Bonum Certa Men Certa

Moving Closer Towards Operating Systems Unbundling in Europe



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.




asdfas2wefwhttp://aful.org/communiques/share-your-operating-system-bundling-tales-with-the-euApr 16 11:11
TechrightsBot-trTitle: Share your operating system bundling tales with the EU | AFUL .::. Size~: 25.46 KBApr 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-trTitle: Kommissionsbericht zur Vorratsdatenspeicherung €«  Alexander Alvaro .::. Size~: 52.66 KBApr 16 11:13
oiaohmasdfas2wefw: ? 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 #cognitivesurpusApr 16 11:14
TechrightsBot-trTitle: 56% of Peoples' 1st Wikipedia Edits Are Good .::. Size~: 51.02 KBApr 16 11:15
oiaohmmy oiaohm= Ok I am over here mateApr 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 #3strikesApr 16 11:16
TechrightsBot-trTitle: New Zealand's 3-strikes rule can go into effect in September - Boing Boing .::. Size~: 42.89 KBApr 16 11:16
asdfas2wefw@oiaohm, it is pseudo randomApr 16 11:17
asdfas2wefwlearning IRCApr 16 11:17
oiaohmGreat 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 #licensingApr 16 11:18
TechrightsBot-trTitle: Company allows GPLv3'ed Javascript libraries to be distributed as EUPL — .::. Size~: 30.83 KBApr 16 11:18
oiaohmSo 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
schestowitzasdfas2wefw: hi, thanks for the linksApr 16 11:20
schestowitzI already have a draft with about 4 new links on the subjectApr 16 11:20
schestowitzI intend to think about how to approach the issue productively and I will most likely link to leaked OEM dealsc/contracts we have from ComesApr 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 #patentsApr 16 11:21
TechrightsBot-trTitle: RIM Said Weighing Bid to Top Google Offer for Nortel Patents - Bloomberg .::. Size~: 55.15 KBApr 16 11:21
oiaohmasdfas2wefw: something that is commonly overlooked is the crapware effect.Apr 16 11:21
oiaohmasdfas2wefw: Windows can cost negitive to put on a machine due to the software bundled with it.Apr 16 11:22
oiaohmasdfas2wefw: and there is no requirement of produces to declare this kick back.Apr 16 11:22
oiaohmasdfas2wefw: 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
oiaohmasdfas2wefw: Ie no crap discount.Apr 16 11:25
asdfas2wefwI 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
oiaohmasdfas2wefw: 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/6en5bymApr 16 11:28
TechrightsBot-trTitle: Thoughts on Kolab and (3rd Party) Application Caching | Planet Ergo .::. Size~: 18.83 KBApr 16 11:28
oiaohmcrapware providers want the crap embeded in the reinstall disk or system provided to the users.Apr 16 11:28
asdfas2wefw.Apr 16 11:28
asdfas2wefwembedding crapware can be on Linux re-install disks, too.Apr 16 11:29
oiaohmProblem you try getting a set of clean reinstall disks for windows.Apr 16 11:29
oiaohmWithout buying another copy of windows.Apr 16 11:29
oiaohmLinux on the other hand you can just go and download a clean disk and do away with the problem.Apr 16 11:30
MinceRthey could use a non-gratis gnu/linux distribution :>Apr 16 11:31
oiaohmI 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
oiaohmMinceR: Redhat will send out clean disks if you point out disk has malware added.Apr 16 11:31
oiaohmMinceR: Same with Suse.Apr 16 11:32
oiaohmBasically its not tollerated treatment of users in the Linux world. MinceRApr 16 11:32
MinceRdoes the crapware author and the average user know this? :>Apr 16 11:32
oiaohmRemember with Redhat and Suse you have a support contract.Apr 16 11:33
oiaohmSo when you have issue with crap you ring them up.Apr 16 11:33
MinceRthen again, the crapware author themselves could ship a modified distro :>Apr 16 11:33
oiaohmSome have tried.Apr 16 11:33
MinceRafter all, if you can't get a clean installer, the solution is to get a clean installer of somet other OSApr 16 11:33
MinceRs/met/me/Apr 16 11:33
oiaohmeepc classic example MinceRApr 16 11:34
MinceRfor example, crapware-laden winblows substituted with fedoraApr 16 11:34
MinceRthey don't sell eeepcs with gnu/linux here :/Apr 16 11:34
oiaohmclean versions appear very quicky from other sources in the open source world.Apr 16 11:34
asdfas2wefwfedora could be pre-loaded with crapware, if that is necessary, using kickstartApr 16 11:34
oiaohmasdfas2wefw: Problem is user can get a clean copy of fedora no trouble.Apr 16 11:34
oiaohmSo user complaining about issues who reinstalls with new version bingo crapware problem gone.Apr 16 11:35
oiaohmso end of crapware making profit.Apr 16 11:35
oiaohmWindows user on the other hand is stuck in hell.Apr 16 11:35
asdfas2wefwthat's fine. the crapware obligation is only on the bundled package.Apr 16 11:35
oiaohmasdfas2wefw: Problem is MS.Apr 16 11:35
oiaohmIf you have crapware on the bundled package.Apr 16 11:36
asdfas2wefwM$ has known since the begging of Windoze that many people wipe the machines Apr 16 11:36
oiaohmMS rules only person who can replace is the OEM provider who gave you the crap disks.Apr 16 11:36
asdfas2wefwsome put on Windoze others put on linuxApr 16 11:36
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[thistleweb/@thistleweb] one step closer to a Police State every day http://is.gd/YWsJcjApr 16 11:36
TechrightsBot-trTitle: TSA Investigates... People Who Complain About TSA - Slashdot .::. Size~: 162.2 KBApr 16 11:36
oiaohmSo the only replacement will be another copy of Windows disks with crap.Apr 16 11:36
schestowitzThere is a proposed solution where the OEM provides imagesApr 16 11:36
oiaohmSo crapware authers are happy.Apr 16 11:36
schestowitzLike the browser ballotApr 16 11:36
asdfas2wefwhttp://www.inquisitr.com/22264/url-shorteners-the-herpes-of-the-web/Apr 16 11:37
TechrightsBot-trTitle: URL Shorteners – the herpes of the web .::. Size~: 31.76 KBApr 16 11:37
schestowitzYou get two CDs/DVDs, you load the one of choice (or another), it copies over the image within like 10 minutesApr 16 11:37
oiaohmAlso more and more you are not even getting reinstall disks.Apr 16 11:37
oiaohmBut just a image on the harddrive.Apr 16 11:37
schestowitzI.e. install Linux, lose Windows for goodApr 16 11:38
schestowitzIncentive not to install LinuxApr 16 11:38
schestowitzOr go back to the shop, pay for someone to install what you already paid for anywayApr 16 11:38
oiaohmEven MS openly addmits the crapware is some of the reasons why people have bad times with Windows provided by OEMs.Apr 16 11:38
schestowitzBig swindle, an MEP recently brought it upApr 16 11:38
oiaohmMS own stores don't take altered versions.Apr 16 11:39
oiaohmUntil they found out no hardware maker was going to supply them.Apr 16 11:39
MinceRwell, of course, m$ likes to put the blame on othersApr 16 11:39
oiaohmAt a competitive price.Apr 16 11:39
oiaohmMinceR:  the blame is valid.Apr 16 11:39
MinceRdoesn't matterApr 16 11:39
MinceRfrom their viewpoint :>Apr 16 11:39
oiaohmLot of the crapware adds background services dials homeApr 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.arsApr 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_snafuApr 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-issuesApr 16 11:40
oiaohmYet MS is doing nothing to get ride of the crapwareApr 16 11:40
schestowitzIt's a marriage of convenienceApr 16 11:40
schestowitzIt keeps BSD and Linux awayApr 16 11:40
oiaohmBecause MS knows the truth.  Without windows being worth negitive Linux on the machine might be provided as the cheep solution.Apr 16 11:40
schestowitzMicrosoft+crapware=loveApr 16 11:40
oiaohmExactly.Apr 16 11:41
oiaohmWhile Microsoft +crapware love existsApr 16 11:41
schestowitzIt's like putting poo on more pooApr 16 11:41
oiaohmMachines without MS is going to be hard.Apr 16 11:41
schestowitzNot reallyApr 16 11:41
schestowitzSee tabletsApr 16 11:41
oiaohmHeck MS Office starter  is one of the crapwares.Apr 16 11:41
schestowitzImagine tablets with Norton AV *LOL*Apr 16 11:41
MinceRlolApr 16 11:41
schestowitzLike you want *that* to eat your batteryApr 16 11:41
oiaohmIf I put MS Office starter on a machine and someone upgrades it I get a min of 50 dollars in my pocket.  asdfas2wefwApr 16 11:42
oiaohmYes that crapware is paying commission to the people who place it there as well.Apr 16 11:42
oiaohmSo much to place it and so much if the person upgrades it.Apr 16 11:42
oiaohmNo crapware or at least truthful policy on crapware would make a big difference.Apr 16 11:43
oiaohmNorton AV trial is a nice kickback.Apr 16 11:44
oiaohmMind 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 competitionApr 16 11:46
TechrightsBot-trTitle: Why Does The Entertainment Industry Seek To Kill Any Innovation That's Helping It Adapt? | Techdirt .::. Size~: 73.27 KBApr 16 11:46
TechrightsBot-trTitle: Feds Seize Poker Websites; Founders Indicted | Techdirt .::. Size~: 99.56 KBApr 16 11:46
schestowitzMinceR: actually it wouldApr 16 11:47
schestowitzoops, oiaohm^Apr 16 11:47
schestowitzWhat you said would be opposite in realityApr 16 11:47
schestowitzNegative pricing would make the discount account for more of the relative price of the hardwareApr 16 11:48
schestowitzThink of $50 discount in $200 machine and same discount on $2000 machienApr 16 11:48
*sebsebseb has quit (Ping timeout: 246 seconds)Apr 16 11:48
oiaohmNo MS crapware works on arm yet.Apr 16 11:48
oiaohmWe could see something insane with Windows 8 on arm.  Machines for nothing.  100 percent crapware funded.  schestowitzApr 16 11:49
schestowitzgoogle does the same, at least in planApr 16 11:50
MinceRso you can get them at no cost and install a real OS on them :>Apr 16 11:50
schestowitzBut can't be totally freeApr 16 11:50
schestowitzOtherwise people would buy and wipe, it's like the razor modelApr 16 11:50
schestowitzNorton: 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
schestowitzMAFIAA: the OS is a "content delivery" toolApr 16 11:52
schestowitzOEM: the OS is a kickback opportunityApr 16 11:52
schestowitzLinux: the OS is the heart of a systemApr 16 11:52
oiaohmschestowitz: yep youview.  schestowitzApr 16 11:52
oiaohmyouview idea is basically content delivery tool model.Apr 16 11:53
schestowitzBSD: the OS is like a prick to wave aboutApr 16 11:53
oiaohmProblem is linux is now starting to get its crapware models.Apr 16 11:53
schestowitzMicrosoft: the OS is a recipe for world domination, kickstarting Bill's bank account before he does some *real* work towards world dominationApr 16 11:53
schestowitzApple: the OS does not exist. Buy a Mac. Please. No, not please. NOW!Apr 16 11:53
oiaohmLinux world we don't care who you are.Apr 16 11:54
oiaohmAs long as you use Linux come and join us.Apr 16 11:54
oiaohmNow that does bring some problems.Apr 16 11:54
oiaohmGreat TPM system combin with items like youviewApr 16 11:54
oiaohmThe device might be open source core but there might be no way in hell ever to alter it.Apr 16 11:55
oiaohmOr get anything out of it.Apr 16 11:55
cubezzzhmmm, very succinctApr 16 11:57


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