First official reply from the European Commission ref. complaint on illegal forced selling of Windows

Alessandro Rubini rubini at
Sun Jul 2 20:28:38 UTC 2006

> namely the consumer demand powers the fact that Microsoft has a virtual
> monopoly.

I understand that manufacturers want to preinstall windows on every
laptop instead of doing that on demand in 95% of them.

I have no problem in getting a system with windows eXPired on it, as
long as I can get a refund if I refuse to accept the license.
Whenever vendors (or ms) find time spent with refunds is not balanced
in time saved by preinstalling, they'll stop preinstalling on every
computer.  But if I can't get a refund (wasting my time over it), the
virtual monopoly is no more virtual: the market has no chance to
change, as those with different expectations have no means to voice

Therefore, I think they can escape the request to not preinstall, but
they can't escape the request to allow refund. Refusing to refund the
OS license should be banned by antitrust rules, IMHO -- and, at least
in Italy, they refuse refunding whenever someone tries that path.

BTW: Bundling hardware and software is very different than bundling
the air conditioner with every new car.  Marketing two versions of a
car only to please those few obsolete guys like me is costly, and
remocing the conditioner on demand is _very_ costly.  Software on the
other hand is pure information, it's not a "product" as they shout
around (calling themselves the "software industty").  Moreover, the
computer vendor is not (currently) the same as the software vendor,
and windows is not specific to their hardware, so they can't claim the
two are unseverable like the air conditioner in a car is.

[sorry if this remark is obvious, unfortunately I see the comparison
with physical products like cars to be too easily brought in]

Quello che scrivo rappresenta solo il mio personale punto di vista,
non rispecchia l'opinione di organizzazioni di cui faccio o ho fatto parte.

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