Dell, Toshiba, Amazon.com, Costco and Fry's Electronics are among the big PC makers and retailers that have been subpoenaed by the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit over Microsoft's Windows Vista Capable marketing program, according to the latest filings in the case. Other notable names on the list include Intel and former Windows chief Jim Allchin.
As a reminder, this is the case that resulted in the release of that big batch of behind-the-scenes Microsoft e-mails a few weeks ago. The plaintiffs are looking for more documents along the same lines. But it's not clear if the process will go forward. Some companies that have received subpoenas have filed objections. Microsoft is also asking U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman to put the case on hold while it asks an appeals court to review her decision certifying the suit as a class action.
In that decision, Pechman wrote that she wouldn't let the plaintiffs pursue class-action claims "that Microsoft's deceptive advertising induced consumers to purchase PCs that they would not have otherwise purchased." However, she wrote that they could pursue a "price inflation" theory, in which they could contend that consumers "paid more than they would have for their PCs had Microsoft's 'Windows Vista Capable' marketing campaign not created artificial demand for and/or increased prices of PCs only capable of running Vista Home Basic."
Windows Vista, Windows Vista Capable, Plaintiff