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Class Claims Microsoft Lies About Its Tablets

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Microsoft misrepresents the storage capacity of its Surface RT tablets, an Angeleno claims in a Superior Court class action.

Lead plaintiff Andrew Sokolowski accuses Microsoft of violating state consumer laws, false advertising and unfair business practices.

He claims that the Windows RT operating system takes up to half the storage on the tablets, sold in 32-gigabyte and 64-gigabyte versions.

"Microsoft knows, but conceals and fails to disclose in its advertising, marketing or promotional materials, that the Windows RT operating system consumes approximately 16 GB of the represented storage capacity of the Surface RT tablets and that those 16 GBs are not, therefore, storage space that the consumer can actually use to store files after purchase," the 16-page complaint states.

"Thus for a consumer who purchases the 32 GB Surface RT tablet, as plaintiff did, about 50 percent of the represented storage capacity is inaccessible and unusable. For purchasers of 64 GB Surface RT tablets, approximately 25 percent of the represented storage capacity is inaccessible and unusable."

Sokolowski says that when he loaded music and documents onto his 32 GB tablet, the device alerted him that it lacked capacity to store all his files.

"Microsoft continues to mislead consumers by representing that its Surface RT tablets are equipped with either 32 GB or 64 GB of storage space while concealing, omitting and failing to disclose that approximately 16 GB of that space is not available storage space that the purchaser can access and use to store his or her own files," according to the complaint.

The Surface RT 32 GB retails for $499 or $599 with a built-in touch keyboard. The 64 GB version sells for $699 with a keyboard, according to the complaint.

Sokolowski is represented by Rhett Francisco of Woodland Hills.

In a statement from its representatives at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Microsoft said the complaint "is without merit."

"Customers understand the operating system and pre-installed applications reside on the device's internal storage thereby reducing the total free space," Microsoft said. "Surface with Windows RT customers benefit from the ability to attach additional storage via the integrated microSD slot or full-size USB port."

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