Hello,<br>Here's some info on a complaint I made to the European Commission about not being able to buy a notebook without having to buy Windows. I think this is illegal in the EU but also candidate countries as well as other associated countries such as Switzerland, Norway, Serbia etc etc.
<br><br>My complaint was made concerning the situation in Belgium as a simple consumer (I'm a journalist by profession).<br><br>-- <br>Dafydd ab Iago<br>Rue Royale Ste. Marie 7/9 Koninklijke Sint-Mariastraat<br>B-1030 Bruxelles-Brussels
<br>00 32 484 924 013<br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Dear Secretary General,<br>Dear Ms Day,<br><br>I am writing to make a formal complaint concerning the forced sale of Microsoft OS with notebooks in Belgium and other EU countries, and more specifically the failure of Belgian authorities to prevent the distortion of the market for notebook laptop computers.
<br><br>All major notebook computer suppliers in Belgium, perhaps representing almost 99% of the retail notebook market, offer no option other than to pay for a pre-installed version of Windows. Such companies include Dell, Packard Bell, Photo Hall, MediaMarkt, HP, Sony, Toshiba, Acer, Fujitsu Siemens, and Lenovo.
<br><br>The forced pre-installing of and payment for Microsoft operating systems on notebooks in Belgium has engendered a distorted market. The companies involved maintain confidential pricing policies as to manufacturer-paid charges for the Windows operating systems. However, there are indications that this could lead to excess charges of EUR 100 for unit purchased by an end consumer.
<br><br>As a user of an alternative operating system based upon a GNU General Public License, as do some 5 percent of notebook users, I myself now face being charged for a product I do not and will not need.<br><br>Although the End User License Agreement (EULA) for the Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition refers in vague terms to the possibility of a refund in the event of not installing and not agreeing with the EULA terms, notebook providers in Belgium refuse to offer such refunds and do not have known procedures for so doing.
<br><br>As a normal customer buying a single notebook, it is not possible in any way to configure purchase options so as NOT to pay for a Windows operating system at any of the following retailers: Dell, Packard Bell, Photo Hall, MediaMarkt, HP, Sony, Toshiba, Acer, Fujitsu Siemens, and Lenovo.
<br><br>I therefore request that the Commission make a formal investigation into the distortion of notebook computer market in Belgium and elsewhere as well as to force local authorities to ensure that consumers have the right to choose whether or not to buy a Windows operating system when purchasing a notebook in Belgium and elsewhere within the EU.