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Could 'Vista capable' stickers cost MS $8.5bn?

Does Aero make Vista? The courts will decide

The ongoing case over whether Microsoft misled consumers with 'Vista capable' specifications could cost the company a staggering $8.5 billion (£5.9bn).

Figures released by US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman showed just how astronomic the claim is, with Microsoft claiming the figure is "absurd".

The case revolves around Microsoft's use of the 'Vista capable' sticker ahead of the launch of the successor to XP.

Aero - plain to see?

The company's argument is that computers labelled as 'Vista capable' were able to run Windows Vista Basic – but the claimants insist that Vista Basic should not be counted as a true version of Windows Vista, largely because it does not support aero graphics.

Microsoft insists that aero graphics are not an essential part of its OS, but it seems the Redmond-based monolith will have to prove that to the court.