extra space, they want to check it, then correct me if I don't give them enough! They should be happy with what I give them *and that's it*!

Back into Jimmy Stewart mode.

"Well, let's see, you have 4 Meg 32GB available."

"Wow! Eight Meg thirty-two gig in total, thanks!" he says, pleased with his bargaining power.

"No" I interrupt, savouring this like a fine red at room temperature, with steak, extra rare, to follow; "4 Meg thirty-two gig in total.."

"Huh? I'd used 4 Meg 16 gig already, How could I have 4 Meg 32 gig Available?"

I say nothing. It'll come to him.

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Re: What a load of crap.

> SO when you buy a PC with 500gb HD you would be upset is 14GB was used by the OS ?

No. However that's a very small fraction (2.5% rather than 50%) of the total storage and in line with what is expected.

In this case, the requirement is double what you'd expect in absolute terms (even on a desktop with all its resources) and out of all proportion to other consumer touch devices.

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Lawyers eh?

That is all.

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They all cheered the T-Rex

When it ate the lawyer in the movie Jurassic Park.

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DMH
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Windows and the bundled apps took up 16GB? That's pretty impressive.

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@DMH

That's bloat-ware for you!

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