Microsoft’s Ballmer Must Answer Questions in Lawsuit

As most of you will know, Microsoft is currently involved in a class-action lawsuit about the company possibly misleading its customers about which computers could run Windows Vista. The story goes that when Microsoft delayed Windows Vista they allowed computers makers to label existing stock as “Vista Capable”, even though these computers could only run the basic, Aero Glass-less version of Vista. The most recent development is that Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer will be questioned under oath.

Microsoft had requested that the consumers’ lawyers could not question Steve Ballmer, but the judge in the case denied this request, stating that Ballmer may have important information relevant to the case at hand. Specifically, a phonecall between Ballmer and Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini. “Plaintiffs point to a phone call between Intel’s CEO, Paul Otellini, and Mr. Ballmer where the executives supposedly discussed a change in the Vista capable requirements,”, judge Marsha Pechman stated. The hearing must take place within 30 days of the ruling, at a place of Ballmer’s convenience, and may not last longer than three hours.

Through a spokesperson, Microsoft replied that they would of course comply with the ruling. “Mr. Ballmer’s knowledge about the Windows Vista Capable program comes from the executives he empowered to run the program and make decisions, and two of those executives already testified in this case,” the company stated.


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