First official reply from the European Commission ref. complaint on illegal forced selling of Windows
ab Iago Dafydd
dafyddabiago at gmail.com
Fri Jun 30 15:45:01 UTC 2006
Here's the reply from the Commission. There should be an official reply to
the complaint as well. The reply below is just 'informal' on the basis of a
consumer complaint. I also made a complaint concerning the failure of the
Belgian state to protect consumers from an illegal sales practice operated
by Microsoft consisting of forcing almost all consumers to pay for a
Microsoft Windows license regardless of whether they 1) wanted to do so 2)
intended to use the license or not.
If you would like a jpg copy (100kb) of this letter please email me.
Dear Mr. Ferguson,
Thank you for your email dated I7 June 2006 to the Consumer Officer. This
email relates to the possibility of purchasing PCs without a preinstalled
Windows operating system.
The Commission is aware of the difficulties encountered by consumers to
purchase PCs without an operating system on them or alternatively with
another operating system than Windows.
As regards the possibility of purchasing a PC without an operating system, I
understand that Microsoft's licensing agreements with PC manufacturers
encourage (through the grant of rebates) the pre-installation of operating
systems on PCs. However, this does not have to be a Microsoft operating
system. The Commission is not aware of any obligation either contractual or
financial, obliging the PC OEMs to sell their PCs with Windows operating
systems in particular.
Furthermore, it appears that the choice of a PC vendor to offer PC with or
without an OS is not so much influenced by the rebate offered by Microsoft
than by the existence of effective consumer demand for PCs with operating
systems. We suspect that the structure of the market and demand from
consumers is the driving force behind the decision by PC vendors to offer
Windows preinstalled on the majority of their computers. If this is
information is confirmed, the conduct of PC manufacturers would be justified
by pure commercial reasons and may not fall under the provisions of EC
That said we have not yet finalized our review of the market and are
grateful that you took time to inform us of the problems you have
encountered. Against this background, I would like to take this opportunity
to inform you that the Commision intends to examine these questions in
greater detail in the future.
Angel TRADACETE COCERA
Director Directorate C: Information, Communication and Media
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