California Lawyer sues Microsoft over misleading Surface tablet storage

Posted on Nov 15 2012 - 3:04pm by Mike Wewerka

Leave it to those crafty, blood sucking lawyers to find a problem with a piece of technology and then sue the company for it. Case in point, when Microsoft announced its Surface tablet would start with 32GB of internal storage, it seemed like a good deal for the $499 price point, but it wasn’t until after the tablet was released that reviews showed that 16GB of that storage (half) was taken up by the Windows RT operating system. Now a lawyer from the state of Califorinia, Andrew Sokolowski, has decide to file suit against Microsoft, claiming that they falsely advertised the Surface’s storage size. Sokolowski says he bought his Surface and after installing some content, ran out of space.

While it’s pretty much common knowledge at this point, that the advertised harddrive space on a computer, phone or tablet is never 100% free. An OS and certain files do take up space needed to run the device, however, 16GB is a bit much. When you consider the fact that a 16GB iPad only uses 2GB, thus leaving 14GB free to customers, something does seem a bit odd on Microsoft’s part.

Because consumers cannot delete core applications and files, there’s literally no way to free up more storage space, so consumers—like Sokolowski—only get “half” of the advertised storage space. Because of this, Sokolowski said Microsoft has participated in unfair business practices and has demanded that they pay him damages as well as change their advertising. Microsoft has since denied the claim, saying that customers know exactly what they are getting when they purchase a Surface.

“Customers understand the operating system and pre-installed applications reside on the device’s internal storage thereby reducing the total free space,” the company said.

If that truly is the case, then why did Microsoft change the wording on the Surface’s technical specs on the company’s product webpage? It now clearly says, that only 16GB of storage is available when purchasing the 32GB model and only 45GB are free on the 64GB model. That being said, the text is small and hard to read, let a long find on the company’s webpage and the product is now advertised that way.

Microsoft has suggested that if storage is an issue for Sokolowski, he can simple add more by using an external USB drive or and SD card, which will be much cheaper for him in the long run, instead of suing the company. Since Sokolowski is a lawyer himself, he wont have to incur legal fees and he hopes that his case can gain a class action status.

Will he win? Probably not, but at the very least, the public will now become more aware of the massive amount of storage that is missing when you purchase a Surface tablet from Microsoft.

Source: The Register