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

howard alternet at gn.apc.org
Tue Mar 5 16:33:48 UTC 2013





I think the car analogy is quite meaningless. The car manufacturers are 
entirely responsible for the car as a system and cannot sell it without 
stringent safety criteria being met. This would not be possible without 
them having control over the components and their integration into the 
whole system. There are bits they could leave out such as radios but not 
anything necesaary to drive the car.

The OS in a computer is more like the driver of the car. The car company 
is not responsible for how anyone drives, provided the car is designed 
in such a way to make it safe for suitable drivers (e.g. not children, 
or people who have some disability unless it has been modied). Computers 
can run perfectly well under many different operation systems provided 
they are built with the appropriate compatibility. The monopoly enjoyed 
by Microsoft prevents consumers choosing their OS of choice. For 
software that runs under Windows I prefer XP, but my laptop bundled with 
Windows 7 home edition cannot be "downgraded" to XP. This is quite wrong 
and trading standards organisations are wrong to let MS get away with 
their domination of the hardware manufacturers and retail distributer 

Howard Lane

On 5/3/2013 14:51, Albert Dengg wrote:
> hello,
> On Tue, Mar 05, 2013 at 01:31:49AM +0100, Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos wrote:
> ...
>>   It is not about companies and marketplace. It is about consumers who
>> consider options that provide a good balance between quality and price
>> of the products they buy. Freedom to modify the product may be
>> considered by some, but still it is within some balance.
>> For example would you pay 100.000 euros for a car where you can replace
>> engine, lights, seats, cpu, software etc, or would you buy a 15000 mass
>> produced one? The example is exaggerated, but consider that even smaller
>> price differences, make a lot of impact to certain people.
> I think your analogy is not entirely accurate:
> the situation with cars is actually that they tend to include more and
> more technology to actually prevent the customer from changing
> anything...not because it is a technical requirement but to be able to
> sell more expensive spare parts.
>> So in almost every example I can think of, if companies are forced with
>> legislation to break their products in multiple separate parts, prices
>> would go up in the average case, and go down in few (geeky) cases. Do
>> you really believe the average person is prepared to pay more for
>> something that has not any immediate impact visible to him (not everyone
>> is a mechanic or software developer). Most probably he'd just import his
>> product from a country where they don't have those laws.
> well...how would it be more expensive for them?
> we are actually not asking to support linux in particular (in the way
> that you can call their support hotline and start asking questions on
> running linux on their hardware), but only to leave out a non essential
> part (like for example you would want to order your car withouth leather
> seats because you want to use your custom velvet seat covers and
> therefore have no use for the more expensive extra option of leather
> seats).
> yours,
> albert
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