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Customer sues Microsoft over Surface tablet storage

A California man is suing Microsoft for false advertising, arguing half the storage space billed for its new Surface tablet is taken up by the operating system. (AP image)

A California man who says he was cheated by the new Surface tablet’s storage space, is now suing Microsoft over what he says are “deceptive advertising practices.”

Andrew Sokolowski, a lawyer in Los Angeles, says he bought a Surface with 32 gigabytes of storage last week. But he quickly ran out of space after loading it with music and Microsoft Word documents.

His attorney, Rehtt Francisco, tells KIRO Radio Microsoft should have disclosed that the operating system and pre-installed apps suck up almost half of the tablet’s advertised storage.

Francisco says he’s not seeking any damages, just that Microsoft change its advertising for the Surface and the company refund its profits to consumers for “misrepresenting the characteristics of its Surface tablet.”

“There’s no coincidence that Microsoft’s multi-million dollar ad campaign coincides with the beginning of the holiday shopping season and that their ad campaign makes no reference to the actual characteristics of the Surface tablet.”

Microsoft says on its website that the 32GB Surface has 16GB of free space while the 64GB version has 45GB free. In a statement, the company says the lawsuit 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. Surface with Windows RT customers benefit from the ability to attach additional storage via the integrated microSD slot or full-size USB port,” the statement said.

And even if Microsoft’s base-model Surface only has 16 GB of memory available, that’s still slightly more than the 14.3 GB you’ll get from the latest Wi-Fi only iPad for the same price of $499.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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