Microsoft May Have Made $1.5 Billion from Vista Capable Program

By  |  Sunday, January 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm

lawsuit-microsoft-vista-capable-stickersMicrosoft’s “Vista Capable” program has gotten it into a good deal of hot water, including a class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of allowing the sticker to be placed on PCs that could only run the most basic version of Vista. That version came without all the bells and whistles, including the Aero UI which was the signature feature of the new OS.

Well, a monetary figure can now be attached to this program, showing the windfall profit Microsoft made from just allowing manufacturers to put a simple sticker on the PC. $1.5 billion. Yes, with a “b.”

That is the opinion of expert Keith Leffler, called on by the plaintiffs to estimate how much Microsoft may have made from the program. Leffler is a associate professor of economics with the University of Washington.

In a statement for the court, Dr. Leffler says his calculations indicate that Microsoft made $1.505 billion in licensing fees from the licensing program. A portion of his statement was redacted, but it seems as if Leffler estimated his figure from data from data provided by Redmond itself.

$1.5 billion is not chump change by any means. In fact, its practically pure profit as the company has to do little if anything other than print out the stickers for the manufacturers to use.

If the courts do find that Microsoft did indeed mislead consumers, you better believe they’ll be looking for the company to forfeit some of that money.

(Hat tip Seattle P-I)



5 Comments For This Post

  1. steveballmer Says:

    The whiney moroms sueing Microsoft in the VistaCapable law suit have won a “victory” of sorts, in that the court has ordered that I be deposed and testify!
    My people sent them a letter last month where I told them “I know nothing, I see nothing!”
    I feel like this is becoming sort of a witch hunt, you know, “catch the rich CEO guy in a blatant lie” kinda thing. I told them what they needed to know. What ever happened to the good old days of the privilaged rich?
    I give more to charity in a week than that judge makes in a year! I do good stuff!
    What’s wrong with this great country of ours when the “I’m too busy and important” excuse no longer works?

    Well, if they want ME in court, they are gonna’ get ME in court! All I can say is that court will never be the same again!

  2. Jeff Says:

    Here’s to hoping the misled consumers will win. They would if I was judge.

  3. Rodster Says:

    Stevie B’s post is quite amusing, and probably not that far off what the real Mr Ballmer (ing mad, judging from those monkey boy histrionics) thinks.

  4. Marc Says:

    Surely it’s the PC manufacturers’ fault for putting the stick on deices which weren’t capable.

    The anti-Microsoft brigade again. Get a life.

  5. Marc Says:

    Sorry that “Get a life.” comment aimed at the Microsoft bashers was a bit harsh.
    Maybe just give MS the benefit of the doubt? I remember a friend of mine had a laptop that was “Vista Capable” – sure enough it ran Vista, but the built in web cam didn’t work. Not Microsoft’s fault, really is it?
    It did run Aero, but had it not, I would again pointed the finger at the manufacturer. I believe Intel release a new onboard chip that was said at the time to be the minimum to run Aero (the GMA 950 I think). Were PC makers not aware that anything less would not run Aero?

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