That did not take long–Microsoft faced with Class Action Law Suit about Surface storage

imageLaw360 reports that Andrew Sokolowski, Attorney at Law, with a “focus on protecting consumers’ and employees’ rights” has launched a class action law suit against Microsoft, claiming the software giant lied about the storage available in its Surface tablets.

He claims Microsoft misled consumers and falsely advertised its recently released Surface RT tablet as having more storage capacity than it actually does.

He claims Microsoft knew, but conceals and failed to disclose in its advertising, marketing or promotional materials that the Windows RT operating system that runs the Surface consumes approximately 16 gigabytes of the represented storage capacity.

Sokolowski filed the case in California State Court this Tuesday – it is not clear if it has been approved for class action status yet.

The Microsoft Surface comes with a 32 GB SSD, of which approximately 16 GB is taken up with the operating system, pre-installed applications and a recovery partition. It does however allow storage to be easily expanded via microSD card, a feature that is missing from the price-matched iPad with an equivalent sized SSD of which all 32 GB is available to the user

Do our readers think Sokolowski was actually misled by Microsoft’s marketing, or did he just buy a Surface tablet after the news broke with the express purpose of suing Microsoft? Let us know below.

  • Gavin Tom

    lol, for an attorney he can’t read to good. Says it has 32gb no that you can use 32gb, if you delete all the back up partition and office apps there you go have your 29 gb, o wait that’s not 32gb SUE MICROSOFT. California attorneys are sometimes pretty ridiculous.

    • Duel

      29gb? Wait what? You are saying win 8 takes only 3gb? Hell no

  • the person

    Ah, so that’s what a douchenozzle looks like!

  • David V. Kimball

    It’s silly. The SSD in the Surface has a 32GB capacity. No lie there.

    • Ryan T

      The lawsuit is valid for the same reason why a Patent held for a desktop machine does not apply to a “mobile” device. A different standard has been set in the mobile/tablet marketplace and because of that people have come to expect the advertised space as user accessible. On a PC even this is different because you have the freedom to augment the setup (reformat, repurpose, install different OS). On a closed OS device like WinRT, you have no such freedom, and thus are really being shortchanged.
      To make matters worse, the Computer industry has for some reason adopted the stupid Decimal system for reporting space, when files are allocated according to the binary system. This causes even more confusion, and usually leads to advertised HDD space being less than expected in the binary system.

      • erfanullah

        My Lumia 800 was advertised as 16gb. I got 13gb which is roughly what I expected. Do you know both desktops and tablets have SSDs?

  • ronb2012

    Most stores I shop at have a return policy. If he isn’t happy with the product, can’t he just return it? My vote is he is suing for the fun (read “money”) of it, not because he feels he was truly wronged.

    That said, MS shouldn’t be saying it has 32GB if it doesn’t. (I know that you don’t always get the full free space, but 50% does seem a bit dishonest.)

    • Bugbog

      The funniest thing about all this is, within a week of its release, Microsoft publicised on its official Windows blog site (which was then carried by a lot of other sites), about the actual disposition of storage space on the Surface RT.

      So, advertising aside (which come with legal disclaimers anyway), there is no way any consumer that does the slightest research into the Surface RT won’t find the necessary information out there. Not Hidden in the Slightest!

      I don’t doubt that this ‘suit’ will be thrown out forthwith.

  • Big D

    I was very disappointed when I saw that WinRT + apps takes up 16GB space. I can understand how misleading this is and I would have to agree.

    • Andrew Bares

      Yep. Half of the entire storage space is ridiculous.

      Losing 3-5 GB is normal, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that losing 16 GB is extremely abnormal!

  • Jorge A. Torres

    let’s sue apple also then….do the ipad 32GB gives you the whole 32GB?

    • arrow2010

      You get 28GB free on that.

      • GG002

        Last time I checked, 32GB != 28GB. Not sure how you do maths.

        • arrow2010

          28GB > 16GB

          • GG002

            32GB > 28GB. Same argument applies. As long as 32GB isn’t 32GB, everyone should be sued.

          • Gamepad

            28 GB – OFFICE ~= 16 GB

          • arrow2010

            Office is “Student & Home Edition”, not Office Pro.

  • WildWill

    I’m a consumer!? Sokolowski is an a**hole.

  • Matt

    I assume he’s also going to sue all the PC OEMs who ship Windows 8 PCs, as they will no doubt have less storage space, (consumed by Windows, recovery partitions and apps), available than stipulated in the marketing…

    • arrow2010

      Except no PC advertises the storage option.

      • GG002

        Not sure what weird country you’re in, but where I live, you don’t sell PCs without stating how much memory it comes with. It’s like omitting info about the processor or amount of RAM. SSD/HDD amount is advertised, check again.

        • VHMP01

          Just like the Fruit company never tells how much RAM the iDevices have! We should all sue them!

  • based_graham

    Well it came with a 32GB SSD doesn’t mean you get all that space. meh RT you don’t need that much space its a thin client, cloud based PC.

  • Lewis McCrary

    Look on the bright side; it’s getting attention. I once heard that any PR is good PR. Though I’m not so sure about that. 😛

  • deathdealer351

    if your going to sue Microsoft you need to sue every OEM
    Hard drives report base 10 in marketing as far as I know every OS reports base 8. So take a hdd and multiply it by .93 and that will get you close to your actual useable storage.
    If he is bitching about OS + apps taking up storage space again at that point you need to sue everyone.
    you buy a phone you will have the binary deduction – OS + apps. Ms also includes a recovery partition.
    Only way to get a surface with only the binary deduction is to buy it with no OS
    Now if you buy a 16 GB iPad for $499 based on storage alone who has more available?
    this won’t go anywhere. If anything the fanboy media will run with it

  • CX1


  • rjmlive

    Every computer has less memory available than the advertised storage space. The advertised storage space isn’t even the actual storage space. I would say that 16 GB of software seems excessive, but considering that 16 GB contains most of the usefulness of the product for which you are buying it for, then it may be hard to win the case, but I know nothing of lawyer things. Make all ~32 GB available.. well then you don’t have a functional tablet and get sued for that probably.

    However, the trend we may end up seeing shortly, for which I was wondering about for some time, is advertised user free space available on computer, tablet and phone products in the future. For example the new, new, new iPad with 64/53 GB storage… or whatever.

  • Meekermoloko

    This lawsuit is completely idiotic. If you can’t do a little research when buying a $500 device, you get what you deserve.

    You buy any computer… the amount of storage isn’t what is shown. The Surface RT also gives you Office, which is 8GB. Uninstall it if you want your precious space or just buy a cheap Micro SD card.

    You buy a bag of potato chips. Guess what? It’s only half-full. Sue Lay’s. Moron.

  • arrow2010

    All they do is state it’s a 32GB SSD, not how much free space you have on initial activation. Basically his gist will be that the iPad has 13.7GB free on the 16GB iPad and thus he has a reasonable expectation of the same % available on the Surface RT. I don’t know if the “Apple standard” will fly in a court of law.

  • Beezer

    Wow. This guy never bought a computer in his life, hard disk, or a USB memory stick? They never have what they state to the person that doesn’t understand how it all works.

    • Duel

      When you buy hard disk or memory card its usually empty… This is totally different thing and i understand this guy. If microsoft marketing team doesnt say anywhere about this 16gb thing, people should sue them. For us its different because we live this tech world but when normal people buy surface he doesnt any have clue about this thing.

      • Emi Cyberschreiber

        but he says also “computer” and thats the point he is making, when you but a computer (obviously not build by you) you get Windows incluided, antivirus even if its the crappy McAfee, and sometimes office starter or something. and they always say “250gb”, “512gb”, “1tb” etc. storage. but obviously with Windows and office and all the stuff oems put in a computer or laptop, space wont be 250gb or the one you bought.

      • Beezer

        But when you buy a memory card that’s 64GB and you plug it into your computer. Does it say 64GB free or does it say 62GB or there about. Same thing with hard disks, that 300GB is ~297GB. I know technically that it’s all correct. But I don’t see a class action lawsuit about people being stiffed for the false labels.

  • redtidal

    just give him a bare boned tablet, and he can have all the storage space there is.

    what F*)&^#! cook.

    the world will be a better place without lawyers.

  • StraightDope

    The most stupid lawsuit, ever. It’ll end with MS opening up the Surface in court, and showing the chip does indeed say 32GB on it. How on earth can you sue over a technical spec? It simply is what it is.

  • Nagini

    These idiots are just looking for excuses to file lawsuits. Their children must be getting pretty hungry and cold.

  • markjonson

    I think anyone should understand that the space advertised is always higher than what is really there. What really burns me is that they won’t sell a 64GB device with other Touch Cover options or the Type Cover. Now that’s just wrong.

  • Schroeder

    Hope this guy didn’t intend to win. The Surface I’m looking at right now has 26+ GB remaining in it with all the standard stuff on it with SkyDrive data loaded on. 16GB? False. Win RT is like 3 GB!

    • 80s Rocker

      How did you get 26GB+? With the OS, Office, Restore partition and main apps MS even says there’s 17GB free. That is what my new machine showed after opening.

      I did put in a 64GB MicroSD in and it is nice. You can get one on Amazon for $64.

  • Shay Wilson

    This sort of advertising is normal for everyone, however 16GB reserved is a much more significant portion than any other OS. The only way I could see this going any other way would be for Microsoft to move a large portion of the OS off to a reserved disk, which creates it’s own sets of problems. It wouldn’t be truthful or fair for Microsoft to advertise only the available portion in the tech specs. How much skydrive storage comes standard with the device?

  • james mclaren

    My Mazda says 120 MPH on the Speedometer. I tried to get it to go that fast but it never did and when I got to 100 MPH I nearly crashed.
    I am going to sue Mazda for false advertising that the car implies it can do 120MPH and they did not say that it becomes harder to drive when you exceed 100MPH!

    • Andrew Bares

      That’s not even close to what this issue is about.
      Your analogy fails.
      Harder to drive has nothing to do with max speed. Max speed is the fastest possible speed that the engine, transmission, and a decent driver can handle ON A DRAG STRIP.
      Oh and no one has EVER claimed that the spedometer’s max speed is actually the car’s max speed.

      • think

        Exactly. Did James choose the “120 MPH Mazda” over the “90 MPH Mazda” because the speedometer max values were a part of the product models’ names? If so then he has a point and isn’t a moran.

      • Beezer

        But if James chose the car based on the advertised horsepower, then found out that the horsepower advertised was only bhp and not the actual amount that reaches the tires. Then he has the right to sue the car companies since they all advertise the bhp as if it’s what’s being pushed from the tires.

  • Geoffrey Decan

    LOL, if this guy wins his law suit I’m sueing Sony immediately, just bought laptop with 500 GB advertised HD, which is actually only 465 GB of which 30 GB is used as recovery partition, leaving only 435 GB – Windows8 and Apps leaves me with under 400 GB of storage. Oh nooooo, sue them, sue them! 😉

  • Emi Cyberschreiber

    well people can delete Windows and problem solved… 32gb storage for everyone 😀
    also it costs the same as ipad 16gb, and with ipad you cant have more storage from that 16gb… this crap is so facepalm 😀 specially because its not a lie surface has 32gb and again, its not like you cant have sd card and external hdd. to get more storage.

  • David Tvalchrelidze

    “price-matched iPad with an equivalent sized SSD of which all 32 GB is available to the user”
    Wrong. you can buy ipad with 16GB for 500$

  • Nando Ganser

    The lawsuit is stupid. HD alwas use space for the OS, partition and other things.
    But… I won’t deny that I was SHOCKED when I saw that 50% of the memory was already in use. I’ve never seen this happening, never more than hmm 25% ?
    But anyway, you can go and put a memory card for your music or whatever your need, or like I’ll do, but a W8 Pro trablet!!

  • TD

    I bought a 64gb msd from amazon for $60 and snapped that in the surface

  • WLK146

    I agree with others below – this is a stupid action by stupid ambulance-chasing counsel trying to make an easy name and buck rather than working for a living. This is written by an extremely satisfied user of a still very new product that has many discoveries yet to reveal and is miles beyond my iPad.

  • Brad

    And there is much more than 16GB useful on it. More in the neighborhood of 21ish. And the 32GB ipad is around 28-29Gb.
    Yes it is a bit of a shock to see how much of it is taken up off the bat but with microsd I don’t see it being a problem.

  • jimski27

    I won’t be joining this class action suit.

  • VY_Canis_Majoris

    This guy is an embarrassment to the Polish community.

    Mr. Andrew Sokolowski, FUCK OFF you ignorant dick! Learn how technology works before you try to make a name for yourself out of your pathetic one man practice.

    Nothing to see here folks, bad attorney trying to ride the coat tails of MS press coverage for his own personal gain.

  • NegLewis

    He is right.
    Everybody is doing it – in different forms… but only M$ has to pay the fines… because of the dark magic “$”.
    If this is a class action then not only MS devices should be included in the list: Google too, Apple, Dell, …

    WAIT!!! do you guys know that a 1TB HDD has only 980MB usable? (see 1024 vs 1000)…

  • Windows 8

    Useless Lawsuit !!! I am aghast at this lawyer’s attitude and behaviour.
    If this is allowed then GOD help US of A and its companies, related to Microsoft.

    The lawyer should be booked for misleading lawsuit and asked why he did not attack any other tablet and phone maker !!

  •!/Shiny.Pixels ShinyPixels

    Douche only smells money …

  • Jason Ierien

    If the consumer is unhappy with there product they are more then welcomed to return with no return fees period!!! There is NO other product on the market at this price range that can come close to being compared to this one!!! Office alone is more than $ 100 but the options are there for more storage very cheaply and easily! Microsoft should not be penalized for creating a far supperior tablet then.being sued by a bunch of ignorant babies!!!!!!!

  • JoeConsumer

    This guy is just an asshole looking to make a quick buck. This is why we need tort reform, for treasure hunters jerks like this

  • RossVoorhees

    The test is what a reasonable consumer would expect in terms of storage on a device that states it has 32 gb of storage. A few megabytes is easy to accept. Half the stated storage is not really reasonable.

  • tomakali

    lets sue DEVIL for somereason

  • Morten Christiansen

    Microsoft is fully aware that there will not be much space after updates to the surface,
    it is acting in bad faith, with an operating system that can become 32gb microsoft should be restricted hard drive minimum..