Anti-MS Group Aims to Block Vista

UPDATED A public interest lawyer who is also intending to run as a Republican in the 2006 Illinois gubernatorial race is taking his fight to Microsoft in hopes of preventing the company from releasing what he calls "bad code."

Andy Martin of The Committee to Fight Microsoft on Tuesday announced his intentions to block Microsoft from releasing Windows Vista. Martin intends to ask Microsoft for an unconditional warranty that the operating system is free of bugs that could result in security vulnerabilities.

"Bill Gates sells the public defective products, and then expects us to spend years being his guinea pigs, while he corrects the myriad of defects and vulnerabilities in his defective code. This is mass consumer fraud." Martin argued.

"It is unacceptable corporate behavior. Over four years after Windows XP was released I still receive regular 'updates' and 'bug fixes,' which reflect a product that was originally scandalously defective."

Windows 95 was a "disaster" and Windows 98 only created new vulnerabilities, Martin said. He argues that no company in America gets away with selling a "defective" product the way Microsoft does.

Also called into question were Microsoft's claims that Windows XP could run on 128MB of RAM, encouraging the sale of underpowered computers by its partners. "The Committee to Fight Microsoft is launching a legal action effort to bar such practice, in advance, for Windows Vista. Bill Gates, you are on notice," Martin said.

In response to the allegations, a Microsoft spokesperson told BetaNews: "Building confidence and trust in computing continues to be one of Microsoft's top priorities and is crucial to the success of the technology industry as a whole. Over the past three years, Microsoft has implemented a range of new security programs, including the Security Development Lifecycle, which has resulted in measurable improvements in the security of Microsoft's software."

"While there is no such thing as a state of absolute security, Microsoft believes Windows Vista will be the most secure version of Windows the company has ever shipped," the spokesperson added.

Martin is a public interest lawyer from Chicago who has worked on several consumer rights cases, including antitrust lawsuits dealing with network television affliation agreements in 1969 and his own antitrust effort against Microsoft in 1998.

He announced an exploratory committee to run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in Illinois in January of this year.

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