Microsoft battles class-action over WGA antipiracy technology


"Ignoring the evidence, Plaintiffs tell an outrageously fictional tale of how Microsoft supposedly 'forced' WGA Validation onto more than 350 million Windows XP computers," Microsoft said in the opposition brief submitted to U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones. "Without any evidence, Plaintiffs assert that Microsoft achieved this distribution by threatening to withhold critical security updates and breaking into computers without their owners' consent."

Company lawyers also claimed that the plaintiffs had constructed an "alternate universe" that had no connection to the facts. "The fictional thesis on which Plaintiffs base their motion is demonstrably false," Microsoft attorneys argued.

Specifically, Microsoft denied that it had ever withheld patches from users running counterfeit Windows XP. "Despite Plaintiffs' assertions to the contrary, Microsoft never withheld any critical updates or security updates designed to improve the existing functionality of Windows XP, regardless of whether a user's copy of Windows XP was genuine," the company countered.

A class-action for the case is unfeasible, Microsoft said, because it would require inspecting "tens of millions of individual computers," an impossible task. "Each inspection would require a skilled computer technician and cost hundreds of dollars more than the $5 Plaintiffs seek for each proposed class member," said Microsoft.

If class-action status is granted, Microsoft could face serious damages, its lawyers acknowledged as they cast the plaintiffs as gold diggers. "Plaintiffs seek hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of tens of millions of persons for twelve forms of alleged damages," said Microsoft.