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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FAIL

Drumming up business?

Wow. I can only imagine that this guy is trying to get his name out there and drum up some business. While he may be successful with some of the masses I would hope that the majority of the people would look at his common sense (or lack thereof) and decide that if his lawyer skills are directly proportional to his knowledge of mainstream computer gear....well, they had best be looking elsewhere.

I think someone at Microsoft should ask to see it, wipe the memory and say, "Here you go....32MB all there for you." (I'm sure someone out there will suggest that that wiping the memory would be an upgrade.....please resist).

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Silver badge

Unlike a fruity fondleslab he's got the option of expanding by SD slot.

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Anonymous Coward

SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!

16GB taken up and this is the RT version?!

What's the full fat Windows 8 X86 going to take up?! I thought RT had been stripped of the win 32 runtimes?!

That's a joke talk about bloat ware half the features and double the amount needed to install... No wonder Steve walked

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Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!

Nope, TIFKAM still sits on top of the Win32 API's, It's just that user programs can't directly access them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!

Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!

Nope, TIFKAM still sits on top of the Win32 API's, It's just that user programs can't directly access them.

Thanks for answering that question. Suppose it's another reason why windows RT will never gain any traction.

This was their chance to rip out all the legacy code and start a fresh with their RT platform but their first mistake was calling the RT version windows even though there is limited desktop action and their second mistake is not stripping out unneeded features and signing it off at 16 gig.

They clearly didn't even try for the RT version did they? Just complied it for ARM dumped that interface on top and locked out installing 3rd party apps and restricting the desktop. Real half arsed approach this

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Boffin

Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!

You'd think Microsoft would consider compressing the binaries or using a compressed filesystem. But seriously? I once have a full 64-bit Linux desktop distro with hordes of applications installed as well as basic 32-bit compatibility libraries, and it only came up to 5GB. What kind of bloatware does MS include on the surface to the point where it needs 16GB for system software anyway?

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Devil

Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!

If memory serves me right, about 29 GiB. A Windows 8 Pro 64 bit, installed on a clean hard disk,

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Silver badge

Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!

TWENTY-NINE GIG!!!!!!!!

Seriously, that's ridiculous! I thought Win7x64 was bad, but this must be at least a 50% increase! This when my Linux 64-bit install with 3 desktop environments and all the applications I need take up the sum total of... 6GB!

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Happy

Re: SIXTEEN GIG!!!!!!!

Yeah, tell me about it. My own Linux install is running about 7,3 GiB. With lots of cruft I never get around to remove...

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Just another lawyer stretching the truth for personal gain

This isn't a matter of shrinking 1024 into 1000. I agree that any consumer must learn to be smart enough to ask, "32 GB? But how much remaining for me?"

The part that will sink his boat is that computers with X GB HD's that come preloaded with OS and apps are well known not to have the full X remaining for personal use.

If he has an iPhone and not sued Apple over the same issue then that too goes against him. My 16 GB iPhone 5 only came with 13.5 GB "capacity" (according to Settings -> General -> About). Expect Android to be similar.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just another lawyer stretching the truth for personal gain

If he has an iPhone and not sued Apple over the same issue then that too goes against him. My 16 GB iPhone 5 only came with 13.5 GB

I make that from a rough calculation 85% of the iPhone available to use. This is 50% we are talking about here it's beyond a joke

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Megaphone

Fine Print

Looking to sue someone because you accidentally jumped into a contract without reading the "fine print"? Well, not sure I'd trust this lawyer with the details, but at least you'll get a lot of empathy.

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Silver badge

Ridiculous

Two things ridiculous here:

#1) If you know enough about technology to actually make use of a tablet then you know damn well that a chunk of storage is gone before you buy it.

#2) 16gb??? For an OS on a mobile device?? WTF Microsoft? If I'd been considering buying a Surface that little tidbit would have shot the idea dead.

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Trollface

Re: Ridiculous

But it comes with an Integrated Chair-Throwing Device, and a Free Chtulhu.

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FAIL

WHAT? 16 GIGAbytes of bloatware?

Microsoft surpasses itself!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: WHAT? 16 GIGAbytes of bloatware?

I got at least 9 thumbs down for basically saying the same thing.

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Silver badge

The problem is a lot of people only read the first few lines of any product description, before clicking the add to cart button. I sell a lot of stuff on ebay and the amount of times i have had people want to return items under the 7 day money back because they hadn't read something that was clearly in the description, and i had even gone to the trouble to change the description to mark important info in bold to try and stop it happening but unfortunately no amount of large fonts and bright colours can counter act stupid people.

Still shocking that half the storage space on a surface is taken up with the OS and recovery partition. Can the recovery partition not be moved onto USB stick or SD card rather than on the internal storage?

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Anonymous Coward

Who says there is a recovery partition? I can think of better uses of valuable high speed flash memory.

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Exceptional...

While all devices come with some space occupied by the core OS, MS use a HUGE amount of space relative to all other competing devices.

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Meh

Re: Exceptional...

Yes. An OS from MS is bloated and so is Office, but at the end of the day that's OK. That bloat has driven down the cost of processing, RAM, and storage just to be able to run Microsoft 'stuff'; the predominate OS and productivity suite on the planet.

My first RAM upgrade on a real IBM machine took me from 512k to 1M. It was a Christmas present from my parents and it cost them about $1400US. The next year I got a 'WORM' drive. $2700 installed. Just look at what you can buy now for even non inflation adjusted prices. $1400US will get you a pretty decent machine with scads of storage and processing power and memory that is user upgradable. MS brought computing to the masses and it also forced hardware mfgs to get in line and make sure that shit worked. I got a 20GB stick at Staples for $9.99USD the other day. that's one dollar per gigabyte. Would have never happened if MS didn't ram inefficiency down their throats.

Don't bitch. Just take the deals as they become available. That's what the 'Free Market' is all about. Right?

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Silver badge

He has a point

If a device advertises 16GB of storage it really should have 16GB of storage free when you turn it on for the first time. The MS Surface might take the piss more than most devices but they all do it.

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Anonymous Coward

Optional

i agree, half the stated storage is taking the p1ss.

from MS site:

Storage 32GB*, 64GB

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

they should just be advertised as 16/32gb

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Coat

Re: He has a point

Agree, and perhaps the small print could be a bit bigger and I am fairly sure the sales men would not point out the difference nor does a normal buyer read the small print when buying anything. Of course, MS is not alone in this, but it could be more honest and it's not, has never been.

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Re: Optional

I disagree. They would be shooting themselves in the foot if that happens. Though they could explain that users do have that much space free, most will still compare the prices of a 16gb surface and android and feel they'll get more with the DROID due to a lower cost, even if they will lose a few gb on the android.

Anyway, my point is consumers are stupid. Explaining it or changing the description is futile. Some are still confused why wp7 users aren't being upgraded to wp8, comparing to apple upgrading IOS users to newer versions. Even though both corporations are essentially doing the same thing.

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Coat

Did he keep the box?

Then box it up, return it to the store for a full refund, you are obviously too stupid to own a computer...

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why did the 'optional' text...

...ghostwritten in the title bar get set as an RE when replying?

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Coat

I don't like this story.

I can't decide which side I loathe.

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Trollface

"Andrew Sokolowski"?

Really? Sure that's just not a really bad pseudonym for a certain Reg hack...?

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Anonymous Coward

Well he does have a point. My 16GB iPad had 16GB of free space when I purchased it...

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Silver badge

Oh please

This is just another shyster who I can almost guarantee knew the specs when he bought it and is trying to spin a buck or a few million if he gets his class action wish. It's a fairly typical problem with California lawyers who go around looking for every little nit to pick and laws written to allow lawyers who shouldn't have standing to sue on behalf of the public and win substantial legal fees on top of damages which may range from impressive to nearly negligible. He's a leech looking for a cash cow now that the lawyer fee enforced, poorly worded and probably well intended Prop 37 got shot down.

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I think he has every right to at least a refund. I'm not sure it is class-action worthy. But they are duping the customer. Whether or not it's in the fine print doesn't matter, as we've seen with similar lawsuits regarding telecom companies and phone plans.

Besides, Microsoft is putting on MORE bloatware when you buy a device with more space. That's BS. I expect that the amount of pre-used space to remain the same between 16GB, 32GB and 64 GB. Are they going to tell me that if I get a 16GB device, I will have 0 free space? They even said themselves, 16GB of space is pre-used on the 32GB device and 19GB of space is pre-used on the 64GB device.

Not cool.

But then, the question comes down to...can you uninstall/remove the pre-installed crap? On Android devices, there's alot of useless system apps that you can't remove, but they don't take up 16GB. If he can uninstall...just uninstall it. Otherwise, all the power to him in this suit.

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Holmes

The plaintiff can validate his claim with a polygraph.

The question for him to answer is

"Did you know about the lesser memory space before you bought the Surface?"

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Go

He's gone and done it now!

Send him 11,112 3½ floppy disks in a box marked FRAGILE...FUCKING DO IT NOW!!! etc,blah

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Joke

security features

its clearly 16gb of the latest and greatest security, Microsoft security essentials premium plus for business

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He has NO point....

This Lawyer has no point except the fact that he is extremely ignorant about computers and can't read. Like most of the intelligent comments posted. ALL computers and devices have always be sold advertising the amount of physical memory it has not how much you have left available to you after the OS and pre-loaded apps. The fact that he is even able to sue on this just shows how screwed up the system really is. Already knowing he will loose, I just hope it costs him alot of money in the process of wasting the legal systems time.

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Nintendo Also Guilty

The new Wii-U 8GB has only 3GB available for users...

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Gimp

he is after the class action is why... how sleazy leech lawyers make their ill gotten money

It's not that he doesn't want the card... it's that he is a sleeze opportunist lawyer who saw an opening.

He probably didn't even want the surface... just somewhere he saw it advertised "32GB of space" and when he figured out there was only 16GB of "FREE" space he took his opportunity.

He is the lawyer.. so he is only wasting his own time... sadly the chances of MS successfully counter suing him, or him facing any kind of reprimand from the State Bar or other legal authority is almost Zero... so no risk to him.

Class action gives him all the benefit... MS will have to shell out the difference in space $10-20 for a 16GB SD card? They will update their advertising information going forward, so lets say they have sold 200,000 devices by then... that's $2million that MS would have to shell out for the CLASS ACTION... all this money basically goes into a bank account held by same said waste of life lawyer.... MS provides all the customer contact information they have to lawyer for the 200,000 customers. Lawyer spends 6 months sending out notices to each customer that (after Attorney fees, mailing expenses etc they are each due $7-8,, they just need to mail their RECEIPT and fill our this form to claim their money.... a few thousand AT MOST will actually still have the receipt a year after purchase, and bother to send in for the money... If even a thousand do, he cuts 1000 $8 checks and ends up pocketing 1.9 million for himself.

CLASS ACTIONS are the most OUT OF CONTROL SLEAZY SUIT THAT EXISTS TODAY (Except maybe for patent and copyright infringement which is also out of control..

People who are harmed by a company in multiple small ways need a way to redress in the courts, and class actions provide this service... HOWEVER we should place CAPS on what percentage the lawyer of the case can take (should be like 3-5% MAX) and the rest that is unclaimed should either go to Charitable causes that counter the damage or just be collected by the Courts and put into government coffers.

GIMP because lawyers like this deserve the GIMP treatment just like pulp fiction

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Anonymous Coward

SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

"And as Microsoft pointed out, it would be a simple and inexpensive matter for Sokolowski to add large amounts of memory to his fondletop by simply slotting in a microSD card"

I think the SD card is only good for transferring files on and off the tablet. It would be no good for storing music.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

Microsoft you can use the SD port to add up to 64GB more storage.

C.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

From what I've read, its a bit hazy, SD can't be thought of as an extension of internal storage. A music app would be able to play a song on SD storage but isn't capable of indexing all the files on SD. You couldn't set up a playlist or search SD data from a music app.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

Got a source? This sounds ridiculous. Either it works or it doesn't :-(

C.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

I have class 10 64gb microsd card on my Galaxy S3 and it's full of music. Why would Surface be slower?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/11/surface-disk-space-a-bit-better-and-a-bit-worse-than-microsoft-says/

"As such, even the 16GB that Microsoft promises on the 32GB Surface may not be readily available to end-users. Surface does, at least, have a way of adding storage that Windows itself will never use for its own needs; it has a microSD slot that works with 64GB cards.

There are wrinkles to this support, however. Due to the sandboxing and security used in Windows RT, apps need special permission to use this removable storage. Apps that just have permission to access your music, picture, or document libraries can't use the SD card. Worse, it's not possible to add removable storage to the existing libraries; Windows requires that all library locations be indexed. As a result, it won't index removable storage, presumably on the basis that it might get removed, which would cause the index to include information about files that no longer existed.

There is a trick involving Junction Points to make Windows not realize that the SD card is an SD card, but that is hardly what one would call elegant or easy-to-use."

Peter Bright

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

So by Bright's reckoning, what can be stored on the card? Sounds like nothing at all which seems wrong. We'll have to grab a Surface and test it.

C.

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Windows

Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

Either it works or it doesn't :-(

You'd think so, but this is a Microsoft product here.

Here's a little story on how it works/doesn't work:

http://www.teamradicus.com/post/Surface-and-SD-Card.aspx

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Silver badge

Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

"Got a source? This sounds ridiculous. Either it works or it doesn't :-("

I have just checked this for you on mine. I've put some MP3s on a card and plugged it in. The card shows up and I can play any of the music on there fine. I can also just grab the whole lot and play the lot. They all open in Xbox music and I can skip through them etc. However, some functionality is not available. For example, I can't add them to my Music library because they are on "a removable device". This means that I can't quite make it as a fully integrated playlist with content on my Xbox music pass. I'm not sure what the limits are or if there are ways around this as I haven't really used music on removable storage very much with it. So no, it's not quite "it works or it doesn't." You can absolutely play all your music from it. But it's not going to show up synchronized on other devices like live content music will for example.

I don't know if that's significant for anyone or a non-issue. Am happy to check things if asked.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: SD Card Not Same As Internal Storage

Galaxy uses a quality OS. Surface uses Wundows.

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WTF?

A little shocked by the comments here

Massive turnout of folks that think selling a 32GB device that's already half full is no different to the 1-10% fill rate we see on everything else, 50% isn't the start of the slippery slope, it's fucking halfway down, accept it and be damned.

Can't help but think this could be a major reason behind Sinofsky's abrupt departure.

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Boffin

I kind of agree with him

This practice should stop.

I know it's always been that way - with every manufacturer. I don't believe it's just MS that should take the flack here. I know the information is there on their website. I'm a techie though. My Mum won't understand that.

When you buy a car does it give luggage capacity and then have a tiny caveat about how much of that space is taken up by the Engine.

Or a fridge. 100 L of space. (25 taken up by compressor). Of course not...

Oh and those aren't British Liters. These are Nomadic Liters used by scientists in Nomad land so it's actually less 20% smaller still.

I don't want to know how much space I can't use. I want to know how much space is available to me.

This is information that can help me make a clear decision when choosing to buy these consumable devices.

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Facepalm

Re: I kind of agree with him

When you buy a car does it give luggage capacity and then have a tiny caveat about how much of that space is taken up by the Engine.

Actually that's a really rotten analogy. Cars tend to come with n litres of boot space and fail to mention that significant chunks of that can only be used if you have many small and weirdly-shaped pieces of luggage. Wheelarches, suspension mounts and such serve to ensure that you don't get a regular shape and the fact that the height is never anywhere near that of any combination of your luggage stacked all take their toll. If you had an exactly boot-shaped case to take advantage of it, you'd never get the thing in through the lid anyway. Using conventional, cuboid suitcases, somewhere around half is what you get there too.

The other trick is n inches of rear legroom, which often appears to assume that your knees and ankles are double-jointed.....

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