All of the people who have been charged for the right to downgrade from Windows Vista to Windows XP may be able to join a class action lawsuit against Microsoft. A suit filed in Seattle by one disgruntled consumer alleges that the charge for downgrading violates a bunch of consumer protection laws. In a recent article which covers the lawsuit it further states that:

In the complaint, Alvarado’s attorneys allege:

“As the sole licensor of Windows Vista, Microsoft enjoys vast power over OEMs which it has used and continues to use to stifle competition. … Microsoft has used its power to coerce OEMs, internet access providers (“IAPs”) and others into agreeing to restrictive and anti-competitive licensing terms for its Windows XP operating system in order to stifle competition in the market. …
“Consumers have encountered numerous problems using the Vista operating system, and these problems have been widely publicized in various media outlets. As a result, many consumers would prefer to purchase a new computer pre-installed with the Windows XP operating system or at least not pre-installed with the Vista operating system. However, Microsoft has used its market power to take advantage of consumer demand for the Windows XP operating system by requiring consumers to purchase computers pre-installed with the Vista operating system and to pay additional sums to ‘downgrade’ to the Windows XP operating system. …

“To date, nearly one in three consumers purchasing a new computer has paid to downgrade the operating system from Vista to Windows XP.”

This is interesting since I would have to agree that charging should be prohibited. What do you think?

Comments welcome.