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Microsoft Sued For 32GB Surface Model Offering 16GB Free

By - Source: Associated Press | B 69 comments

Claims of software giant falsely advertising amount of storage space.

Microsoft has been sued due to the 32GB variant of its Surface tablet delivering half that amount of storage space.

California lawyer Andrew Sokolowski filed the lawsuit relating to Microsoft's misleading advertisement regarding the storage space offered by Surface. He states that he bought the device in order to receive 32GB of storage before finding out he'd get just half of that.

Microsoft's Surface is indeed advertised as having 32GB of storage but delivers 16GB instead. However, the firm clearly states the situation regarding the tablet's storage space on its website, with the firm saying that the device comes pre-loaded with apps such as Word and Excel, as well as Windows recovery tools, while the bulk of storage space is taken by Windows RT. As for the 64GB model, users are left with 46GB of storage space.

The software company also delivers advice on the same FAQ in regards to how to get more space, including the suggestion of using SkyDrive cloud storage, a USB drive or a microSD memory card.

"We believe this lawsuit is without merit," a Microsoft spokesperson told CNET. "Customers understand the operating system and pre-installed applications reside on the device's internal storage thereby reducing the total free space."

Sokolowski's lawyers aim to obtain class action status with the Los Angeles Superior Court. The main purpose of the suit itself is to make the company change how it advertises its devices, as well as receiving damages for purported wrongful conduct.

 

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  • 38 Hide
    bystander , November 15, 2012 11:04 PM
    If this wins, I guess every computer manufacturer who ever made a computer, tablet or phone will be liable for every thing ever made.
  • 31 Hide
    jakes69 , November 15, 2012 11:20 PM
    MS should just format his hard drive...and show him that it's 32 gb. ;-)
  • 27 Hide
    alevox , November 15, 2012 11:09 PM
    Is there any kind of remedy in US courts that allows for penalties to be levied on frivolous lawsuits? No-one buys a phone, tablet or PC and expects the entire storage space to be available for their use, granted that Windows RT is far larger than Android or iOS, but it is no more misleading than any other PC maker.
Other Comments
  • 38 Hide
    bystander , November 15, 2012 11:04 PM
    If this wins, I guess every computer manufacturer who ever made a computer, tablet or phone will be liable for every thing ever made.
  • 27 Hide
    alevox , November 15, 2012 11:09 PM
    Is there any kind of remedy in US courts that allows for penalties to be levied on frivolous lawsuits? No-one buys a phone, tablet or PC and expects the entire storage space to be available for their use, granted that Windows RT is far larger than Android or iOS, but it is no more misleading than any other PC maker.
  • 26 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , November 15, 2012 11:13 PM
    All manufacturers advertise 1GB = 1,000,000,000 byes
    when in fact the actual storage on the machine considers 1GB = 2^30 bytes. That always gets people.

    Plus add formatting it gets reduced even further.

    Then we start to add the OS and most mobile devices it takes 1-2 gigs, but MS its closer to 10+ gigs.

    32GB Android/iOS will get you about 28GB free, with MS you get 16GB, but MS is charging 16GB price I suppose for their 32GB model...
  • 31 Hide
    jakes69 , November 15, 2012 11:20 PM
    MS should just format his hard drive...and show him that it's 32 gb. ;-)
  • 5 Hide
    Estix , November 15, 2012 11:24 PM
    Poking around a bit, Andrew Sokolowski was a Senior Attorney at the firm that filed the class action suit over Facebook's IPO, so he's not just someone trying to make a name for himself.

    While I don't see the suit as having any merit (as the free space on the device is easily-obtained knowledge for anyone who read ANY review of it) I do think that, for a device intended for more serious use cases than angry birds, the Surface could certainly use more storage, especially given the tiny cost it would have added.

    Besides, Microsoft could have just had it start at 128 GB, and used that as a marketing thing.
  • 22 Hide
    bllue , November 15, 2012 11:29 PM
    He's a lawyer and he didn't read the print where it says how much the OS, recovery image, etc take? This case will be thrown out
  • 9 Hide
    w1zz4 , November 15, 2012 11:30 PM
    @wemakeourfuture
    Actually, since 2000, IEEE defined a Gigabyte as 10^9. 2^30 is a Gibibyte (Binary Gigabyte). But yeah everyone still use Gigabyte for 2^30.
  • 26 Hide
    jhansonxi , November 15, 2012 11:31 PM
    Reminds me of those obesity lawsuits against McDonalds.
  • 8 Hide
    ThisIsMe , November 15, 2012 11:35 PM
    A huge chunk of the storage space is used by the recovery tools. The OS does not actually take 10+ GB of space. Imagine that it has an entire Windows 8 installation DVD image saved on the device. And even though iOS might take up less space because of a lack of the recovery tools and many, many other features, when you try to use the over wifi update process for an iDevice it wants about 2GB of free space before it can procede. It needed more than 2.2 GB for this 3rd gen iPad I am posting this comment with. So yeah, I guess you could argue that iOS needs another 2+ GB on top of what it already uses in order to fully function. So yeah, I guess I am trying to say that some people will complain about anything and anyone can find something to complain about if they look hard enough.
  • 27 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , November 15, 2012 11:39 PM
    He's a lawyer and doesn't understand the difference between 32GB capacity and 32GB free space.

    Sometimes getting publicity backfires...
  • 24 Hide
    edogawa , November 15, 2012 11:40 PM
    This is a tad ridiculous, when we buy a hard drive, we don't expect exactly 500GB, or 1TB; why would/should this be any different?
  • -5 Hide
    blakphoenix , November 15, 2012 11:53 PM
    I for one believe that companies should advertise the FREE space available on devices (that goes for all hdd's, ssd's, phones, tablets, etc). That way consumers can make a more informed choice about how much of their own data they can fit on it. On that basis I hope Microsoft looses and that they have to change their advertising (for all companies).
  • 6 Hide
    getochkn , November 16, 2012 12:01 AM
    Every name brand computer comes with a XXXGB HD, yet they put the recovery software on there so therefore you always end up with less HD space because of that. I don't see it as any different and if they win, then Dell, HP, and every other computer should be sued as well.
  • 11 Hide
    bspatial , November 16, 2012 12:03 AM
    Is he really a lawyer? Can someone help that man understand storage? What an idiot.
  • 6 Hide
    DRosencraft , November 16, 2012 12:09 AM
    alevoxIs there any kind of remedy in US courts that allows for penalties to be levied on frivolous lawsuits? No-one buys a phone, tablet or PC and expects the entire storage space to be available for their use, granted that Windows RT is far larger than Android or iOS, but it is no more misleading than any other PC maker.


    I believe that for that there would have to be a counter-suit by the defendant (MSFT). I have heard of penalties for frivolous lawsuits in the past, but don't know for sure how that goes.

    But you'd be surprised by how many people buy a PC and can't fathom why there isn't as much space available as is stated on the drive. This lawyer is either trying to make an expensive point, or really shouldn't be anyone's lawyer since he can't read not-even-that-fine-print.
  • 10 Hide
    AnUnusedUsername , November 16, 2012 12:13 AM
    You get the advertised 32GB of storage space. You don't have to use that to store the OS if you don't want to.
  • -5 Hide
    bustapr , November 16, 2012 12:39 AM
    edogawaThis is a tad ridiculous, when we buy a hard drive, we don't expect exactly 500GB, or 1TB; why would/should this be any different?


    maybe not the average computer enthusiast, but most certainly the average consumer does expect the amount advertised. i actually think OEMs should advertise what they sell based on the free space available for use. this methos of advertising more space than the available space has gone since forever, but that doesnt necesarily make it right. the average consumer that isnt a computer enthusiast is always going to be misled.
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