Microsoft Corp. would have to come up with as much as $8.5 billion to settle accounts with the customers affected by its 2006 "Vista Capable" marketing program, according to documents unsealed by a federal court.
By the criteria set by Microsoft and passed to computer makers, Vista Capable meant that the machine was able to run at least Windows Vista Basic, the entry-level edition of the line. Such a system, however, might not be able to run a more powerful version, or if it could, might not be able to execute all its features. A Premium Ready logo, on the other hand, indicated that the PC was able to run higher-end versions, such as Vista Home Premium, Vista Business and Vista Ultimate.
Microsoft has denied that it duped consumers, and has countered that Home Basic is a legitimate version of Vista.