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Nvidia Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Vista Drivers 445

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-see-anything dept.
Cocoshimmy writes "Nvidia is facing a class action lawsuit for false advertising by not providing stable working drivers for Vista. Nvidia has been accused of closing threads on Nvidia's forum and banning users that request a response from Nvidia, post that their Nvidia hardware does not work under Vista, post that Nvidia software does not work under Vista, post that Nvidia is guilty of false advertising, or threaten to sue Nvidia. Several disgruntled users have set up their own site for discussing their legal options."
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Nvidia Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Vista Drivers

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  • by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:28PM (#17868462) Homepage
    Considering Microsoft is still in the process of patching Vista, including a major patch issued just as Vista went out the door, can we really stick all the blame on Nvidia?
  • Re:sue for what?!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rugikiki (948563) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:32PM (#17868514)
    False advertising. Nvidia claimed that the cards were "Vista Ready."
  • by Vellmont (569020) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:34PM (#17868538) Homepage

    Considering Microsoft is still in the process of patching Vista, including a major patch issued just as Vista went out the door, can we really stick all the blame on Nvidia?


    Did the patches affect the video driver layer? If they did, then maybe Microsoft should share some of the blame. If not, then the blame is squarely on nVidia. It's not like nVidia hasn't had plenty of time to develop drivers for Vista.
  • Re:sue for what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:35PM (#17868558) Homepage Journal
    False advertising.
    Nvidia claimed it would work, people spent time and money based on their promise.
    Tort law is the ONLY avenue people have to defend themselves against the actions of a corporation.
    It has nothing to do with entitlement.

  • Yet again..... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman (965122) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:39PM (#17868592)
    another good reason not to upgrade.
  • Re:sue for what?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joe U (443617) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:39PM (#17868596) Homepage Journal
    I bought a nVidia card yesterday (after the Vista launch) to upgrade my aging 9800. There's a huge fucking sticker on the box saying 'Windows Vista Ready', so, I expect it to work with Vista. (It does, but I swear my ATi 9800 ran Aero slightly faster).

  • by Matt Perry (793115) <perry,matt54&yahoo,com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:44PM (#17868648)

    Considering Microsoft is still in the process of patching Vista, including a major patch issued just as Vista went out the door, can we really stick all the blame on Nvidia?
    That depends. Are all the other video drivers having problems too or is it just NVidea's drivers?
  • No Need To Sue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheFlyingGoat (161967) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:44PM (#17868650) Homepage Journal
    While I understand why these people are upset, why do people always feel the need to sue? It's in Nvidia's best interest to keep their customers happy, and as such will probably be releasing drivers that DO work very soon. If they don't, these customers will just go to one of their competitors the next time they're in the market for a high end video card.

    Let your money do the talking and stop helping lawyers make money on stuff like this.
  • by TheAwfulTruth (325623) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:44PM (#17868656) Homepage
    This has nothing to do with that.

    They had stable vista drivers out for their older cards for somettime. This is specifically to do with a brand new card that has such a different archetecture that they had to redo the driver from the ground up and seriously underestimated the time it would take.

    Marketing went ahead and sold the hardware as "The first vista ready video card" (DX 10 whee), engineering was not ready. It really is borderline plausible that they could be gulty of false advertising.
  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Friday February 02, 2007 @08:48PM (#17868692) Homepage Journal
    I don't have any cooling problems with my Mac mini. As for games, I have a Nintendo DS and a Wii, where programmers can max out the hardware because everyone has the same system specs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:07PM (#17868848)
    By your logic I can post a similar post in every single conversation.

    PS3 thread? Not important, I'm waiting for ____ on the Wii
    Linux thread? Not important, I use a Mac.
    BMW thread? Who cares, I drive a Porche.
    Space thread? Who cares, I am not an astronaut.

    etc. etc. etc.

    You've already been modded down, of course. Just thought I'd let you know how worthless your post was, and why it should stay that way. Just out of curiosity, what was the point of you posting it?
  • by AcidPhish (785961) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:20PM (#17868956) Homepage
    Windows Vista is an absolute disaster! From an engineer's point of view, the system is not built for security and stability, its just patched up with holes left for the recording industries. If a virus was to take advantage of these holes, then I doubt anything could stop it. Combined with all the out-of-the-box DRM and restrictions, the system is a lot more complicated for no apparent reason. For the NVIDIA drivers to work properly in Vista, there is a LOT of work and possible debugging due to Vista's chaos. Don't blame NVIDIA for this, its Microsoft's fault for the whole DRM fiasco. Now NVIDIA and ATI have to comply. ATI already told the masses that Microsoft's idea is crap and customers would be paying for this big bucks. Microsoft are no longer the leader/monopolist they once were. If you have an issue, don't buy Vista (like most of us), and get REAL high performance, or switch to an even better OS. The choice is there, suing and wining gets you nowhere.
  • by Aryeh Goretsky (129230) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:21PM (#17868968) Homepage
    Hello,

    As an American, I have become somewhat desensitized to the various class action suits which seem to have become water and fodder for the legal industry, but this strikes me as being just sad.

    Today is February 2, 2007 and Microsoft publicly released the consumer-oriented versions of Microsoft Windows Vista (the Home and Ultimate Editions) on January 30th, just three days ago. I participated in the testing of Windows Vista and installed the RTW version (Build 6000) on my primary desktop and laptop computers when it became available in November of last year. During testing, nVidia was good--not stellar, but not bad--about providing device drivers, and any problems I experienced during my testing with nVidia 6800GT and 7900GT-chipset based cards generally disappeared as new builds of the operating system and device drivers became available.

    Right now, there is a huge installed base of nVidia GPUs out there (5200 and up are officially supported according to this [nvidia.com]) which people are using with Windows Vista and I am sure the percentage of those users with 8800-series GPUs out there hovers around a single percentage point or two.

    Given that Microsoft Windows Vista is a brand new operating system in many respects, such as introducing a completely new video device driver model, and that, likewise, the 8800 series represents nVidia's own most complex product to date and so far has only a small market penetration, why is anyone alarmed (or even surprised) that WHQL-certified device drivers are not available yet which take advantage of all its features?

    Also, while I would imagine that nVidia has a large staff of developers writing device drivers for their various bits and blogs of silicon, I would imagine the size of that staff is finite and that nVidia has to prioritize their work based on hard business decisions, such as the number of customers using a particular product with a particular operating system. Was it wrong of nVidia to focus their driver development efforts on satisfying the needs of the largest percentage of their installed base? Or should they have focused their efforts on their newest customers and satisfy the needs of thousands or tens of thousands instead of tens of millions?

    What I do know is that, generally-speaking, nVidia has historically done a good job of providing decent support for their products and nothing I have seen or read in TFA has changed my opinion. Frankly, the number of nVidia owners who have 8800-series GPUs is a small majority. While these early adopters have paid a premium for their latest-and-greatest video cards and do deserve to be treated with respect by nVidia, I suspect that right now nVidia's engineers are working very hard on device drivers with support all the new features of their video cards and will probably have them available in a few days or a week or two.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky
  • by seeks2know (702160) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:31PM (#17869028)
    Let's see...

    Why would nvidia's drivers work with Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP, Linux (32 and 64 bit), Solaris and FreeBSD - but not with Vista?

    Do you think that nvidia forgot how to code video drivers? No, that doesn't seem logical.

    Well what is different between Vista and all of the others?

    How about all the stupid Vista DRM features? You know, the ones that ATI was bitching about when they said (http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_ cost.html):

    An ATI product manager responsible for producing the actual hardware says:

            "These costs are passed on to the consumer"

            "This cost is passed on to all consumers"

            "This cost is passed on to purchasers of multimedia PC's"

            "Costs are passed on to consumers"

            "Costs are passed on to consumers, especially early adopters"

    I'm sure that the lion's share of these costs are software related. More software cost means more code. More code means more opportunity for unexpected features (aka "bugs").

    Don't blame nvidia. Blame Microsoft.
  • Re:No Need To Sue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:33PM (#17869048)
    They can't GET their money back. The box is open, and the retailer won't give the money back for a 'working' product. nVidia won't admit the product does not work. They actively deny any problems and delete any attempt to talk about it off their servers.

    These customers have done all they should have to. nVidia is clearly screwing their customers on this one.

    I have not owned a non-nVidia video card for years. I have never owned an ATI. Why? Because nVidia's drivers were SO much better, even though their hardware was inferior. The opposite is now true, if you use Vista. (I don't yet... Doubt I will for quite a long time.) ATI's drivers have gotten MUCH better in the past 5 years, and their hardware is still top notch. nVidia has now proven that they no longer know how to write stable drivers, and their hardware is inferior.

    I am NOT looking forward to my next card being an ATI, but unless nVidia gets really smart, really quick, that's what's going to happen. And I'm planning to purchase all new hardware pretty soon, too. -sigh-

    (I worked for PC Repair shops for years, so I have some experience with the quality of each manufacturers' past products.)
  • by vonPoonBurGer (680105) on Friday February 02, 2007 @09:59PM (#17869218)
    "Also, while I would imagine that nVidia has a large staff of developers writing device drivers for their various bits and blogs of silicon, I would imagine the size of that staff is finite and that nVidia has to prioritize their work based on hard business decisions, such as the number of customers using a particular product with a particular operating system. Was it wrong of nVidia to focus their driver development efforts on satisfying the needs of the largest percentage of their installed base? Or should they have focused their efforts on their newest customers and satisfy the needs of thousands or tens of thousands instead of tens of millions?"

    IANAL, but I think this is entirely irrelevant to the current discussion. Nvidia advertised [nvidia.com] the Geforce 8 series as "the first to support DirectX 10". Vista is the only DirectX 10 capable operating system. If a user purchased a Geforce 8 product, expecting full support under Windows Vista, the first DirectX 10 OS, then that user conceivably has a false advertising claim. Their argument would be that Nvidia made claims about their new part, then failed to back up those claims with a fully functional product. If the level of DirectX 10 support Nvidia claimed was not reasonably attainable given their software engineering capabilities, then they really should not have made the claims in the first place.

    "Given that Microsoft Windows Vista is a brand new operating system in many respects, such as introducing a completely new video device driver model, and that, likewise, the 8800 series represents nVidia's own most complex product to date and so far has only a small market penetration, why is anyone alarmed (or even surprised) that WHQL-certified device drivers are not available yet which take advantage of all its features?"

    Because Nvidia claimed that they do support those features, and not that they will support those features. If you're a customer who bought an 8800 specifically for its advertised level of Vista support, then it would be both surprising and alarming indeed.

    Yes, yes, we all know what happened. The mouths of Nvidia's marketers wrote a check that the collective asses of Nvidia's engineers could not hope to cash. While on a personal level you or I may sumpathize with the company, particularily with its beleaguered engineering team, on a legal level all of these excuses mean exactly nothing. At the same time, you and I may feel that the folks who were actually foolish enough to buy the first of anything, let alone two firsts (first DX10 card and first DX10 OS), deserve the full measure of the early adopter's curse they're suffering through now. But again, from a legal standpoint I don't think that has any bearing.
  • haha (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nbritton (823086) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:06PM (#17869266)
    You suckers got pwned! Hopefully this teaches you a lesson on why drivers and documentation should be open.
  • by NullProg (70833) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:17PM (#17869370) Homepage Journal
    BEER RANT

    That crappy little C# CATALYST program sucks. The ATI hardware box advertises: compatible with Windows 98/2000/XP. Make sure you download 32megs of worthless .Net runtime in order to adjust your display card settings. Talk about software suckage.

    Nvidia is not the only hardware company having problems with Vista. Creative is prepared (OpenAL), no one else is. AC97 soundcard? Buy a new one. S3 Graphics? Buy a new one. VIA graphics? Buy a new one.

    My Nvidia drivers rock for Windows (98/2000/XP) and Linux. Thank you Nvidia. I'll buy your products again.

    FOSS supporters need to recognize that Nvidia is not going to open up thier drivers as long as ATI is around. Am I the only Linux user left that remembers when we had no graphic card (Zero, Zilch, Nada) support or recognition?

    If i recall correctly from my MSDN alerts/newletters, Microsoft changed the driver model twice during Vista development. Case closed.

    End Beer Rant

    Enjoy,
  • Re:Vista (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:21PM (#17869396)
    In other words, IT DOESNT WORK. Take the piece of shit back.

    My god, please say that you put it on your credit card, so you can charge-back for bad hardware/software.
  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:38PM (#17869520) Homepage
    Or perhaps MS partnered with ATI because ATI has infamous linux support while nVidia's linux support is pretty good.
  • by DangVarmit (79074) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:50PM (#17869620)
    nVidia.. didn't they make the graphics chips for the first XBox console and then fight with MS over the royalties or something like that?

    I think I'd file this story under the 'Microsoft dirty tricks' heading ..
  • by dwayrynen (304160) on Friday February 02, 2007 @10:57PM (#17869668)
    My Nvidia + Windows Vista experience has been essentially *perfect*.

    I have two EVGA Nvidia 8800 GTX video cards with 768 megabytes of ram.

    I purchased Windows Vista Ultimate at Midnight on Monday.

    I installed the 64 bit version of Vista Wednesday morning (24 hours later) using beta drivers released by Nvidia earlier (found off of guru3d.com I believe).

    I checked the Nvidia web site later that day and they had release drivers (one of my monitors was not being recognized for its full resolution capabilities with the beta drivers).

    I downloaded and installed the release drivers from the Nvidia web site.

    I have had no video problems at all. I am able to drive 3 monitors at once (two 30" 2560x1600 monitors and one rotated 1600x1200 monitor), play games at full 2560x1600 resolution with comparable screen rates as prior to Vista upgrade, use the nifty Aero Interface, etc.

    I think if this goes to court, someone will ask - so when did Microsoft release Vista to the public? Ok, how long after that did you have to wait for your drivers? One day? Why are we here today?

    Compared to time consuming frustration on getting all my other business applications running, the idea that someone is suing over nvidia drivers is comical to me. Too bad their web site is slashdotted as I would love to sign on there and call all of them morons. I wonder if they'll trim those posts. ;-)

  • by cheier (790875) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:34PM (#17869940)
    NVIDIA isn't providing free software. They are providing a means to use their hardware. Unfortunately in this case, Vista users are stuck with a card that doesn't work as advertised because the drivers that provide the means for the card to work... don't work.
  • by sumdumass (711423) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:36PM (#17869954) Journal

    I'm telling you - this new-fangled Linux thing is going to take a lo-o-o-ong time to be functional as a desktop. Why, it will take YEARS for it to catch up to all the glitches and disturbances that Windows has to offer!
    Yea, especialy when BillyG has the marketing hounds out claiming "Vista is teh bomb" and after 10 years of trying, everyone is giving up on linux cause it won't work.

    I mean, what kind of marketing is better then a campian that looks like it came from the heart. Let me know when linux is ready for the desktop. I'm not sure windows is either.
  • by TheQuantumShift (175338) <monkeyknifefight@internationalwaters.com> on Saturday February 03, 2007 @12:52AM (#17870384) Homepage
    Or use the equivalent, the built in Windows driver that works with my 6600 right out of the box (does aero and at least the 3d screensavers fine out of he box). Or you could download the drivers from here [nvidia.com]...

    I mean what does this: "for false advertising by not providing stable working drivers for Vista." really mean? The drivers I downloaded are "stable" and "working". Of course I'm not one to drop ~$600 for a new piece of frivolous hardware every 6 months, and even if I were, I wouldn't expect the first coming together of new hardware, new OS and new drivers to be perfect. Be grateful there are drivers for anything but 8800's. They could have gone the Creative route and put everything under $70 on the "No development planned" list.

    I guess I can see how some might be miffed that the drivers aren't perfect, but a lawsuit? Are you serious? Were you maimed by these drivers? Are you going to need to show us on the doll where nVidia touched you?

  • Re:Vista (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zecg (521666) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @04:37AM (#17871374)
    I'm using linux on my notebook with an ATI card and everything works excellent with the open x.org radeon driver.
  • by SnowZero (92219) on Saturday February 03, 2007 @07:02PM (#17877382)

    Its funny, I wish I knew your pain because I, nor my friends who are linux experts, have figured out how to get my wireless network card to work under Ubuntu, even after two clicks PLUS a checkmark!
    If your friends really are experts, they would be able to quickly get information on whether or not your card is supported in Linux. There are lists all over the internet detailing what's supported and what isn't. If I were in the situation, I would weigh the cost of buying a $20 natively supported Mini-PCI WiFi card ($10 for PCI) versus the $200+ cost of a Vista upgrade. The money I haven't spent on software while running Linux has more than

    Will the lofty claims that "Linux is easier than Windows" ever ring true? I am sooooo tired of computer experts touting Linux as an easy-to-use operating system.
    So long as people define "easy-to-use" as "works like the Windows I spent 10 years using+learning", then I guess Linux will never be "easy-to-use".

    I am sooooo tired of computer experts touting Linux as an easy-to-use operating system. The reason Vista will succeed is because there are no real contenders.
    If you only define success as an absolute popularity contest, then Windows will be the only "success". If you instead define it as "it works for me", then there's no reason Windows, Mac, and Linux can't all succeed and make people happy. Are you unhappy if your car isn't the #1 selling car in the world, or are you happy if it works well and gets you where you need to go?

It's a naive, domestic operating system without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption.

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