04.16.11

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Moving Closer Towards Operating Systems Unbundling in Europe

Posted in Antitrust, BSD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 1:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: There is a light at the end of the tunnel for desktop GNU/Linux because a new push tackles the OEM swindle

EVERYTHING is changing so fast, and very much for the better. Discrediting GNU/Linux, for example, has become a tough task. Right now more of the Linux FUD has something to do with patents because on technical merit GNU/Linux has already proven itself and its advocates rebutted disinformation which used to repeat itself, only to be challenged over and over again. Are Linux advocates needed when those who advocate it in massive numbers are Android users showing their phones to friends (the phones have it preinstalled)? Are LUGs needed? Well, that depends.

One of the areas where GNU/Linux has not found justice is the OEMs, particularly in the area of desktops and laptops. As part of the TechChoices banner we have written on this subject before (piles of material gathered over the years). We have also amassed antitrust exhibits which we arranged in our “Hardware” wiki page (confidential OEM contracts and the likes of that).

The next push which is definitely worth pursuing was alluded to by Peter Brown from the FSF when he wrote about the Web browsers ballot. He said that the Commission was addressing the wrong problem by assuming that it was acceptable for Microsoft to continue its monoculture at the operating system level. Not so much has happened since then as not many people voiced their complaints about forced sales of Windows, usually Vista 7 (although Microsoft also counts XP sales as Vista 7, in order to produce fake numbers). We recently spotted some signs that a parliament member sought to make it a subject of active discussion because André Rebentisch from the FFII wrote about it. There is a new announcement in the FFII’s Web site and it is actually a joint AFUL/FFII press release which calls people to share their operating system bundling tales with the EU. To quote:

The FFII and The FFII and AFUL ask consumers affected by operating system bundling or businesses involved in bundling to provide their evidence to the European Competition authority.

“My choice is Debian GNU/Linux”, explains FFII Vice president René Mages. “Why have I been compelled to pay and erase Windows 7 at purchase time?”

The European Commission admits it was aware of the difficulties encountered by consumers who want to purchase a PC with a non-Microsoft operating system or without any operating system at all. But they also say they lack evidence suggesting that this is the result of practices in violation of EU competition rules.

“We want to crowd source the collection of evidence”, says AFUL’s President Laurent Séguin. “If the EU finds anticompetitive agreements that foreclose competition or abuse a dominant position on the relevant market, that would be a magic bullet.”””AFUL ask consumers affected by operating system bundling or businesses involved in bundling to provide their evidence to the European Competition authority.

“My choice is Debian GNU/Linux”, explains FFII Vice president René Mages. “Why have I been compelled to pay and erase Windows 7 at purchase time?”

The European Commission admits it was aware of the difficulties encountered by consumers who want to purchase a PC with a non-Microsoft operating system or without any operating system at all. But they also say they lack evidence suggesting that this is the result of practices in violation of EU competition rules.

“We want to crowd source the collection of evidence”, says AFUL’s President Laurent Séguin. “If the EU finds anticompetitive agreements that foreclose competition or abuse a dominant position on the relevant market, that would be a magic bullet.”””

There is some great analysis from Groklaw, which carries on collecting accolades while it lasts. “This looks worth doing,” says Pamela Jones. And she continues:

FFII and AFUL would like to crowd source evidence-gathering about the difficulty for customers and OEMs in Europe trying to buy a computer or sell one without having to pay for Windows..

We have been having an IRC discussion about it and for those who are interested it is copied below. We welcome comments if people can add information to it.


asdfas2wefw http://aful.org/communiques/share-your-operating-system-bundling-tales-with-the-eu Apr 16 11:11
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Share your operating system bundling tales with the EU | AFUL .::. Size~: 25.46 KB Apr 16 11:11
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[glynmoody/@glynmoody] Leaked: Evaluation Report on EU Data Retention Directive – http://bit.ly/g2kOqS “valuable tool”: well, they would say that (v @whvholst) Apr 16 11:13
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Kommissionsbericht zur Vorratsdatenspeicherung «  Alexander Alvaro .::. Size~: 52.66 KB Apr 16 11:13
oiaohm asdfas2wefw: ? does you handle stand for anything or is it just pot luck? Apr 16 11:14
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[glynmoody/@glynmoody] 56% of Peoples’ 1st Wikipedia Edits Are Good – http://rww.to/exKNWD #wikipedia: not dead yet #sharing #cognitivesurpus Apr 16 11:14
TechrightsBot-tr Title: 56% of Peoples’ 1st Wikipedia Edits Are Good .::. Size~: 51.02 KB Apr 16 11:15
oiaohm my oiaohm= Ok I am over here mate Apr 16 11:15
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[glynmoody/@glynmoody] New Zealand’s 3-strikes rule can go into effect in September – http://bit.ly/g0PfJX aka unseemly haste #nz #3strikes Apr 16 11:16
TechrightsBot-tr Title: New Zealand’s 3-strikes rule can go into effect in September – Boing Boing .::. Size~: 42.89 KB Apr 16 11:16
asdfas2wefw @oiaohm, it is pseudo random Apr 16 11:17
asdfas2wefw learning IRC Apr 16 11:17
oiaohm Great New Zealand has 3-strikes and Australia has posiablity of being sued for software patents. Apr 16 11:18
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[glynmoody/@glynmoody] Company allows GPLv3′ed Javascript libraries to be distributed as EUPL – http://bit.ly/f8DAAM unusual #licensing Apr 16 11:18
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Company allows GPLv3′ed Javascript libraries to be distributed as EUPL — .::. Size~: 30.83 KB Apr 16 11:18
oiaohm So now both countries sux that I can stay in without any major paper work. Apr 16 11:18
*Judas_PhD has quit (Quit: This is a quitting message) Apr 16 11:19
schestowitz asdfas2wefw: hi, thanks for the links Apr 16 11:20
schestowitz I already have a draft with about 4 new links on the subject Apr 16 11:20
schestowitz I intend to think about how to approach the issue productively and I will most likely link to leaked OEM dealsc/contracts we have from Comes Apr 16 11:21
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[glynmoody/@glynmoody] RIM Said Weighing Bid to Top #Google Offer for #Nortel Patents – http://bloom.bg/gaUzs7 this could get messy #patents Apr 16 11:21
TechrightsBot-tr Title: RIM Said Weighing Bid to Top Google Offer for Nortel Patents – Bloomberg .::. Size~: 55.15 KB Apr 16 11:21
oiaohm asdfas2wefw: something that is commonly overlooked is the crapware effect. Apr 16 11:21
oiaohm asdfas2wefw: Windows can cost negitive to put on a machine due to the software bundled with it. Apr 16 11:22
oiaohm asdfas2wefw: and there is no requirement of produces to declare this kick back. Apr 16 11:22
oiaohm asdfas2wefw: Its a issue against custom builders like me.  People people have trouble working out why our machines cost a little more. Apr 16 11:25
oiaohm asdfas2wefw: Ie no crap discount. Apr 16 11:25
asdfas2wefw I don’t see a barrier for the OEMs to having crapware for linux or haiku, it’s not even necessary to port it, just include WINE… Apr 16 11:27
oiaohm asdfas2wefw: Does not work. Apr 16 11:27
asdfas2wefw ?? Apr 16 11:28
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[ruiseabra/@ruiseabra] RT @kanarip Thoughts on Kolab and (3rd Party) Application Caching http://tinyurl.com/6en5bym Apr 16 11:28
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Thoughts on Kolab and (3rd Party) Application Caching | Planet Ergo .::. Size~: 18.83 KB Apr 16 11:28
oiaohm crapware providers want the crap embeded in the reinstall disk or system provided to the users. Apr 16 11:28
asdfas2wefw . Apr 16 11:28
asdfas2wefw embedding crapware can be on Linux re-install disks, too. Apr 16 11:29
oiaohm Problem you try getting a set of clean reinstall disks for windows. Apr 16 11:29
oiaohm Without buying another copy of windows. Apr 16 11:29
oiaohm Linux on the other hand you can just go and download a clean disk and do away with the problem. Apr 16 11:30
MinceR they could use a non-gratis gnu/linux distribution :> Apr 16 11:31
oiaohm I personally class what as beening done by many OEM’s as underhanded and in the same class as malware.  Supported by Microsoft. Apr 16 11:31
oiaohm MinceR: Redhat will send out clean disks if you point out disk has malware added. Apr 16 11:31
oiaohm MinceR: Same with Suse. Apr 16 11:32
oiaohm Basically its not tollerated treatment of users in the Linux world. MinceR Apr 16 11:32
MinceR does the crapware author and the average user know this? :> Apr 16 11:32
oiaohm Remember with Redhat and Suse you have a support contract. Apr 16 11:33
oiaohm So when you have issue with crap you ring them up. Apr 16 11:33
MinceR then again, the crapware author themselves could ship a modified distro :> Apr 16 11:33
oiaohm Some have tried. Apr 16 11:33
MinceR after all, if you can’t get a clean installer, the solution is to get a clean installer of somet other OS Apr 16 11:33
MinceR s/met/me/ Apr 16 11:33
oiaohm eepc classic example MinceR Apr 16 11:34
MinceR for example, crapware-laden winblows substituted with fedora Apr 16 11:34
MinceR they don’t sell eeepcs with gnu/linux here :/ Apr 16 11:34
oiaohm clean versions appear very quicky from other sources in the open source world. Apr 16 11:34
asdfas2wefw fedora could be pre-loaded with crapware, if that is necessary, using kickstart Apr 16 11:34
oiaohm asdfas2wefw: Problem is user can get a clean copy of fedora no trouble. Apr 16 11:34
oiaohm So user complaining about issues who reinstalls with new version bingo crapware problem gone. Apr 16 11:35
oiaohm so end of crapware making profit. Apr 16 11:35
oiaohm Windows user on the other hand is stuck in hell. Apr 16 11:35
asdfas2wefw that’s fine. the crapware obligation is only on the bundled package. Apr 16 11:35
oiaohm asdfas2wefw: Problem is MS. Apr 16 11:35
oiaohm If you have crapware on the bundled package. Apr 16 11:36
asdfas2wefw M$ has known since the begging of Windoze that many people wipe the machines Apr 16 11:36
oiaohm MS rules only person who can replace is the OEM provider who gave you the crap disks. Apr 16 11:36
asdfas2wefw some put on Windoze others put on linux Apr 16 11:36
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[thistleweb/@thistleweb] one step closer to a Police State every day http://is.gd/YWsJcj Apr 16 11:36
TechrightsBot-tr Title: TSA Investigates… People Who Complain About TSA – Slashdot .::. Size~: 162.2 KB Apr 16 11:36
oiaohm So the only replacement will be another copy of Windows disks with crap. Apr 16 11:36
schestowitz There is a proposed solution where the OEM provides images Apr 16 11:36
oiaohm So crapware authers are happy. Apr 16 11:36
schestowitz Like the browser ballot Apr 16 11:36
asdfas2wefw http://www.inquisitr.com/22264/url-shorteners-the-herpes-of-the-web/ Apr 16 11:37
TechrightsBot-tr Title: URL Shorteners – the herpes of the web .::. Size~: 31.76 KB Apr 16 11:37
schestowitz You get two CDs/DVDs, you load the one of choice (or another), it copies over the image within like 10 minutes Apr 16 11:37
oiaohm Also more and more you are not even getting reinstall disks. Apr 16 11:37
oiaohm But just a image on the harddrive. Apr 16 11:37
schestowitz I.e. install Linux, lose Windows for good Apr 16 11:38
schestowitz Incentive not to install Linux Apr 16 11:38
schestowitz Or go back to the shop, pay for someone to install what you already paid for anyway Apr 16 11:38
oiaohm Even MS openly addmits the crapware is some of the reasons why people have bad times with Windows provided by OEMs. Apr 16 11:38
schestowitz Big swindle, an MEP recently brought it up Apr 16 11:38
oiaohm MS own stores don’t take altered versions. Apr 16 11:39
oiaohm Until they found out no hardware maker was going to supply them. Apr 16 11:39
MinceR well, of course, m$ likes to put the blame on others Apr 16 11:39
oiaohm At a competitive price. Apr 16 11:39
oiaohm MinceR:  the blame is valid. Apr 16 11:39
MinceR doesn’t matter Apr 16 11:39
MinceR from their viewpoint :> Apr 16 11:39
oiaohm Lot of the crapware adds background services dials home Apr 16 11:39
schestowitz !google “microsoft blames” Apr 16 11:40
TechrightsBot-tr [1] – Microsoft Blames Google for Poor YouTube Support on Windows Phone 7 | http://www.gottabemobile.com/2011/04/01/microsoft-blames-google-for-poor-youtube-support-on-windows-phone-7/ Apr 16 11:40
TechrightsBot-tr [2] – Microsoft blames Windows Phone 7 data usage issue on unnamed 3rd party | http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/01/microsoft-blames-windows-phone-7-data-usage-issue-on-unnamed-3rd-party.ars Apr 16 11:40
TechrightsBot-tr [3] – Microsoft blames Apple for Outlook 2011 sync snafu – Computerworld | http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9215553/Microsoft_blames_Apple_for_Outlook_2011_sync_snafu Apr 16 11:40
TechrightsBot-tr [4] – Microsoft Blames Your Laptop—Not Windows 7—For Battery Issues | http://gizmodo.com/%23!5467175/microsoft-blames-your-laptopnot-windows-7for-battery-issues Apr 16 11:40
oiaohm Yet MS is doing nothing to get ride of the crapware Apr 16 11:40
schestowitz It’s a marriage of convenience Apr 16 11:40
schestowitz It keeps BSD and Linux away Apr 16 11:40
oiaohm Because MS knows the truth.  Without windows being worth negitive Linux on the machine might be provided as the cheep solution. Apr 16 11:40
schestowitz Microsoft+crapware=love Apr 16 11:40
oiaohm Exactly. Apr 16 11:41
oiaohm While Microsoft +crapware love exists Apr 16 11:41
schestowitz It’s like putting poo on more poo Apr 16 11:41
oiaohm Machines without MS is going to be hard. Apr 16 11:41
schestowitz Not really Apr 16 11:41
schestowitz See tablets Apr 16 11:41
oiaohm Heck MS Office starter  is one of the crapwares. Apr 16 11:41
schestowitz Imagine tablets with Norton AV *LOL* Apr 16 11:41
MinceR lol Apr 16 11:41
schestowitz Like you want *that* to eat your battery Apr 16 11:41
oiaohm If I put MS Office starter on a machine and someone upgrades it I get a min of 50 dollars in my pocket.  asdfas2wefw Apr 16 11:42
oiaohm Yes that crapware is paying commission to the people who place it there as well. Apr 16 11:42
oiaohm So much to place it and so much if the person upgrades it. Apr 16 11:42
oiaohm No crapware or at least truthful policy on crapware would make a big difference. Apr 16 11:43
oiaohm Norton AV trial is a nice kickback. Apr 16 11:44
oiaohm Mind you arm chips are that many times cheaper than x86 that the negitive price of windows does not help Apr 16 11:45
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[clacke/@clacke] ♺ @glynmoody: Why Does The Entertainment Industry Seek To Kill Any Innovation That’s Helping It Adapt? – http://bit.ly/h9Hb58 why indeed? Apr 16 11:46
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[thistleweb/@thistleweb] #LasVegas casinos invest their money well, like every other corp http://is.gd/luFUyc in the system, to illegally kill the competition Apr 16 11:46
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Why Does The Entertainment Industry Seek To Kill Any Innovation That’s Helping It Adapt? | Techdirt .::. Size~: 73.27 KB Apr 16 11:46
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Feds Seize Poker Websites; Founders Indicted | Techdirt .::. Size~: 99.56 KB Apr 16 11:46
schestowitz MinceR: actually it would Apr 16 11:47
schestowitz oops, oiaohm^ Apr 16 11:47
schestowitz What you said would be opposite in reality Apr 16 11:47
schestowitz Negative pricing would make the discount account for more of the relative price of the hardware Apr 16 11:48
schestowitz Think of $50 discount in $200 machine and same discount on $2000 machien Apr 16 11:48
*sebsebseb has quit (Ping timeout: 246 seconds) Apr 16 11:48
oiaohm No MS crapware works on arm yet. Apr 16 11:48
oiaohm We could see something insane with Windows 8 on arm.  Machines for nothing.  100 percent crapware funded.  schestowitz Apr 16 11:49
schestowitz google does the same, at least in plan Apr 16 11:50
MinceR so you can get them at no cost and install a real OS on them :> Apr 16 11:50
schestowitz But can’t be totally free Apr 16 11:50
schestowitz Otherwise people would buy and wipe, it’s like the razor model Apr 16 11:50
schestowitz Norton: we view our software as though it’s an OS. We just need to wrap it ’round something to boot up the system and demand the user to pay us using scary dialogues :- Apr 16 11:51
schestowitz MAFIAA: the OS is a “content delivery” tool Apr 16 11:52
schestowitz OEM: the OS is a kickback opportunity Apr 16 11:52
schestowitz Linux: the OS is the heart of a system Apr 16 11:52
oiaohm schestowitz: yep youview.  schestowitz Apr 16 11:52
oiaohm youview idea is basically content delivery tool model. Apr 16 11:53
schestowitz BSD: the OS is like a prick to wave about Apr 16 11:53
oiaohm Problem is linux is now starting to get its crapware models. Apr 16 11:53
schestowitz Microsoft: the OS is a recipe for world domination, kickstarting Bill’s bank account before he does some *real* work towards world domination Apr 16 11:53
schestowitz Apple: the OS does not exist. Buy a Mac. Please. No, not please. NOW! Apr 16 11:53
oiaohm Linux world we don’t care who you are. Apr 16 11:54
oiaohm As long as you use Linux come and join us. Apr 16 11:54
oiaohm Now that does bring some problems. Apr 16 11:54
oiaohm Great TPM system combin with items like youview Apr 16 11:54
oiaohm The device might be open source core but there might be no way in hell ever to alter it. Apr 16 11:55
oiaohm Or get anything out of it. Apr 16 11:55
cubezzz hmmm, very succinct Apr 16 11:57
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