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

01.08.10

FSF Recommends That the European Commission Should Unbundle PCs/Windows

Posted in Europe, FSF, GNU/Linux, Windows at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Peter Brown from the FSF (Free Software Foundation) argues that PCs should not be saddled with Windows and that the EU Commission should therefore take a look at the problem

April’s latest complaint about the Microsoft deal with the EU (there are many more complaints about it [1, 2, 3, 4]) has inspired the FSF’s big gun, Peter Brown, to write this post. In part, it says:

Thanks to the European Commission’s antitrust like activities, European citizens will soon be presented with a ballot choice between twelve browsers when first using a newly purchased computer preloaded with the Microsoft Windows operating system.

But is this really progress? It’s not much of a choice when you have to give up your freedom first in order to select a browser — a few of which might be free software. Why not give citizens the option of purchasing the computer with a free software operating system like GNU/Linux, or with no operating system at all? The best way to fight monopoly isn’t to give more choices after the most basic premise of the monopoly has already been agreed to — it’s to let people opt out of the monopoly from the beginning.

Thousands of Italians are preparing to sue Microsoft over bundling, as reported earlier this week. We wrote about this on Wednesday and added many more references yesterday. Marcel Gagné, a Canadian, has just written about the notorious “Microsoft tax” as well:

As I mentioned, that’s a lot of computing power for a small price tag. Even at the ‘sale price’, I’m betting that Best Buy made money and Acer made money and other people down the line made money. Add to that Windows 7 Premium Home edition which, according to my local Future Shop, is $225 Canadian for a full version or $130 for an upgrade. We Linux and FOSS people call this the Microsoft tax. There were also a bunch of other pieces of software installed, some full versions and others time-limited trials. I don’t really care, I wasn’t going to run any of it anyhow. Assuming that this story is correct in saying that NewEgg offers OEM versions of Windows 7 for $110, then my notebook could have goes a full hundred dollars less, at the very least. So now, I could theoretically have gotten all this computing power for $500 or less. Just install Ubuntu or Kubuntu or any other version of Linux you prefer and you have a seriously inexpensive, seriously powerful, and infinitely more reliable machine than the Microsoft-taxed version can offer.

How much pressure will it take to end the illegal bundling? This was challenged very strongly in France and to an extent in Belgium too. We wrote about these issues before, under posts that include some of the ones below.

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

2 Comments

  1. clayclamp said,

    January 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Gravatar

    You (and your source) know very well that no OEM ever pays $100 for a copy of Windows. The “OEM” version sold in the US via NewEgg, TigerDirect et.al is not the same thing as what’s bundled with computers by Dell, Gateway, et.al.

    If you don’t know this then it means you’re probably not doing your homework. If you do, then it means you’re being deceptive. Which is it?

    your_friend Reply:

    No one outside of Microsoft knows for sure what OEMS have to pay. The agreements are secret so that Microsoft can illegally punish those who don’t toe the Microsoft party line. Fear of retribution is why Dell, HP, TigerDirect and other OEMs all advertise the same obviously cynical key phrases like, “We recommend Microsoft Vista.” Those kinds of OEM details have leaked and Roy published them. The model is breaking down as the price of computers dips below $250. Microsoft won’t survive when computers are as cheap as pocket calculators and this is part of why they have bombed in PDA, music player and mobile phone markets.

    The market value of Microsoft’s OS is less than zero. Given real choices, OEMs and users are migrating to free and zero cost systems. Microsoft has to pay people in it’s ecosystem to keep using Windows so they might collect the Windows tax for them. The increasing cost of the performance gap between gnu/linux and Windows makes an increasing bribe cost for Microsoft.

What Else is New


  1. Primer to the Crisis and Scandals at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    An introduction to the chaotic state of what used to be the world's leading patent office and quickly became Europe's biggest embarrassment



  2. Workers of the European Patent Office (EPO) Are Going on Strike Again, Almost 90% Voted in Favour

    Thousands of brave EPO employees chose to cast a vote and make it known that they are in favour of another strike



  3. Benoît Battistelli Has Lost the Election at the EPO

    FFPE candidates (or moles from the yellow union) failed to enter the Central Staff Committee in spite of Battistelli's attempt to help them get in



  4. Emerging Threat to Patent Reforms at the USPTO

    Our plan of returning to coverage of US patent affairs in the wake of powerful lobbies that pursue patent maximalism



  5. You Know That the Unitary Patent (UPC) is in Huge Peril When Its Biggest Fans Admit It's Unlikely to Happen Even Next Year

    The tactics of Team UPC turn ugly as they personally target anyone who stands in their way, even a professor/judge who is courageous enough to state the obvious



  6. More Than Six Human Casualties Under Battistelli at the EPO, But the Human Toll Can Become a Lot Worse

    The bigger or much broader picture detailing the high cost of autocracy and mental torture at the EPO, where lives are ruined not only when these are ended and some key buildings pose severe threat to a lot of workers



  7. EPO's Elodie Bergot Calls Staff Suicide Just 'Passing Away', Pretends to Care

    How the EPO continues to mislead if not lie to staff, even when staff commits suicide -- a growing problem for Team Battistelli, whom some insiders hold accountable for these deaths



  8. The Administrative Tribunal of ILO Will Deliver EPO Judgments in Six Days

    Despite its old age (nearly a century), ILO's tradition when it comes to enforcing the law is anything but sterling, yet one can hope that it will stop its unproductive cat-and-mouse game with the EPO, where compliance is rare and actual judgments (not deferrals/referrals) are even rarer



  9. Links 21/6/2017: Red Hat's Numbers Are Up, New Debian Being Studied

    Links for the day



  10. Another Suicide Reported at the EPO While the Paid-for Media Focuses on 'European Inventor Award' Charade

    Puff pieces for Benoît Battistelli published aplenty while the European media refuses to deal with the reality -- not paid-for illusions -- at the European Patent Office



  11. Links 20/6/2017: Chuwi Lapbook, Linux 4.12 RC6, Mesa 17.1.3

    Links for the day



  12. At the European Inventor Award Ceremony Benoît Battistelli Lied to a Lot of Scientists and “Media Partners” About the UPC

    The Liar in Chief, Benoît Battistelli, still lives in a fantasy world or simply lies intentionally, which would be worse



  13. Contact Details for the EPO's Administrative Council Delegations

    List of Heads of Delegation and their E-mail addresses (used to be public information before Benoît Battistelli's oppressive regime or coup)



  14. Don't Forget to Vote for EPO Strike This Week (Thursday)

    A reminder that there's a vote on a strike at the European Patent Office later this week, giving an opportunity to rebut the "vocal minority" myth which Benoît Battistelli likes to spread



  15. European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing Guidelines: Motivation and Impact of Leaks

    Advice on when to leak and what to leak for the desired effect, which is reformatory (though transparency and accountability)



  16. Links 18/6/2017: New Debian Release, Catchup With a Lot of News

    Links for the day



  17. Appalling Press Coverage Regarding the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    How the media has lied (and keeps lying) about the UPC, which the European public neither needs nor wants, putting aside serious constitutional issues that are associated with the UPC



  18. The Writings on the Wall at the European Patent Office: Number of Directors May Soon Decline From 150 to Just 65-70

    Battistelli is seizing more direct and indirect control over the European Patent Office (EPO), which is supposed to eject him with a proposal for replacement already formally prepared for publication



  19. European Patent Office (EPO) Whistleblowing Guidelines

    The first part of a series which offers tips for sending us material/evidence, specifically from the European Patent Office (EPO)



  20. General Consultative Committee of the EPO Warns About Battistelli's Plans

    The General Consultative Committee (GCC) issues a long document (176 pages) which explains to the overseer of the Office how internal rule changes make things even worse



  21. Links 16/6/2017: New Atom Release, Firefox 55 Beta

    Links for the day



  22. Leaked: European Patent Office Still Uses Microsoft Windows XP... in 2017

    The EPO continues to rely on inherently insecure (by design) platforms and Mr. Kraft, Battistelli's CIO, bragged that the actions of the Office "prevented any damage to the EPO and its reputation"



  23. Unitary Patent (UPC) Will Start “Real Soon” Now... Said Team UPC For So Many Years

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is going nowhere fast, but those who spent time and money promoting it for self gain continue to lie to the press with overly optimistic predictions, unrealistic timelines, and Kool-Aid about the supposed 'benefits' of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)



  24. EPO Management Wastes Millions of Euros on a Silly, Gratuitous, Self-Serving Festival While EPO Staff is Planning Another Strike

    Unrest at the European Patent Office (EPO) is growing again, with plans of a strike resulting in a formal vote for a strike next week



  25. Links 15/6/2017: Mir 0.26.3, FreeNAS 11.0

    Links for the day



  26. Software Patents in Europe Are Still Promoted by the EPO, Even in Defiance of the Ban

    The European Patent Office continues to ignore the directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions, which had software patents disallowed with an overwhelming majority of 648 to 14 votes at the European Parliament



  27. Leaked: Job Advertisement for Removing Battistelli From the European Patent Office

    In spite of rumours that Benoît Battistelli would pursue elongation of his term, in clear defiance of the rules (again), paperwork is being put forth to replace him



  28. Links 14/6/2017: New BlackArch Linux ISO and Q4OS 1.8.6, Orion

    Links for the day



  29. Even UPC Proponents, Paid by the EPO's PR Firm, Admit That UPC May Never Happen

    Speculations are being floated regarding the cause of the impasse, which is going to result in a very long period of uncertainty and possibly the collapse of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) as it was envisioned by Michel Barnier, Benoît Battistelli and other opportunists



  30. Caricature: Balance of Justice at the European Patent Office

    Balance of justice under Battistelli's regime isn't quite what the Office wants the public and the Dutch authorities to believe


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