EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.28.08

Forced Windows Purchases: A Decade Later, Still No Improvement

Posted in Antitrust, Asia, Dell, Europe, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Vista, Windows at 7:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The regulators are fast asleep. Apart from the fact that Microsoft makes profit from GNU/Linux preinstalls [1, 2, 3], it’s still nearly impossible to find and then to get them.

Taiwan, China, Poland, [1, 2], and Hungary have formally complained about Microsoft this month, but not the United States. As pointed out yesterday (see the comment at the bottom), the American (US) regulators are indifferent because they are themselves corrupt. Meanwhile, says a reader, Steve Ballmer’s trip to Portugal might be aimed at intercepting Free software.

It’s not grim news all around though. Yesterday, for example, this article showed up and it proves that some people do get in trouble for buying Microsoft. Quebec’s government comes under legal scrutiny, which is not exactly surprising given prior complaints about the procurement process there. It’s equally bad in the UK and elsewhere.

Quebec’s open-source software association is suing the provincial government, saying it is giving preferential treatment to Microsoft Corp. by buying the company’s products rather than using free alternatives.

The lawsuit by Facil was lodged with the Quebec Superior Court on July 15 and made public on Wednesday. In it, the group says the provincial government has refused to entertain competing bids from all software providers, opting instead to supply public-sector departments with products bought from proprietary vendors such as Microsoft and Oracle Corp.

As a side note, speaking of lawsuits, Novell still has a lawsuit against Microsoft and it could win hundreds of millions of dollars. This was mentioned before as a possible reason for Microsoft to buy Novell once it becomes a suitable target (with .NET, patents and all that).

Steve Ballmer rides SUSEMicrosoft may have given up on its old strategy. See the previous post about a patents revenue strategy and recall those SCO analogies . Microsoft suffers from a customer retention issue. Could Microsoft buy out the lawsuit and the competitor? It could be less expensive than buying out threats like XenSource (using Citrix as a proxy) due to competitive bids and a large numbers of players in this space. Naturally, GNU and Linux can spread endlessly between vendors, which keeps them secure from hostile takeovers, but software patents change this. Novell and Microsoft actively try to change this using “licensing”. This exclusionary move shows just why Novell and Microsoft are already becoming the same company.

“This exclusionary move shows just why Novell and Microsoft are already becoming the same company.”Let us return to exclusion at the OEM level. Exclusionary OEM contracts is something that we covered before and this article from the Czech Republic was mentioned some days ago. It shows just how impossible Microsoft has made it to choose an operating system other than Windows (or no operating system at all, i.e. just bare-metal hardware bundles). Over at Groklaw, Pamela just wrote: “Isn’t it ridiculous that it’s nearly impossible to avoid buying Vista on a new computer, even if you have no desire to get Vista? And then Microsoft counts such “sales” as indicating an interest in Vista.”

Going a long way back, you can still find this detailed page on the impossibility of obtaining a Toshiba computer without Microsoft software. Not much has change since then.

I hope that this web page will prove useful to those people who want to purchase a laptop without Microsoft Windows. The short summary is:

* It is near impossible to buy a laptop without Windows
* The Microsoft Software License Agreement allows you to return the software if you do not agree to its terms.
* It is difficult, but not impossible to get Toshiba (at least in Australia) to send you a cheque in return for the Windows License.

Here is another good page, which is no longer live, but it has a copy on the Internet Archive.

My name is David Chun. I am an undergraduate student at UCLA, where I am in the UCLA Center for American Public Policy and Politics. I am working this spring as an intern at the Consumer Project on Technology. On May 25, 1998 through June 3, 1998, I called 12 computer manufacturers, known in the industry as original equipment manufactures (OEMs), attempting to buy computers without a Microsoft Windows operating systems.

This is not competition. It’s free market distortion.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. Jens Staal said,

    September 11, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Gravatar

    I can definitely agree that it was nearly impossible to get a laptop without windows here in Europe. I checked with Dell and others and they all refused (Dell only offered an ubuntu installation for companies and not to individuals, and many vendors could customize hardware, but not leave out a default Windows installation!). The only one I found was the danish company Zepto, where the Windows Tax was refreshingly visible as you assembled your computer…

    Ps. I do hope that your rants about Novell proves to be false… because I am a very happy OpenSuse 11 user … Ds.

  2. Jose_X said,

    September 11, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Gravatar

    >> Ps. I do hope that your rants about Novell proves to be false…

    Could you be more specific. BN posts a bunch of facts along with opinions. What are you disputing?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s not disputed that OpenSUSE works. In fact, I often stress that it’s one of the best distributions out there. Technical behaviour and ethical behaviour are separate though and we needn’t fall for one to encourage the other. It’s better to put one’s money and userbase where it serves Free software, as opposed to the Microsoft ‘cabal’.

  4. Jose_X said,

    September 11, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Gravatar

    The newest Mandriva (2009 beta? and even 2008.1?) have gotten very good reviews. Lot’s of people also seem to like Mint (Ubuntu deriv I think). PCLOS is like a cousin of Mandriva. Fedora tends to be among the more cutting edge. There are many others, but it’s difficult to know what will strike a random person’s fancy.

    We can use and contribute to make any distro the best. Why would be pick the one that most helps Microsoft maintain their monopolies? I have 0 interest in Microsoftizing Linux. Using Linux software is the beginning step of making Linux what you want it to become with the help of the developers and the rest of the community. .. Um.. choose wisely?

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 12, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, I’m on my Mandriva in my main PC at the moment.

  6. Jens Staal said,

    September 12, 2008 at 4:17 am

    Gravatar

    I was a “disto hopper” between some of the major distros (kubuntu, fedora etc) and got stuck at the OpenSuse mostly because of the complete “look and feel” of it…and the chameleon is cute. That only illustrates that there are often irrational reasons that makes the final call…

    It was not until after that I heard about the MS-Novell thing.
    Personally I am no fanatic MS hater as such, but I am very much against their monopolistic position and how their dominance feeds itself. I am a strong believer in a market with several equally strong alternatives (competition drives development) and do not wish a total demise of the MS OS, but a more level distribution of OSes which will inspire software/game makers to produce cross-platform products.
    In particular, the lack of choice of not buying Microsoft’s product when you want to buy a new piece of hardware is something that angers me quite a bit.

    Because of this, I am not quite yet ready to leave my favorite distro (OpenSuse) for plain ideological reasons… but if things get worse and some of the dystopic things mentioned on this blog and elsewhere starts to be true – I will definitely abandon it. On the other hand, Novell does not earn one cent from me running their software…

What Else is New


  1. Links 29/4/2016: GNOME 3.21.1, Fairphone

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  3. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia



  4. [ES] ''Si la Forma de Pensar de la EPO fuese Seguida, Guantánamo Sería Posible en Suelo Alemán.”

    La EPO está todavía bajo fuego, pero mucho de ello pasa detrás de las cortinas y envuelve abogados y/o burócratas



  5. The European Copy-Paste Office (EPO)

    This morning's example (not the first) of how the EPO uses 'social' media



  6. Links 28/4/2016: Fedora 24, EE Goes Open Source

    Links for the day



  7. Amid Referendum “the New European Unitary Patent System is Likely to Collapse Before It Started”

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) vision seems like it may be just one month away from its gradual death, depending on British voices amongst other key factors



  8. USTR is Trying to Shame and Bully India Into Introducing Software Patents in India

    Lobbying body of the US (corporations-led) is trying its usual dirty tactics against India's sound policy which excludes software/algorithms from patent scope



  9. No, Visual Studio is NOT Open Source and Xamarin Openwashing is NOT News

    The latest example of Microsoft openwashing, courtesy of confidants of Microsoft and those who got bamboozled by them



  10. Latest Black Duck Puff Pieces a Good Example of Bad Journalism and How Not to Report

    Why the latest "Future of Open Source Survey" -- much like its predecessors -- isn't really a survey but just another churnalism opportunity for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck, which is a proprietary parasite inside the FOSS community



  11. If EPO “Form of Thinking Were to be Followed, Guantanamo on German Soil Would be Possible.”

    The EPO is still under fire, but a lot of it happens behind the scenes and involves lawyers and/or bureaucrats



  12. Links 28/4/2016: Tomb Raider for GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE 4.2

    Links for the day



  13. [ES] La Departura de la Readidad de la EPO Y Su Entrada en la Esféra Industrial China de Propaganda

    La deceptiva trampa del maximálism de patentes, donde se asume que artficialmente aumentando el número de patentes otorgadas traerá el resultado esperado



  14. [ES] Una Fársa de Sistema: ¿Cómo la SIPO, USPTO, y cada vez más la EPO se Convierten en Llenado de Patentes (No Se Requiere Propia Examinación)

    Una crítica al decline en la calidad de patentes en algunas de las más grandes oficinas de patentes del mundo, donde aspiración parece ser neo-liberal en el sentido económico



  15. [ES] Microsoft ‘Asalto con Todo’ Contra Android, Java, y GNU/Linux, Usando la Clásica E.E.E. Táctica de Nuevo

    Otro recordatorio de la realidad que Microsoft está muy activo en el frente E.E.E., not no sólo contra GNU/Linux pero también Android y Java



  16. [ES] Más Rumores y Llamadas Acerca de Prospectos de Microsoft Vaya a Comprar Canonical (Ubuntu con todo y Zapatos)

    Teniendo en cuenta los últimos movimientos de Canonical, algunos expertos piensan que es posible que Shuttleworth elija el dinero a Microsoft sobre principios sino también inste para que esto ocurra



  17. Links 27/4/2016: A Lot About OpenStack, Vivaldi 1.1 Released

    Links for the day



  18. A Farce of a System: How SIPO, USPTO, and Increasingly the EPO Too Turn Into Filing Systems (No Proper Examination/Filtering Required)

    A critique of the declining quality of patents in some of the world's biggest patent offices, where the aspiration seems to be neo-liberal in the economic sense



  19. Microsoft's 'Full Assault' on Android, Java, and GNU/Linux, Using Classic E.E.E. Tactics Again

    Another reminder of the fact that Microsoft is very active on the E.E.E. front, not just against GNU/Linux but also Android and Java



  20. More Rumours and Calls Surrounding Prospects of Microsoft Buying Canonical (Ubuntu and More)

    Taking some of Canonical's recent moves into account, some pundits not only think it's possible for Shuttleworth to choose Microsoft money over principles but also urge for this to happen



  21. [ES] El Nuevo Impulso Finánciado por Microsoft Para Reforzar las Patentes de Software en los EE.UU., Apoyado por los Sospechosos Usuales (La Sagrada Familia) Mientras que Microsoft Cada Vez Más Lucha Como Compañíá Productiva

    Una mirada al esfuérzo de trae una resurgencia de las patentes de software en los Estados Unidos (con un clarísimo rol de Microsoft en él) y la fundación/conf ianza de Microsoften las patentes de software como arma contr Linux/Android porque las ganancias de Windows se están secando y el Windows Phone está al borde del colápso



  22. Links 26/4/2016: Firefox 46.0, Thunderbird's Stewardship

    Links for the day



  23. Links 25/4/2016: Kodi 16.1, OpenStack Summit

    Links for the day



  24. New Microsoft-Funded Push to Make Software Patents Stronger in the US, Backed by the Usual Suspects as Microsoft Increasingly Struggles as a Producing Company

    A look at the effort to bring about a software patents resurgence to the US (with clear Microsoft role in it) and Microsoft's reliance on software patents as a weapon against Linux/Android because Windows profits dry up and Windows Phone is on the verge of collapse



  25. Patents Roundup: Marijuana Patents, Patent Satellites, Patent Trolls, Wars, and Merchants (Notably Lawyers)

    Various strands of news about patents, focused on issues raised in the latter half of last week



  26. The EPO's Departure From Truth and Entrance Into the Realms of Chinese Industrial-Grade Propaganda

    The entrapping delusion of patent maximalism, wherein artificially or superficially increasing the number of granted patents is assumed to be a desirable outcome



  27. [ES] La Fundación de Frontera Electrónica (EFF) Continua su Batalla por la Sanidad de Patentes en los Estados Unidos

    Una mirada a las últimas actividades de la EFF en el área de patentes, donde probablemente habrá mayor énfasis en los daños de las patentes de software y la necesidad de eliminarlas completamente



  28. [ES] La Sociedad Regional de Economía Comprehensiva (RCEP) Amenaza Traer las Patentes de Software a la India

    La amenaza que arrastra otro acuerdo denominado de "comercio" cuyo impacto a favor de los MONOPOLIOS contra los intereses del pueblo de la India y por lo tanto debe ser rechazadas por ellos



  29. [ES] Toma Menos de 10 Votos para 'Ganar' una Elección en la Mini Unión (Minion) de Battistelli

    Una mirada al minúsculo tamaño de la Unión apadrinada por Battistelli, la que parece tener una docena de miembros activos



  30. [ES] Di la Verdad Acerca del Sistema de Patentes de los EE.UU., Conseguiras Ser Atacado por la Máquina Propagandistica de Patentes (Disfrazada de Prensa)

    El Sr. Darrell Issa (fotografiado arriba) cae bajo ataque de los proponentes de patentes de software patents, los apologistas de los trolles de patentes (quiénes los financian frecuéntemente), y los máximalistas de patentes porque correctamente insinuó que la (mayoría) de demandantes son como/casi trolles de patentes en los Estados Unidos


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts