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Calif. Woman Sues Microsoft Again Over ‘XP downgrade’ Rights, Asking for Class-Action Status

A California woman whose lawsuit against Microsoft was dismissed in Feb this year has again sued the company over “downgrade” rights to the nine-year-old Windows XP, asking a California federal judge to grant the case class-action status, which would let others join her in suing Microsoft.

The complaintant Emma Alvarado accused Microsoft of breaking California’s unfair business practice and restraint of trade laws by requiring customers to purchase a copy of Windows Vista or Windows 7 if they want to downgrade to the older Windows XP.

“Downgrade” describes the Windows licensing rights that Microsoft gives users, who’re allowed under some circumstances to replace newer versions of Windows with an older edition without having to pay for another license. In effect, the license for the newer Windows is transferred to the older edition.

“Prior to permitting the consumer to ‘downgrade’ to XP Professional, Microsoft first mandates that the consumer ‘upgrade’ from Home versions to either Vista Business /Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate — thereby forcing the consumer to incur an unnecessary expense and creating revenue for Microsoft by virtue of the End User consumer purchasing two OSs for one PC,” Alvarado’s complaint alleged.

Alvarado’s lawsuit demanded Microsoft refund all revenues incurred through its downgrade practice, and that members of the class be awarded triple any actual damages.


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