Microsoft sued over Surface storage

A California lawyer is suing Microsoft, claiming that the Surface tablet he bought has only half the advertised amount of storage.

Andrew Sokolowski says the machine was pitched as having 32GB of storage, but that after loading it with media files he found there was only 16GB.

This is because half the tablet’s capacity is taken up with preloaded apps such as Word and Excel, as well as Windows recovery tools and Windows RT. Similarly, the 64GB model comes with 45GB of free space.

He filed his lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, and is aiming for class action status.

Microsoft, though, has told the Associated Press that Sokolowski is on shaky ground.

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

On its website, the company acknowledges the fact that much of the storage is already used up, and recommends that if users want more they should add a microSD card or external hard drive.

However, Sokolowski claims that this information is hard to find. He wants Microsoft to change its advertising practices and pay unspecified damages.

It’s hard to see how Sokolowski can expect to win. Almost all devices come with less free space than the total storage billed, for precisely the same reason.