back to article Microsoft forbids class actions in new Windows licence

Microsoft will make it harder for customers to club together with lawyers to file lawsuits against its products. The company is rolling out new End User License Agreements (EULAs) that forbid punters from joining class-action proceedings. Assistant general counsel Tim Fielden announced the tweak here and said the changes will …

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  1. LarsG
    Thumb Down

    An unfair contract term will last as long as a snowflake in Hell, the courts will have a field day and Microsoft a bad day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Windows 9 will not have these terms because all the bugs, instability and crap interface will have been ironed out.

      What Vista is to Win7, Win8 will be to Win9.

      1. Frank Haney
        Happy

        "Windows 9 will not have these terms because all the bugs, instability and crap interface will have been ironed out."

        I like you. You make me laugh. :-D

      2. Nuke
        Meh

        @AC 1827hrs

        Wrote :- "Windows 9 will not have these terms because all the bugs, instability and crap interface will have been ironed out."

        You ARE trying to be funny, aren't you?

        1. Euripides Pants Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: @AC 1827hrs

          "You ARE trying to be funny, aren't you?"

          He's stoned. This is what happens after you give a salmon acid and then smoke the salmon...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A joke, perhaps...

        Just being cynical!

      4. Graham Wilson

        at A.C. -- Wrong icon!

        "Windows 9 will not have these terms because all the bugs, instability and crap interface will have been ironed out."

        Yuh forgot the joke alert.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the EULA is worth jack shit

      at least in the UK anyway

      1. CrossChris
        Linux

        Re: the EULA is worth jack shit

        Unfortunately Americans believe that their laws apply throughout the world, which is why they have people "rendered" to them from almost every country.

        Fortunately there's another, more modern, secure and stable option!

        Please note - with the release of "Windows Security Essentials" MS finally admitted that their "operating systems" have no security whatsoever.

        1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: the EULA is worth jack shit

          >>Please note - with the release of "Windows Security Essentials" MS finally admitted that their "operating systems" have no security whatsoever

          ffs, Thats tired old bullshit and you should know it if you know anything about security.

          But alright, lets assume that you're correct.

          By your logic then, with the inclusion of SELinux in the Linux Kernel as of version 2.6 (in 2003 mind you), the Linux community admitted the very same thing through NSA and the University of Utah forcing them to, and the fact that it has mandatory access control and mandatory integrity control embedded in the Kernel its self seems to suggest there was an even bigger problem with Linux rather than Windows.

          You can spin it any way you like, but really, *anything* in computing is vulnerable if its improperly configured or you're fucking stupid about how you use it. The choice of OS has nothing to do with a user being a dumbass.

          1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

            Re: the EULA is worth jack shit

            Correction: The choice of OS has nothing to do with a user WITH ADMINISTRATOR PRIVILEGES being a dumbass.

            The whole point of an OS is to isolate programs and data correctly. In the modern ages, everything's abused by most home users being able to execute arbitrary code and to do so with administrator privileges as a matter of course (UAC is pretty weak and full of holes). I agree that an administrator on either system can wreak just as much havoc. But the whole POINT of an OS existing is to stop ordinary users being able to do so, or at worst to do it only to their own files and settings. By and large, that's true on modern OS too, but it's a very different story and one where SELinux totally wipes the floor with anything available on a Microsoft OS.

            There's a world of difference between having to trust the users, and spending time setting up a system where the users have (and need) zero trust whatsoever. One is generally a home scenario, one a business/industry/military scenario. There, you end up with a great deal of difference in your assertions. It's POSSIBLE to secure a Linux system so that almost anything (including 99% of all published Linux "exploits") can't actually do anything. It's not really possible on Windows. You can't really control things and isolate program to that finely-detailed level without an awful lot of extraneous, third-party software that can only control what Microsoft choose to expose.

            That said, I mostly agree with you. The problem with Windows is political and cultural. Users have been trained to expect to be able to run with privileges, to write to ANY folder, to manage their own PC in the same "mode" as they use to run the web browser, and have little isolation between processes. Hell, you don't even get a "This program is trying to run at startup, do you wish to allow that?" style-dialog for the simplest of actions that a malicious program can perform (and be a pain to undo). Properly secured, bare Linux and Windows are about the same. But SELinux and other solutions are a step above anything Windows offers to the public (and as far as I know, the "military" versions of Windows are still based on an ANCIENT codebase because that's all they could certify).

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: the EULA is worth jack shit

              @Lee Dowling:

              Oh absolutely, for instance I saw some guy bragging about running Fedora 17 as root earlier on another thread and I dont think he was just using it for configuring a regular user account. Im pretty sure he just uses the damned thing as root. Pretty stupid if you ask me. But hey, you cant fix stupid, you just have to try and mitigate it. With user culture being the way it is, especially in the world of Windows, educating people on why having Administrative permissions for everything all the time is a bad idea is always an uphill battle.

              Home and Business are indeed different worlds but in the end you can wind up getting hit just as hard if not harder by taking a carefree attitude toward security at home especially if you have anything laying around on one of your computers of a sensitive nature (business email, credit card/banking information, Identity information, passwords being saved in cleartext, etc).

              I agree with you myself on your points, to *really* secure Windows you have to run a hell of alot of other programs as well as set Policy configuration, edit permissions til you're blue in the face, attach it to a very secure private network, set very strict firewall rules, etc etc. It sucks, and alot of it is Microsoft's fault for not being as security conscious as they have become during the 1990's and the early part of the 2000's.

              In regard to the Security Certified Military versions of Windows that the US uses anyway, Im going avoid going to that level of detail (I do know what they are and its probably the same thing you're speaking of, the certified client is more than 10 years old so yes it is ancient, and the certified server is also nearly ten years old) but as Im not sure its FOUO or above, I wont name versions. I will state though for the record that it takes forever and a day to get an OS certified by DISA, NIST, and NSA/CSS

              Then again, I will say that I believe the NIST guidelines for their testing are honestly better than NSA's.

        2. Gordon Fecyk
          FAIL

          That's what AV vendors thought, and look at them

          with the release of "Windows Security Essentials" MS finally admitted that their "operating systems" have no security whatsoever.

          enough said.

          MICROSOFT URGED CUSTOMERS FOR YEARS to use anti-virus software to protect their PCs, but the computer security industry's focus on the addictive update model forced Microsoft's hand. Customers wanted a secure Microsoft operating system, and when Microsoft delivered, computer security firms got uppity.

        3. Nigel 11
          Devil

          Re: the EULA is worth jack shit

          Does the USA allow one to waive one's legal rights in this way? Or at all?

          Also given the nature of lawyers in general and USA lawyers in particular, I wonder if Microsoft won't be facing a class action lawsuit from the legal profession concerning this nefarious attempt to prevent citizens from asserting their legal rights, thereby depriving lawyers of their right to profit thereby? Sooner rather than later?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the EULA is worth jack shit

        Does the concept of a class action suit even exist where laws in the UK are concerned?

    3. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Sure it may seem unfair but class action suits are pretty much worthless, the only people who gain anything are the lawyers. I've been on the winning side of several such law suits and have never bothered to claim the award as it generally would barely cover lunch at McDonalds.

    4. h4rm0ny

      Not an expert, but I'm pretty sure this is not enforceable in US law. In Europe it varies on a case by case basis. We don't have an EU-wide equivalent to the USA's Class Action at the moment. But several countries such as Germany, France, Spain do. The UK does not, but in some cases, there are ways to pursue the claim in other EU countries.

      Regardless of legality, it's unethical to try and put this in a EULA, of course.

      1. Chad H.

        EULA

        Since a contract requires an intention to be bound by the contract, and most people just click on accept without paying any attention to the notice, could it be argued that the EULA is no contract as one party at least had no intention of being bound by it?

      2. Alain

        No class action in France

        ...as far as I know. People keep calling for it.

  2. Benjamin 4

    I'm not a lawyer but could we not create a class action suit against Microsoft along the lines of: "Microsoft is using its monoply position in operating systems and office productivity suites to force people to accept unfair licencing terms, preventing them from recouping damages in the event of faults" or something simlar?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      No because as the article already said, legal precedent exists for them to do this.

      It's rather cynical and mean but if the law allows it, they'd be suckers not to do it.

      1. Graham Wilson
        Stop

        @JDX -- So the next step is...

        ...To engineer this common law decision out with legislation. (If good consumer legislation had already existed then this precedent wouldn't have occurred.)

    2. Captain Save-a-ho

      No, but complaints can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission, who can file an antitrust lawsuit (which is a criminal, not civil case). I would expect that Microsoft will not be happy if they receive thousands of seperate lawsuits in a short timeframe. Likely to have some summary judgments if they don't employ enough lawyers.

      All of this is really just US-specific, of course. Though, I would expect complaints in Europe to be handled similiarly by the EC.

  3. Antoinette Lacroix
    Meh

    If the first thing they do

    . . is try to protect themselves from class actions, the product must be pretty shitty.

    1. Mr_Pitiful
      Happy

      Re: If the first thing they do

      I owe you a beer, for that comment

      Nice one

    2. JDX Gold badge

      Re: If the first thing they do

      No they're just doing what they're allowed to do. No doubt it will be commonplace soon.

    3. That Steve Guy

      Re: If the first thing they do

      Upvote here.

      On a side note I do wonder if they can have a class action suit against the class action clause?

      Might be interesting.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        @That Steve Guy

        On a side note I do wonder if they can have a class action suit against the class action clause?

        Actually, that would create the first legal recursion. Genius idea!

    4. Graham Wilson

      @ Antoinette Lacroix - Re: If the first thing they do

      You've been read where it hurts, reckon at least one Microsoft employee has read your comment.

      Who else on the planet would dare down-vote it?

      1. Miek

        Re: @ Antoinette Lacroix - If the first thing they do

        I'd put that down-vote in the EBKAC category and move along.

  4. Wanda Lust

    The last thing we, the people, should do...

    is agree to such junk.

    1. Sureo

      Re: The last thing we, the people, should do...

      Yes the best course with such repulsive license terms is to decline to buy/use the product.

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: The last thing we, the people, should do...

        >Yes the best course with such repulsive license terms is to decline to buy/use the product.

        And just how many laptop computer models can you buy without a forcibly bundled Windows?

        1. Gene

          If you try real hard...

          ...I'll bet you can think of a few models. Hint - they all come from one company.

          1. dogged

            Re: If you try real hard...

            Dell? They bundle Linux, no?

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: If you try real hard...

              Is that the same Dell that only allows you to buy the Linux version on the lowest spec laptop? Or thats all I can find in 1/2hr of plugging away at their site

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @ Tom 7

                "Buying a Dell"

                There's your problem!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Gene - Re: If you try real hard...

            Yeah, but you have to try really, really hard to get them, even though it's two orders of magnitude easier than from HP

        2. JetSetJim Silver badge

          Re: The last thing we, the people, should do...

          You can always reject the license and apply for a refund as folks have been doing for several years now - US, Canada, UK, and more...

        3. Davidoff
          WTF?

          And just how many laptop computer models can you buy without a forcibly bundled Windows?

          Dozens, probably hundreds. Of course not from your average consumer temple a la Best Buy, PC World, Curry's and such, but most big brands (like HP or Dell) sell shitloads of laptops without OS to small and large businesses around the world every day.

          And then there are the assemblers who use barebone laptops and stuff it with components, and which often happily sell you a laptop without OS.

          If someone says that he can't find a laptop without WIndows then he's just lazy.

          1. t20racerman

            Re: And just how many laptop computer models can you buy without a forcibly bundled Windows?

            You can buy SOME laptops without Windows, but not the ones you actualy want to buy. I had a business account with Dell and had bought several laptops recently with Windows on for work. I then tried to buy the same laptop WITHOUT windows pre-installed as I'm a Linux user at home and don't like Windows. Dell refused point blank. Their rep offered me ONE choice of low spec high cost laptop and said that they would not sell me any other without Windows on. I took it up the management chain and still got no where. I asked them to sell me one without a HDD then - again this was refused. There reason was that I might 'pirate' Windows if I bought a laptop without an O/S preinstalled! Is this really THEIR concern?

            In the end, I said either sell me one, or close my account. The account is now closed.

            Next I tried HP - exactly the same result.

            What kind of corrupt world are we in when a computer MANUFACTURER won't sell you a computer unles you buy a load of pre-installed software that you have no use for and will never use?

            I have the records of my emails and online converstaions to back this up.

            1. bhtooefr

              Re: And just how many laptop computer models can you buy without a forcibly bundled Windows?

              Because the manufacturers are paid for the bundled stuff, is my understanding.

            2. DAN*tastik

              Re: And just how many laptop computer models can you buy without a forcibly bundled Windows?

              I have found this, apparently you just need to insist to succeed... Haven't tried it myself yet, but I definitely will next time I buy one ...

              http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1073

            3. CrossChris
              Mushroom

              Re: And just how many laptop computer models can you buy without a forcibly bundled Windows?

              How many would you like?

              I wanted some high spec machines from the Sony Vaio range (as a government purchaser) and they fell over themselves to supply the 500 machines I needed. I asked for bare machines with their driver disc and they asked me why I wouldn't want Windows 7. I explained as politely as I could that Windows 7 is just as fundamentally broken as the rest of the Microsoft product line, and was a waste of money for us. They were happy not only to supply the machines at a substantial discount - a slightly bigger discount than just the deduction of the price of Windows - and asked which Linux distribution we'd be using and would we like them pre-installed?

              I've had similar results with Dell (though only for desktop machines), with Lenovo and HP. They ALL want my business!

              The only company that refused to accommodate me (so far) was Toshiba, and they're in all sorts of financial trouble now, so we wouldn't buy from them anyway.

              1. MacroRodent Silver badge
                Thumb Down

                Comments on comments on "And just how many laptop computer models can you buy..."

                > ...to supply the 500 machines I needed ...

                That is so different. If you are shopping for hundreds of laptops, sure the manufacturers will accommodate your OS wishes. When shopping for one, they will either offer an overpriced model you don't wan't, or none at all.

                People who responded to my post with examples how to get laptops without bundled Windows, if one tries hard enough, miss the point. All but true zealots will take the easier route, so most Linux users will get the one with bundled Windows (far easier and usually cheaper), and will probably also boot it a few times with Windows, if only to check that the hardware is OK. So Microsoft gets the money they don't deserve, and (what is even worse), the notional acceptance of their EULA, establishing more precedent ("billions of users have accepted our EULA so what are you complaining about?").

                I don't see how the playing field could be leveled other than by law that forces every general purpose computer to be available also without an OS. Or so that any bundled OS must supplied as a separate item, which the user can install or return for a refund with no questions asked. This would hardly be a big inconvenience for customers: my experience with new Windows 7 laptops is that the setting-up and updating that even the "pre-installed" OS does on the first few boots actually takes about as long as a full OS install would...

        4. A J Stiles
          Linux

          Re: The last thing we, the people, should do...

          Just wait till the ambulance-chasing spiv lawyers get onto this particular bandwagon. "Were you mis-sold a copy of Windows with your laptop?"

          Litigix -- the sue-happy distro, brought to you by Dewey, Cheetham and Howe.

        5. stanimir

          Re: The last thing we, the people, should do...

          Acer, HP, Dell to name a few but the main issue is microsoft is so scared of class suits to temper the EULA that bad.

          Class action suits do suck for the class and it's the lawyers who profit great... sad

    2. Big-nosed Pengie

      Re: The last thing we, the people, should do...

      is buy such junk.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Comming from a World renowned company in Social networking

    Or is that Social Notworking here please.

    You have more chance of getting hold of the Jedi bible to wear your oath upon in court than this carrying any weight with contract law and fair use.

    False advertising by microsoft et all is still false advertising and if you want one court case or to be stung once by a skilled lawyer that will then act as a land mark case for the umpteen others is actualy going to make Microsofts life alot worse.

    Do I have to sign a contract to install the OS you sell to consumers in a shop - nope, as such why are Microsoft wasting there time or are they upset there not seen as bad as Facebook and are missing the bad-press limelight!

    1. DanceMan
      Headmaster

      Re: Comming from a World renowned company in Social networking

      Misspelling both "their" and "they're" as "there" in the same sentence. Congratulations. Apologies if English is your second language.

      1. DAN*tastik
        Headmaster

        @DanceMan - Re: Comming from a World renowned company in Social networking

        English is my second language, so I believe I have some idea of what I am talking about - but I admit I am not expert in the field...

        I think in English 99% of the time, but in other languages "their", "there", "they're" will be different from each other. Because of that, they are three distinct concepts ( not sure it's the right word for that, but I am sure it somehow explains it ) in my head. So it's very unlikely I will ever get it wrong. Same with "wear", "where", "your", "you're", "it's", "its", "waist", "waste".

        Somebody who was born in an English speaking country, will most likely start to speak English, then associate it to a spelling later on in life. So the confusion can come from here.

        In my experience, it's more likely you get a native speaker misspelling things like "your" and "you're", and non native speakers choosing the wrong word to say something... No matter how many times I look it up, I have no idea when to use "may" and when to use "might" for example. I also got "sex" and "gender" wrong on a post on here, and somebody was kind enough to explain the difference to me. I blinked, and it went :)

        Having said that, it is depressing that English teachers do not manage to teach children how to spell, but still keep their jobs!

        1. DrDr
          Headmaster

          Re: Difference between may and might (for DAN*tastik)

          IANAET but:

          "Just as could is the past tense of can, might is the past tense of may: We thought we might win the tournament. But might can also be used as a substitute for may to show diminished possibility. Thus, saying We might go to the movies means that the likelihood of going is somewhat less than if you say We may go to the movies. When used to express permission, might has a higher degree of politeness than may. Thus, Might I express my opinion conveys less insistence than May I express my opinion."

          This may/might have been copied and pasted.

          1. DAN*tastik
            Thumb Up

            @DrDr

            Thanks :)

        2. Chris Parsons
          Headmaster

          Re: @DanceMan - Comming from a World renowned company in Social networking

          Too true re: English teachers. A friend of mine is Head of English at a large comprehensive. Her spelling and grammar are atrocious.

        3. Graham Wilson
          Headmaster

          @DAN*tastik -- Re: @DanceMan etc... Welcome to the most screwed up spelling/grammar on the planet.

          It is a shameful fact that myriads of native English speakers have received instruction in English grammar and spelling that has ranged from poor to abysmal, (I rate my own instruction in English as only just acceptable, and I do not consider my own writing to be any better than just passable).

          Of course, there are many exceptions to the rule and those who have been well trained do write exceptionally well, nevertheless, all up, the numbers are far too few. A major reason for the problem is that so many English are not trained in or speak a second language (I was and I hate to think how much worse my English would be without the benefit of a smattering of foreign grammar). It's sheer utter arrogance of the English-speaking world for not further encouraging its citizens to speak multiple languages. With English being almost a lingua franca, and with the legacy of a colonial past being still present and with us, it's still very much an attitude of "if the natives don't understand, then shout a little louder".

          Many problems in English come from sheer sloppiness and the widespread use of contractions ('it's' used for 'it is' etc.), which we slur as if we were drunk. These days, rarely are enunciation, pronunciation and the spelling of words and their contractions taken seriously by teachers; thus when words sound the same many use any word that 'fits'.

          It is easy to see how this happens: for instance, take the foreign imported word 'tsunami'--almost without exception, native speakers of English pronounce the word without the 't'. In English, saying that 'tsunami' becomes 'sunami' is too kind; rather it is much more likely to be pronounced a slurred 'soonami'. Even though we have import the Japanese word into English with its punctuation intact, not the slightest effort goes into pronouncing the snake-hissing 'ts' sound. Blatantly, we've thrown away the perfectly good English expression 'tidal wave' and screwed up a word in another language and nobody cares a damn.

          Another example where the don't-give-a-damn attitude prevails utterly supreme is the use of the poor beleaguered apostrophe. Yes, there are a few cases where the apostrophe could be considered confusing or where typos are common ('it's' and 'its' etc.), but the biggest problem is in its use to indicate the possessive. Nothing could be more trivial and basic than the apostrophe rule, which simply asks 'who owns it?'. Answer with a noun immediately followed by and apostrophe: 'who/what owns the tail?', A: 'a single dog', thus 'dog's tail'; 'who owns the bat?; A: 'eleven boys', thus 'boys' bat'. Q.E.D! Yet, in the whole of English, nothing comes vaguely close as the misuse of the apostrophe to indicate to the world how abysmal the training of native speakers of English has become; it is nothing less than a towering beacon indicative of a widespread systemic failure in education.

          DAN*tastik, compared with many native speakers, your English is excellent. Want a job as an English teacher?

          BTW, DrDr's 'may/might' explanation is about as goods as it gets.

          1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
            Headmaster

            Re: @DAN*tastik -- @DanceMan etc... Welcome to the most screwed up spelling/grammar on the planet.

            When it comes to odd spelling, blame the so called scholars from the middle ages who decided that the old english and old french words should have a spelling that reflected their latin roots.

            Hence the OE/OF word "dette", to owe money, gets a 'b' from it's latin root "debitum" (or is it debitia???).

            Not that this idiotic practice has stopped, don't split infinites, why? because in latin infinitives are not split, they're one word (that’s one theory). As for ending a sentence preposition, that is one rule up which I will not put.

            Oh! One more thing, the correct spelling is "colour".

          2. The Indomitable Gall

            @Graham Wilson

            Actually, the reason the state of grammar teaching is so woefully inadequate in the UK is that hardliners like yourself give a very bad impression of what good grammar really is.

            Contractions are sloppiness -- they're part of the language and have always been. They are entirely necessary and inevitable in a stress-timed language, and English is a stress-timed language. A sentence such as "I wouldn't've been in the house" gets two natural stresses, and if you try to enunciate every word fully as "I would not have been in the house", you just won't be able to fit it to the natural rhythm and you will end up stressing something that you didn't intend to.

            I never hear your sort complaining about French, which has codified the contracted forms as the one and only correct form -- "J'ai" but never "Je ai"; "je n'en ai (pas)" and never "je ne en ai pas" etc. In fact, this may be one of the contributing factors to the failure of English grammar teaching -- the "contracted form" is in reality the base form, and the so-called "full form" is really the *emphatic* form. By trying to claim that the emphatic form is the unmarked form, you fail to connect with the student's internal model, and cause them to reject everything that you're trying to teach them.

            With regards to "tsunami", there's several things I could say. The consonant cluster /ts/ only occurs in syllable codas in English -- it is not available in syllable onsets. Consider the word "garage", which is also a borrowing. Do you say "GARage" or "garAGE"? If you compare the two, the -GE ending sounds different in them. How so? Because the the French-like GE of garAGE is only possible in the coda of stressed syllables in English. When the stress shifted to the first syllable (to better match the underlying patterns of English) it naturally resulted in a change of consonant quality. Either way, I bet you don't pronounce it with a French R. Similar, I bet you don't enunciate the first O in the borrowings "potato" and "tomato". And finally, can you tell me the stressed mora in the Japanese word "tsunami" (or even if it has one at all) and do you pronounce it with the correct pitch accent when you say it? I doubt it.

            The whole 's/s' thing is another pointless mess, arising from a failure to look at the nature of the genitive in modern English. The "plural possessive" doesn't actually match the internal model of the native speaker, where the possessive suffix/clitic 's is appended to a genitive, and as we all know (or would if we studied grammar properly), the English genitive (aka the "classifier noun") is always singular. For example "bread knife" and "toothbrush". Your "greenhouse" is full of greenS, plural. This is the reason that we only pronounce one S in plural possessive -- because there is only one S: the possessive S, not the plural. The orthographic distinction between s' and 's has no analogue in the native grammar.

            It's you sort that convinces people that grammar is valueless, so why not leave the matter to people who actually understand the matter?

            (And for the record, I'm a native speaker and I got first class honours in English Language at uni.)

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Graham Wilson
              Headmaster

              @The Indomitable Gall - - Re: @Graham Wilson

              Hardliner, surely not? If my English teacher read your comments she'd laugh in amazement then probably throw a copy of Fowler's 'The King's English' at you. I'm in engineering, and as a group we're often known for our inability to be able to string two words together. Having been to university, you'd have a damn good idea about what arts faculties think of engineers.

              I don't know when you were educated but most of my schooling was in the 1960s. Standards have changed so dramatically since then it'd be no exaggeration whatsoever to say that my teachers would be horrified if they read the posts and editorials in El Reg pages. Back then; grammar was a serious business from which no one could escape.

              What matters is being understood and understanding what other people have written. Today this is a problem but it was much less so back then. In short, that's comprehension and it used to be a large part of the English curriculum. In a few generations, things have gotten so bad that it's a regular occurrence in my profession to find that we can no longer make sense of manufacturer's engineering manuals and often we have to rewrite them before they're put into service. What makes it so bad is that both writer and reader suffer the same English comprehension problems. The matter is so serious that we'd be liable under occupational and health and safety if the manuals weren't rewritten in a clear, understandable and succinct form. It's not that manuals contain excessive jargon, rather the language and sentence structure used simply doesn't make sense. I should add these manuals aren't from Asia and in Ginglish but are written in English and are sourced from English-speaking countries. Similarly, I find myself regularly correcting reports others have written, and I'm forever correcting misused apostrophes that randomly appear almost anywhere in formal correspondence written by secretarial staff--they're supposed to be correcting my grammar, not vice versa! 30 years ago, this role reversal would have been unthinkable.

              It may be of surprise but I am somewhat familiar with French contractions. I've French relatives and I recall that once in Arles I found myself dealing with a hotel receptionist only to find that his contractions combined with the local vernacular brought the conversation to a halt. It was at this point he reached under the counter, produced two English-French dictionaries and handed one to me. We then burst out laughing. The French may have codified the contracted forms but as I've discovered that doesn't help in many parts of the country. Then again, France has the Académie française to formalise its language but as we know, such regulation would never work in English. Nevertheless, perhaps having no academy in English is part of our problem.

              Re 'tsunami', having worked in Japan for a while, and here in Australia where I reside, I'm often in contact with Japanese people but that doesn't make me expert in Japanese. Anyway, as you've asked, here's my take on it. The constant 'ts' is pronounced similarly as in 'cats' except it's at the beginning of the word unlike in English where it's only used at the end. 'tso' (with short vowel) may be a better pronunciation of 'ts' when used alone. The Japanese consonant 'tsu' (the small hiragana 'っ' or katakana 'ッ' sokuon symbol) is just one mora and the word 'tsunami' is both regular and short (almost abrupt). With only one mora in its name, the Japanese town of Tsu (loosely meaning port) claims the shortest sounding name in the world.

              However, all that is away from what I was driving at, which is that English has appropriated 'tsunami' for no other reason other than it's fashionable then screwed up its pronunciation in the process as the word requires a modicum of effort to say properly in English. Moreover, doing so it's killed off the perfectly good English term 'tidal wave'. Furthermore, there's no process in English to correct bad or stupid usage. I used this example not because I wanted to take on the role of a grammar cop but because written English in many areas is getting so bad that entropy has set--people can no longer understand what's been written. The apostrophe just serves as a trivial example; do away with it and entropy is increased, information is lost as there'll be instances when the possessive becomes ambiguous.

              In spite of all its logical inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies, one keeps the apostrophe in English because there's nothing better. Grammarians like yourself might hate its grammatical inconsistencies but hundreds of years of convention (wherein editors and master printers have formalised its use) have led to a consensus, a result that was useful enough for everyone to use and easy enough for schoolkids to learn if taught the simple rules.

              You say "the whole 's/s' thing is another pointless mess" and I'd be one of the first to agree with you. However, you grammarians have done nothing to rectify the problem except completely pull the fragile edifice down, now we've nothing but a 'guaranteed' mess. A glance at Fowler from the viewpoint of formal logic and it looks like a mess (at least it does to me), but nevertheless those rules worked, English written within the bounds of these rules was comprehensible and often a pleasure to read. Now it seems everybody's given up.

              In the bookshelf directly within reach of me is my copy of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002 ed)--all 1800+ pages of the damn thing. How the average human being is supposed to get his or her head around its contents is beyond me. This huge edifice is clearly a remarkable and scholarly insight into the workings of the English language but it's contents have not distilled out or trickled down into the schools or infused into the curriculum thus resulting in students having better English skills than those of 50 years earlier. To the contrary, there's widespread and irrefutable evidence that English as is taught today is leaving people much less skilled in the language. For years now, both universities and industry have been crying out over the fact, some universities have even offered remedial English courses to new entrants to compensate for the failure of the education system.

              "It's you sort that convinces people that grammar is valueless, so why not leave the matter to people who actually understand the matter?"

              So how do my sort convince people that grammar is valueless? I've never said that, and from what I've written here and elsewhere, it ought to be very clear that my view is quite the contrary. I've never sought the limelight in this debate and it's a tragedy that I've found it necessary for me to have to speak out. Literacy has fallen to such a low level that I'm feeling the repercussions directly in technical and engineering work. When technical and scientific industries start speaking out about the language and increasing illiteracy then clearly something's very wrong.

              With respect, the literacy establishment's let the ball drop and we techies have only picked it up with great reluctance, it's been an act of desperation on our part. You grammarians--custodians of the English language--have a lot to answer. For the last half-century or so, you've let established rules slip but failed to replace them with equal or better ones. The consequential effects have been that over several generations, many students have graduated whilst still teetering on the border of illiteracy. The consequential effects on our society have been enormous.

              We disagree but thank you for an enlightened discussion.

      2. stanimir
        Headmaster

        Re: Comming from a World renowned company in Social networking

        Actually with English being my second (or third) language they're/their/there are significantly less likely to be misspelled than what I've seen by native speakers. (the same holds true to than/then, lose/loose. your/you're).

        Usually non-natives first learn to write and then talk properly, so the fact the words sound the same doesn't matter that much.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ DanceMan

        Unfortunately, you have succumbed to Muphry's Law in the title of your post...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Comming from a World renowned company in Social networking

        Actually, that's a mistake only English speakers make.

        Foreigners like me have had to learn the hard way each word and we don't confuse them just because they sound alike. English speakers have an appalling grasp of their language's grammar.

        The worst imho: I should of done. How in hell can you mistake words with such different meanings?

        1. The Indomitable Gall

          Re: Comming from a World renowned company in Social networking

          "Should of" is the result of refusing to accept the correct form -- "should've" -- in writing. "Should've" is the act of the conditional perfect moving to a more synthetic form. No-one ever says "I of been" for "I have been", so it is clearly now a different thing in the native speaker's internal model.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Mr Smeghead

    Who chooses the arbitrator?

    Let me guess ... Microsoft?

  7. danielwalewis

    Good thing we have UCTA over here, wouldn't cover "class action" but would stop them limiting their liability against the implied terms of the SGA (s13, s14.2 and s14.3)

  8. Ru
    WTF?

    How on earth did doing this become legal?

    They're certainly not the first big corporation to do this, and anyone else dealing with US consumers will no doubt follow suit in short order. It is clearly in their advantage to do so, if they can... MS aren't being any more evil than the next giant corporation here.

    Exactly which court is guilty of this particular act of screwing of the little guy? There must have been some sort of fairly recent precedent.

    1. Wile E. Veteran
      Coat

      Re: How on earth did doing this become legal?

      The US Government: the best government money can buy. And did.

      Mine's the one with the Beastie doll hanging out of the pocket.

    2. Daniel B.
      Thumb Down

      Scalia happened.

      a 2011 SCOTUS decision, backed by that infamous Scalia guy, allowing companies to force customers into opting for arbitration instead of class-action. Probably the closest thing to a Dredd Scott ruling in the 21st century...

      1. FrankAlphaXII Silver badge

        Re: Scalia happened.

        Its spelled Dred by the way. And while its fucked up, I dont think it compares to declaring an entire population to be property that isnt protected by the constitution.

        The name of the case was AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.

        The majority opinion was backed by ALL of the Right-wing members of the Court, as well as Kennedy, who switches sides at his own leisure.

        1. DAN*tastik

          @ FrankAlphaXII - Re: Scalia happened.

          It's spelled "it's" by the way :) And a few more apostrophes here and there in the rest of the post...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Happy

            Re: @ FrankAlphaXII - Scalia happened.

            Shall we not even get into the sin that is starting a sentence with an "And"?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Starting a sentence with 'and'

              Not an issue if the quality of your writing is sufficient that it contributes to the overall meaning. For example, Shakespeare is quite fond of starting sentences with 'and' or 'but'.

              For most people though, it is indeed a sin - and therefore a good general rule.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re. apostrophes

            Here are a few spares for the next time you get antsy: ''''''''''''''

            It's hard enough to keep uninstalling those online spellcheckers every *ç%& idiot developer insists on inserting in operating systems and applications so I can retain the muscle memory that allows me to type "the" without needing that crap to then start worrying about apostrophes as well. Not that I don't care (I do, and I'm pretty good at their use unless I want to annoy grammar nazis), but I think that sort of complaint gets in the way of communication instead of enhancing it.

            Just my two cents or whatever currency you use.

  9. Dropper

    Not sure about this..

    While I agree there are a lot of things wrong with this, the amount you can be awarded in compensation is not one them.

    The most expensive XBox 360 or version of Windows is less than half the maximum award you can get in small claims. So if you are unhappy that Windows came with Media Player, you XBox overheats or you're still banging on about how IE should be removed because it killed Netscape.. then getting a grand seems more than fair. provided the store you bought it from won't give you your money back.

    The things that are wrong with it also don't include not being able to get $5 from a class action lawsuit.. oh you think you'll get more than that? Guess again, the money from class action suits goes to ambulance chasing lawyers, not the people affected. You'll probably get a free mamogram or teeth cleaning, thrown in, but you won't get cold, hard cash.

    The real thing wrong with it is that Microsoft will have some sort of control over the retribution.. I mean compensation..

    The real victims of Microsoft are not users. It's what they do to other software companies that matters and they won't be using class action suits.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Not sure about this..

      "Guess again, the money from class action suits goes to ambulance chasing lawyers, not the people affected."

      You're missing the point (and for all you pedants out there, the apostrophe is in the right place). The point isn't necessarily how much money the plaintiff gets, It's about how much money the defendant pays. A couple-a 5 grand findings here or there (to quote the Jefferson Starship) "doesn't mean shit to a tree". However, a several tens of millions dollar finding (or two) tends to modify behavior a bit (or, at least, makes shareholders antsy). Yes, most of the money goes to the lawyers, and that is fucked up. However, if lining the pockets of a few lawyers is what it takes to alter bad behavior, I'm all for it. (Besides, once the class action suit has been settled, if you really want to try to get a big payday, decline membership in the class, and file you're own suit. The fact that the previous suit was found in your favor (or at least settled) will go a long way toward helping you win yours.)

      Think about it for a second or two...if class action suits are such a bad thing for the filers, why is Corporate America™ trying so hard to limit them?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not sure about this..

        "You're missing the point (... the apostrophe is in the right place)"

        In that case, yes it is. I don't see how anybody could argue that the apostrophe would be placed anywhere else.

        "and file you're own suit"

        There, however, you really have shot yourself in the foot as no apostrophe is required at all. You should have written 'your'.

        If you're going to mention correct grammar or spelling or punctuation in your post then please do try to make sure you get it right.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Not sure about this..

          Your right! ;-)

          It just shows to go ya, I just cant type!

          (sic)

  10. Bob Vistakin
    Thumb Up

    Well, I for one support this move.

    Microsoft works really hard to build their systems and it's only fair they take sensible steps to protect their investment.

    1. Bill B

      Re: Well, I for one support this move.

      Dammit bob, you owe me a new keyboard.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, I for one support this move.

      It's very kind of you to try to entertain us. We all need a good laugh from time to time, it's a good exercise too.

    3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Well, I for one support this move.

      Quality comedy , that is, or quality trolling, maybe.

      Quality nonetheless

    4. Bob Vistakin
      Holmes

      Re: Well, I for one support this move.

      Thanks everyone - the down votes make my real point much better than I could myself.

  11. arrbee
    Pirate

    So if one person wins a case with general applicability then others can file individually on the same basis, maybe even on a no-win-no-fee basis with their lawyer. I'm not sure that would work out cheaper in the event of a major rooster rise.

    ( pirate icon cos I mentioned lawyers )

    1. Daf L

      But...

      It now takes one person to be able to afford a long, expensive case with not a certainty of winning and be able to pay for a lawyer through appeals for years.

      If they looked like losing they could also then settle out of court with a gagging clause and every person following would have to risk another full blown trial.

  12. LinkOfHyrule
    FAIL

    MS Prenup

    All new Microsoft products come with a free roll of toilet paper - it's what the end user agreement is written on!

  13. The Serpent

    I must be missing something here

    Sorry if I am being naive here, but who the fuck are Microsoft to determine how people may choose to exercise their legal rights?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I must be missing something here

      They can't. Well not in the UK anyway, we have legal statutory protection over here.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. The Serpent
        Thumb Up

        Re: I must be missing something here

        "They can't. Well not in the UK anyway, we have legal statutory protection over here."

        Like!

      3. CrossChris
        Mushroom

        Re: I must be missing something here

        Over here in the UK we have the "Sale of Goods Act" which states that a product must be "of merchantable quality". No Microsoft product has EVER achieved that status, so everyone who's ever suffered the indignities of trying to deal with MS products should have their purchase price refunded in full....

        1. LinkOfHyrule
          Thumb Up

          "of merchantable quality"

          That made me giggle! I would however argue that Microsoft are a right bunch of merchants!

          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: "of merchantable quality"

            Agreed, they employ many salesmen of the caliber of C.M.O.T. Dibbler. To sell a bad product as successfully as Microsoft clearly can, you must be a hell of a salesman. Window 7 is mostly OK, however.

      4. ranger

        Re: I must be missing something here

        Up to a point. It's also worth noting that if you *do* use MS's arbitration, then you don't have a subsequent appeal to the courts. See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/22/nominet_rules_mean_abusive_domain_name_registrations_finding_cannot_be_reheard_says_high_court/

        Disclaimer -- no doubt I've missed a boat load of specifics out, edge cases, things that are or aren't included in that judgement that apply here...

    2. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: I must be missing something here

      They are a big company (along with others) that gave money to politicians to insure the right people got on the supreme court so they can do what they want.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: I must be missing something here

      >>Sorry if I am being naive here, but who the fuck are Microsoft to determine how people may choose to exercise their legal rights?

      It's not MS who decided it, it is the court. Read the article.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. The Serpent

        Re: I must be missing something here

        "It's not MS who decided it, it is the court. Read the article."

        I did. It says the courts made anti class action clauses possible after AT&T first did it without approval. The clause is still optional so Microsoft are not obliged to take them up on it, but they did elect to take them up on it. So I stand by my original question even though, thankfully, the situation doesn't affect me. Which is good because I will not set aside my options to hold a company to account for the convenience of being allowed to use their product.

    4. GT66

      Re: I must be missing something here

      They are one of the companies that bought and paid for the government of the United States of America. Gee whiz, that should be pretty obvious since the US edited its constitution to read: We the corporate interests in order to form a more profitable market...

  14. Jeebus

    Maybe Microsoft should instead of building an underground concrete bunker before setting off a nuclear weapon directly above them should contemplate perhaps not setting off that bomb at all and work on making a product people will have a reason not to sue them for.

  15. Nunyabiznes

    Collusion

    There is nothing that I found that says potential class action claimants couldn't collude to introduce small claims in hundreds of jurisdictions on the same day instead of pursuing a class action. That virtually guarantees MS will not have enough coverage lawyer-wise (unless they contract out at going rates - $) to handle the deluge.

    Bonus is that the individual winners will actually get the money, vs the typical class-action lawsuit.

    Our local laws allow for reasonable compensation for time lost, costs, etc.

    Now, I don't agree with the SC's assertion that a standard form should allow companies to get out of class action status, however the ambulance chasers have brought this on us by their very actions.

    1. Franklin
      Stop

      Re: Collusion

      "There is nothing that I found that says potential class action claimants couldn't collude to introduce small claims in hundreds of jurisdictions on the same day instead of pursuing a class action."

      Except that it's easy for a large company to file motions to delay small-claims courts. "Sorry, your honor, our lawyers are all busy; we lack the ability to have adequate representation that Tuesday. We would like to petition the court to have the date moved to six weeks from next Thursday."

      This happened to me when I tried to sue United Parcel Service in small-claims court when they smashed up a computer of mine and then refused to pay the insurance. They kept coming in on the appointed day and petitioning for a delay, over and over again, every one of which the judge granted without hesitation. By the time all was said and done, it didn't matter if I won or lost; the amount it had cost me to take the time off work to show up in court each time, over a period of *months*, was greater than the amount of the damage.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Collusion

        So your lawyer asks for costs, which includes time taken off work.

        Your lawyer should also have been pointing out that the repeated delays were unreasonable and could only be a deliberate stalling tactic aimed at increasing said costs, which should therefore be punitive.

        Or did you have a useless lawyer?

        There do seem to be a lot of those.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

          Re: Collusion

          You are assuming the lawyer gets paid to help you, which is not how many lawyers see it. They get paid so they get richer. As the lawsuit is delayed, they charge more. The same holds for the lawyers of UPS. What incentive do they have to get things over with quickly if they get paid by the hour?

          Me, cynical?

        2. JimmyPage Silver badge
          FAIL

          So your lawyer asks for costs, which includes time taken off work.

          Doesn't work. There is a principle in English law, that a claimant must mitigate losses to the plaintiff. So you are expected to use a holiday from work to attend court. If you choose not to, and take an unpaid leave of absence - that's your problem, not the plaintiffs.

          The bottom line, is the only people whose time is paid for in court is the lawyers.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: So your lawyer asks for costs, which includes time taken off work.

            Equally, the other side has the same duty to avoid running up unreasonable costs.

            Multiple delays are clearly running up avoidable costs.

  16. Number6

    Expense

    This only works if Microsoft have got their sums right. Part of the reasoning behind a class action suit was that by pooling resources, it costs less for both sides because the evidence only needs to be presented once, rather than multiple times.

    However, my impression is that the lawyers pocket most of the money, having taken years to conclude a case, and the claimants get very little in comparison, so perhaps the net benefit may be that most claimants get more, it costs Microsoft less and the lawyers lose out.

    The way to get around the non-disclosure agreement issue is to make sure that a third party knows the details as the case progresses so that you can sign at the end with a clear conscience because you are not, as of that time, going to disclose anything.

  17. Dan Paul
    Thumb Up

    Small Claims Court

    In the US our Small Claims Court is different in every state. In New York State, you can sue for up to treble damages. If you can prove you were harmed the $1,000 could become $3,000.

    Who knows what a local small town judge might award you! He/She might even have a hard on for Micro$haft.

    Filing fee is only $25. Oh and you CANNOT bring a lawyer.

    1. Charles Manning

      Re: Small Claims Court

      And if each action calls Ballmer as a witness, that could get interesting.

      1. Silverburn

        Re: Small Claims Court @ Charles M

        Indeed. I doubt any court in the land has enough lob-able chairs...

  18. john devoy

    luckily this only appears to be allowed in the usa. other countries appear to have kept the laws that try to prevent big companies shitting on consumers at will.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Coat

      It's only a matter of time....

  19. Dani Eder

    Consumer Purchase Agreement

    Time for us to create a "Consumer Purchase Agreement", whose terms override any manufacturer's EULA. The way to make it enforceable is to tie it to credit card payments. In other words "By accepting payment from this card, you agree to these terms". This can apply to *every* payment, not just to Microsoft. If lots of people use this method it will even the tables with sellers. "Accept these even-handed terms, or we won't buy your stuff."

    1. tom dial Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Consumer Purchase Agreement

      Upvoted it, but don't think it can be workable. I'm not a lawyer, but think such things as checks for partial payment marked "paid in full" fail, and this sounds a bit like that. However there are credit cards that provide some additional warranty that might help.

      The out I like best is to refuse the license agreement, try to get a refund if you want, and install your favorite Gnu/Linux (mine's Debian)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sooo...

    If what MS is saying is true - that someone could get the money quicker through a smaller court, and then be done with it, probably meant to save them money from having to do a large case, and potentially pay up to loads of people - does that mean, that one such small case could act as precedent?

    In the days of the internet, I must admit I have a hard time seeing this as a clever strategy.

    Sure, you might not get everyone who was affected by some issue, but if something is big enough, it'll get around. Tons of people will simply go to a court and point to the precedent set previously.

    MS will likely have to be represented at each individual case, costing them a lot in lawyer fees? Plus will have to pay up individual payments - costing them administration fees in addition to the actually cost of the damages.

    Unless of course, they are just meaning to postpone the cases for ever, as was suggested earlier...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The government isn't going to do anything to Microsoft

    The Feds tried to break up Microsoft on account of their obvious monopoly. Microsoft just shrugged it off and won on appeal (won a slap on wrist). Their current contract structure, CALs, prevents competition from entering their arena because your license cost will largely remain unchanged even if you drop a certain portion of their products. If you are signed up with Microsoft, you take what they give you and like it. There are finally alternative options in Ubuntu, Lotus, Gmail (if you are brave), and Open/Libre. If you want to do something about it, drop Microsoft, but don't think that you are ever going to win a lawsuit against them.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only reasonable way to scare Microsoft

    is to be able to prove them you are not going to buy their products anymore. If you really want to see Microsoft trembling, try it.

  23. jake Silver badge

    Me, I forbid Microsoft's products entirely.

    Seems cleaner, somehow.

    I don't do business with companies that assume I'm a criminal.

  24. The Alpha Klutz
    Linux

    our new licence

    once you open the cellophane you agree to carry out your slavely duties under section 3 of the end user slaving agreement.

    ps. because we are a big company we dont have to treat you with respect

  25. Infernoz Bronze badge
    FAIL

    MS have lost the plot and are obviously deeper in corporate stagnation phase

    I'm hardly surprised, anything Windows 8 related is a complete mess:

    * The new GUI is nonsense for a non-tablet

    * The application restrictions are absurd and probably violate anti-trust legislation

    * The new version of the free development tools have been crippled, so even old OS's are not adequately supported; so the free software eco-system will ebb away and Computer students can no longer be tempted into proper Windows application development, so the MS ecosystem slowly dies.

    I have progressively less reason to support these morons, and the BSD/Linux could actually become more attractive than Windows despite it's flaws, even for current Windows power users!

    Ballmer should be kicked out and the board revamped, otherwise Microsoft will gradually die.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: MS have lost the plot and are obviously deeper in corporate stagnation phase

      > otherwise Microsoft will gradually die.

      And nothing of value was lost.

  26. Sarah Davis
    Coat

    hmmm Legally speaking,..

    just because MS say this is the case does not actually have any effect on the law

    just like el Reg having a bar a the bottom sating (re cookies) "we'll assume you're happy to accept the cookies anyway." does not actually mean anything when the user happens to not be happy (as they haven't provided an "I'm not fine with this" button

    jus sayin' - you can't simply declare law and think that it suddenly exists :)

  27. Magnus_Pym

    Why don't the go the whole hog...

    ...and forbid ANY action against the company?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Justice

    At last Microsoft is granted the protection form their users they've needed.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Justice

      Only the quiet solace of corporate death will give them the peace and protection they need.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But I'm not a lawyer

    A person just now contemplating purchase of the new MS OS might join a class contending the right to petition for redress of grievances would unconscionably be barred by such a clause; they haven't yet been bound by the EULA. However... I am NOT a lawyer!

  30. Shane Kent

    This says to me...

    that MS is not willing to stand behind their products. Instead of building something rock solid to withstand lawsuits, they have just given up and dismissed lawsuits.

  31. Tankboy
    Linux

    What's next?

    Car catches on fire? Oops, sorry, you signed on the dotted line, we're not responsible. How on earth can M$ get away with this fuckery?

  32. jonfr
    Stop

    What Windows 8 ?

    I find it highly unlikely that I am going to update to Windows 8 any time soon. Given that I am still using Windows XP for games.

    I use Gentoo Linux for other important stuff.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What shrinkwrap software has ever come with warranty?

    Back in the days of real software, I used to do business with companies that would warrant that their products would behave as described in the product description.

    More recently, as far as I know, the likes of MS have always tried to reject any warranty responsibilities other than manufacturing defects, ie if they sell you a PoS (oddly, there is already an OS called Windows PoS Ready [1]) then it's your fault not theirs.

    Has the legality of such attempted rejection of their legal obligations to provide EU consumers with product that is of merchantable quality ever been tested in the courts?

    [1] http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/evaluate/windows-embedded-pos-ready-2009.aspx

  34. Alan Brown Silver badge
    Coat

    Scott Adams redux:

    http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2012-05-23/

    Mine's the one with a Canonical support contract in the pocket.

  35. MurrayH
    FAIL

    Pretty Laughable

    Apparently Redmond learned the wrong thing about Windows Vista and Windows XP.

    1. [Windows Vista] Using Market share to throw crap on the wall for your customers to sort out is not good business. People don't pay to conduct Beta Testing for companies.

    2. [Windows XP] The market determines the value of your products. If you replace an effective tool with a less effective one, they will pass on it and stick with what works for them.

    Ending the ability of customers to seek redress through effective litigation is a counter-productive tactic. Microsoft sues their competitors and other infringers of IP continuously (just like all big business in the US). They then whine about "frivilous lawsuits" by consumers.

    I wasn't considering "upgrading" to Windows 8 anyway, but this nails it. I would rather go Open Source then hang with a Fortune 500 who wants my cake, icing, plate, wallet, in addition to attempting to gag and bind me. That's not a good business model for consumers.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    See how that holds up at the Supreme level

    Talking smack and imposing your will on consumers are two very different things as the EU has shown Microsucks.

  37. Rex Alfie Lee
    Linux

    The windows genuine disadvantage...

    Never been guaranteed that Windows works as it should so why buy it? Windows is & always will be made with built in redundancy. Simple stuff ups, just to ensure you'll upgrade...

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