Could there be a law to protect the free choice of operating system?

Vicen Rodriguez Vicen_Rodriguez at
Sat Mar 2 23:25:44 UTC 2013


A few months ago I decided to buy a laptop for one of my children. I
wanted to buy a new laptop without an operating system (OS) on it to
install an OS to my liking. It became a complicated problem. Most stores
selling computers offered me a laptop with an OS installed; it was an OS
I don't want to use and I don't want to pay for. Finally, in a town near
the city where I live (but not in the 1,6 million people city where I
live), I found a shop offering new laptops that could be purchased with
or without an OS installed, and, in case of buying the computer with OS,
they said what was the price that was being paid for it.

Despite achieving my goal after a long and tedious process, I realized
that in Spain, and perhaps in the entire European Union, most computers
are sold with a proprietary OS already installed, without offering
details of the amount the citizen is paying for that OS, and do not
giving the real possibility of rejecting that OS, buy the computer
without it and not be charged for it.

1. - I think it should be a right for all and every citizen of the
European Union, when buying a computer, to have the details of the
amount which corresponds to the computer or hardware and how much is
charged for the OS and other software .

2. - I think it should be a right for all and every citizen of the
European Union, when buying a computer, to have the real possibility, at
the time of purchase, of rejection of the acquisition of the OS and any
other software that the manufacturer and / or seller offered with the

I can understand that a manufacturer and / or seller could say that
computers they offer have not been tested with an OS other than the one
they recommend, but, once the buyer is informed about that, I can't
understand why must he buy an OS he may not want and for whose use he
must accept a series of contractual terms which are entirely beyond his
purpose of buying a computer.

I think the freedom and rights of all and every citizen of the European
Union must be strictly observed in any transaction, and that freedom and
those rights should be the priority over the profit of companies and
corporations who may have intended to impose their interests.

We can fully exercise our freedom only if we have freedom of choice.

I am aware that if a measure such as I propose is adopted for the sale /
buying computers process, there would be no reason to not adopt it also
in relation to mobile phones, game consoles and other devices. This is
not the main objective of my proposal, but, considering these possible
implications, I still think it could be a good measure.

I also believe that the adoption of a measure such as I propose, in
addition to directly defend the rights of citizens and consumers in the
European Union, would be an incentive for competition and the free
market within the European Union, would promote greater transparency in
the relationship between computer manufacturers and developers of
operating systems and applications and help avoid the possibility of de
facto monopolies, something that could happen if one or more companies
take advantage of its dominant position.

For all that I have said, I think it could be a good measure that would
increase the use of free software.

But I do not know how we can get running something like this. I
consulted some pages of the European Union website [1] [2] [3], but I
lack the knowledge to assess what is the best way to try to carry out
the proposal.

I'm sure there are people in this forum better informed and with better
capabilities than me to take the proposal forward.

What can we do?




P.S.: I apologize for my bad English and the mistakes.
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