Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Sep 2007 17:31 UTC, submitted by twickline
Windows "Computers in the European Union should be sold without a bundled operating system, according to this submission to the European Commission. It says that the bundling of Microsoft Windows with computers is not in the public interest, and prevents meaningful competition in the operating system market." This is the conclusion of the Globalisation Instute, a think tank located in Brussels. Please note this is not a(n) (official) statement from the European Commission.
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I completely agree
by Haicube on Mon 24th Sep 2007 17:55 UTC
Haicube
Member since:
2005-08-06

In my point of view it's a disaster that this issue hasn't been resolved a looooong time ago.

On the other hand 95% will install windows anyway, but that fact hardly changes that it is bad for competition...

Reply Score: 8

RE: I completely agree
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 24th Sep 2007 17:58 UTC in reply to "I completely agree"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I, in fact, do not agree. In any way.

An operating system is a vital part of a computer. A computer without an operating system is completely useless. What would my grandmother do if she needed to buy a new computer - and it didn't come with an operating system? How is anybody supposed to explain that to her?

What the EC ought to do is mandate that computer vendors allow the option to not bundle Windows.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I completely agree
by IvoLimmen on Mon 24th Sep 2007 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE: I completely agree"
IvoLimmen Member since:
2005-07-06

If your grandmother is buying a computer and is sold a computer without an OS the salesman skipped a few lessons...

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: I completely agree
by JonathanBThompson on Mon 24th Sep 2007 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I completely agree"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

The same people that when you ask them (for tech support purposes) "How much memory do you have?" they might spit out the size of the hard drive or the frequency of the processor, are the same ones that you may find impossible to explain "It needs a specific OS, and you need this one to be able to use the programs you want to use" and as such, you may not be able to convince them that you need to get something separate, because as far as they are concerned, isn't that part of the computer???

On the other hand, if a salesperson detects that the customer is rather ignorant on such finer points, they may be able to bundle a bunch of stuff they have no idea what to do with, but get it because the salesperson says, "You'll really want/need this!" even if it's filesharing ad/spyware for a granny that's deaf (perhaps LimeWire as an example).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I completely agree
by SReilly on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE: I completely agree"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Even though the article was lacking in detail, I'm not sure this think tank actually knows what it's talking about.

A computer without an operating system is crazy. The amount of times I have had to explain the concept of operating systems to laymen leads me to believe that a computer without an OS bundled is a recipe for disaster.

On the other hand, forcing at least large OEM's to either provide the option of no OS bundling or the bundling of an alternative, modern operating system would go a long way towards separating the words 'Windows' and 'Computer' in many peoples minds. That alone would already be a significant move to try and break the MS monopoly, which they seem to be trying to advise the EU on.

I seriously think that having to buy Windows with a new PC is wrong, yet I can't see removing the option completely helping anyone.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: I completely agree
by chemical_scum on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I completely agree"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

This is what they say:

Operating systems, it says, are not a natural monopoly, requiring just one supplier. Instead, in a competitive market, there would be a broad compatibility between different supplier’s products.

I don't think they mean that you shouldn't be able to buy a computer with a pre-installed OS. Rather I think they mean that OEM's must offer systems without an OS installed, at a fair market price that takes into account the cost of the operating system and installation for the OEM.

Though I must admit it would be a lot of fun if Joe User was forced to install his copy of Vista. We would certainly end up with a much more educated user base.

Reply Score: 9

RE[4]: I completely agree
by SReilly on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I completely agree"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Let's hope so. Can you imagine what a complete mess it would be if the EU forced all OEM's to sell they're systems without an OS installed?

One thing is for sure though, the volume of tech support calls would skyrocket.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I completely agree
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I completely agree"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

And there you have it. One of the reasons why OEMs install Windows and make it hard to forgo Windows is that this eliminates at least one potential support call: "How do I run this program that requires Windows?" In some cases, it could be quite costly in phone support time to walk someone through the installation of Windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I completely agree
by anda_skoa on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I completely agree"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

One thing is for sure though, the volume of tech support calls would skyrocket.


Excellent!

I will immediately buy some ThinkGeek shares. The "I won't fix your computer" T-Shirts are going to sell in insane quantities.

Edited 2007-09-24 21:26

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I completely agree
by miles on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I completely agree"
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

"One thing is for sure though, the volume of tech support calls would skyrocket."

Quite the contrary. They would only have to support the software for people that bought Windows bundled. They'll actually save money on the bare computers, since they won't have to answer software-related questions (the hardest, trickiest ones).

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I completely agree
by BluenoseJake on Mon 24th Sep 2007 23:40 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I completely agree"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I think if you sold a computer with Linux on it, you'd have to support it. You can't expect this hypothetical grandma to jump into irc and get support from #linux-help, especially if her NIC drivers are buggered up.

If you sold it with nothing on it, they are still going to call you first, at the first sign of trouble, and you'd have to spend money on operators just to tell them to call their OS manufacturer, or to open irc or google. Either way, more support costs for the computer manufacturer.

Now I'm all for being able to buy a computer with the OS of my choice preinstalled, or no OS, but expecting the general public to know what we know after years of experience is not going to work. In some way, the OEM will end up with greater support costs.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: I completely agree
by miles on Tue 25th Sep 2007 17:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I completely agree"
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

If they don't want to support Linux, nobody forces them to do so.

If they sell the computer without any OS, they won't get the calls. The one that sold the client the OS will get the calls - not too hard to understand.

You're trying to make problems where there aren't any. It's been like that with any other service - if you buy your plane tickets at a travel agency, but refuse to let them plan your hosting, you're not going to turn against them because the hostel you booked at another agency failed your standards.

Customers already understand that. They handle that all the time - the ones that aren't confident just book everything at the same travel agency.

See, I know you might not like the idea of having to see the price of Windows when you buy your computer, but please get over with it. And maybe you're afraid that the fact 5% of the customers will not have to pay the Windows taxes anymore is going to hurt your Microsoft shares, but well, that's the free economy we live in. As for the computer shops, the hassles come from Windows - just ask the thousands of OEM selling computers how they've made a living assembling computers and selling them without OS. If your cataclysmic movie was true, they'd have run out of business for long.

Actually, it's Windows support that costs the OEM - and *we* are paying for it so they can help *you*. How fair is it fails my understanding.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I completely agree
by sbergman27 on Mon 24th Sep 2007 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I completely agree"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

I don't think they mean that you shouldn't be able to buy a computer with a pre-installed OS. Rather I think they mean that OEM's must offer systems without an OS installed, at a fair market price that takes into account the cost of the operating system and installation for the OEM.

Though I must admit it would be a lot of fun if Joe User was forced to install his copy of Vista. We would certainly end up with a much more educated user base.

"""

I'd be cool with that. It strikes me that we have all this concern about the convenience of people who want Windows, and almost none for those of us who have to make due with a sharply limited set of choices if we *don't* want to pay for, or use, Windows.

But even if the machine comes without an OS, the vendor would simply sell what we call a "Restore CD" today, separately. It would just be called an install CD instead. It would not be a raw copy of Windows. It would be customized for the machine they purchased.

So instead of taking the machine home, unboxing it, plugging in all the color coded cables, and turning it on... they would take if home, unbox it, plug in the color coded cables, turn it on, the bios would pop the cdrom door open and say "Insert the installation CD and press the key marked 'Enter'". That's the only difference: Inserting a CD and pressing 'Enter'.

The users could and would be just as blissfully stupid as they are now. They'd never stand for anything else.

I *really* like this unbundling idea. :-)

Edited 2007-09-24 22:47

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: I completely agree
by google_ninja on Tue 25th Sep 2007 05:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I completely agree"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Though I must admit it would be a lot of fun if Joe User was forced to install his copy of Vista. We would certainly end up with a much more educated user base.


Installing vista is even more brainless then installing XP. Getting rid of the OEM version would just force activation on good ol' joe, which doesn't teach much other then how to bend over.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I completely agree
by stestagg on Tue 25th Sep 2007 09:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I completely agree"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

And no harder than installing, say Ubuntu. So this way, there is more choice and a more open market. Hence the news story. Huh.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I completely agree
by dbodner on Mon 24th Sep 2007 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE: I completely agree"
dbodner Member since:
2007-07-01

Gee..you sure like to complicate things


Agreed wholeheartedly. Removing any OS from being installed upon the sale of a computer hurts the user experience. Not only does it require they waste more of their time installing an operating system (something they may not have the technical knowledge to do), but it also removes value added services like software bundles (that, while annoying to you or I, does have some value to other users). This isn't about making it harder for the consumer. That should not be the goal. It should be about giving the consumer choice. This doesn't fix anything.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I completely agree
by Beta on Mon 24th Sep 2007 20:44 UTC in reply to "RE: I completely agree"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

It’s quite simple:

Your Gran buys a PC.
In the shop or online, she is offered Windows, MacOS (maybe unlikely), Linux, or other(s) in the shop and gets box.
When she gets it, she wires it up (with help from instructions and/or relations).
Turns it on, and inserts her “Fresh Install” disc.
A few minutes later, the PC is ready, it reboots.
And she is online. (not meaning connected to the internets)

If anything in the above confuses your Gran, well, she does have a loving grand-child whom will help her. ;)
No doubt you taught her how to use it, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I completely agree
by BluenoseJake on Mon 24th Sep 2007 23:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I completely agree"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

uh, I don't have enough free time as it is, in your scenario, I'd never sleep.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I completely agree
by looncraz on Tue 25th Sep 2007 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I completely agree"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

I am computer tech in Texas, many of my calls are not relating to much more than figuring out how to enable the network-connected DSL/Cable service they purchased with the "easy" self-install kit.

The process is insanely simple on any OS, but users just don't care. I try to get them to understand that the computer is a modular machine, that they don't have to buy a new machine every time a new model comes out, and they don't *want* Windows.

I install Ubuntu on nearly every machine I come by which can run Ubuntu properly with Beryl/Compiz, with a dual-boot to Windows, just in case. Most become Ubuntu users thanks to Beryl. Some actually are stubborn with their Quicken and MS Office, so I just show them alternatives and import their data so they can use either.

I also purposefully match the software offerings in Windows to those in Ubuntu so the user can interface with the same applications, wherever possible.

I have had no call-backs on Ubuntu ( guess that hurts me, really, but it helps them.. and that is my game ), but often spyware and such infests Windows and they complain of slow-downs in Windows, but say they don't care about 70% of the time.. " Can we just take Windows off? " they ask :-)

For real people, Linux has hit the point where it can replace Windows for most users. I mean, all they do is have a machine that checks e-mail and lets them check their favorite web-sites.

If we were to make the mozilla suite an OS, most joe-sixpacks could survive wonderfully. The only real issue is when we have web-sites that require Internet Exploder. That *IS* an issue.. a VERY BIG ONE.

I hope the E.U. works on that next.

--The loon

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I completely agree
by siki_miki on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:44 UTC in reply to "RE: I completely agree"
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

It has a rudimentary OS, it's BIOS. As the rest is an open platform, it can work with a wide variety of operating systems, so anyone who buys it should have an option to buy it without OS, at a price that is correctly discounted. But you can still ask a reseller to put it on.

It's same as if buying a hard disk and finding tons of MP3's on it, because empty hard drive isn't exactly useful.

AFAICT, problem is not in desktop machines as one can pick up machine out of components (and seller can assemble it) without windows, but with laptops which often come only with a MS tax.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I completely agree
by Redeeman on Tue 25th Sep 2007 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE: I completely agree"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

are you saying that your grandma is too stupid to insert an automated install cd/dvd into the computer? are you saying she is too stupid to understand what the OS does?

cause i got bad news for you, theres a little thing called genetics..

newsflash for you, theres a minimum level of intelligence required for anything, like for example driving a car, just because someone cant understand that red light means stop, doesent mean we abandon the concept and let everyone drive wild, by that same idea, if someone doesent understand that they have to install an OS on a computer, or insert an automated disc, they simply can not use a computer, just like they cannot drive if they do not quality.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I completely agree
by pashar on Sun 30th Sep 2007 08:19 UTC in reply to "RE: I completely agree"
pashar Member since:
2006-07-12

What the EC ought to do is mandate that computer vendors allow the option to bundle Windows.

Reply Score: 1

Thanks for the obvious last sentence
by Beta on Mon 24th Sep 2007 17:58 UTC
Beta
Member since:
2005-07-06

I just have to ask … how many people would confuse a think-tank with the Commission?

Reply Score: 3

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I just have to ask how many people would confuse a think-tank with the Commission?


Trust me. Being the editor of a website like OSN makes you prepared.

Reply Score: 1

chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Trust me. Being the editor of a website like OSN makes you prepared.

On this one I believe you Thom.

Reply Score: 2

Simon Gray Member since:
2006-06-04

Thom probably got this from Digg.com which presented it as such.

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thom probably got this from Digg.com which presented it as such.


I don't read Digg (only when one of our stories makes it there). This news got submitted by someone to us.

Reply Score: 1

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

how many people would confuse a think-tank with the Commission?


Actually I think this is the Commissions way of indirectly, through a proxy, giving hints to Microsoft what kind of measurments they "could" be thinking of in case they are dragging their feet any longer on making the workgroup server protocols available.

Reply Score: 2

Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

If that is all they are thinking of doing, I'm guessing the OEMs are licking their lips at the thought of getting to charge people for pre-installing an OS with software and a software support contract.

The only way that this could hurt MS is Apple's OS X and Linux are exempt from being bundled.

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I just have to ask … how many people would confuse a think-tank with the Commission?


You'd be surprised.
Well, if you've spent any time online you wouldnt be.

Reply Score: 1

Great news
by IvoLimmen on Mon 24th Sep 2007 18:06 UTC
IvoLimmen
Member since:
2005-07-06

This means that more companies selling computers will also consider selling machines with other operating systems like Linux (or FreeDOS, or whatever).

Reply Score: 2

idiots
by Morin on Mon 24th Sep 2007 18:13 UTC
Morin
Member since:
2005-12-31

First, nobody is formally forced to use Windows. Install whatever you want if you don't like it. But don't complain if your applications work no more - you get what you asked for, and without pre-installed windows things wouldn't be different in this area.

Second, the issue that vendors offering alternative deals (e.g. Linux) drop their deal with MS over sub-standard OEM prices is a separate one - it has nothing to do with pre-installing OSes in general - and if that's a problem then go after it. Try to enforce in court that such agreements are an abusal of MS's monopoly or whatever.

Third most users *want* windows. Forcing a situation the customers disn't ask for is stupid (hint: Windows N).

Fourth, even those that don't want windows want the OS to be pre-installed. Geeks excluded. If these idiots want to establish alternatives to windows, then why do they argue that pre-installing Linux, BSD, OSX, or whatever is not in the public interest?

I'm waiting for the day the lawyers are withdrawn from this war and the money flows into support for alternatives to MS instead. And of course, decisions be made in favor of open standards like ODF. If only one million euros per year was pumped into full-time state-employed OSS developers (e.g. for Linux), that would be 20 well-paid full-time developers to boost Linux to the top, establishing a useful alternative for the end-user. But hey, let's rather start a legal battle that won't benefit the end-user at all.

Reply Score: 0

RE: idiots
by Marcellus on Mon 24th Sep 2007 18:37 UTC in reply to "idiots"
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

If only one million euros per year was pumped into full-time state-employed OSS developers (e.g. for Linux), that would be 20 well-paid full-time developers to boost Linux to the top, establishing a useful alternative for the end-user.


If only 20 full-time paid developers was enough to establish Linux as a viable and useful alternative, it would have been peanuts to companies like IBM to get that done.
No, you're going to need a whole lot developers than that, and a lot of time. Not to mention more applications that can actually compete with non-open source offerings.

If you're going to spent €1M on anything, spend it on usability experts, design experts, documentation experts, etc.
I.e. spend the money where it would actually make a difference rather than on more developers that don't make much of a difference.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: idiots
by chemical_scum on Mon 24th Sep 2007 18:51 UTC in reply to "idiots"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Yes you are one. All we want is the choice not to have an operating system installed.

Why should someone who wants to install, Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, openBSD, OpenSolaris, freeBSD, CentOS, PCLinOS, PCBSD or any one of dozens of other viable operating systems be forced to pay for an operating system you don't want.

Interestingly this is a point that left-libertarians (anarcho-socialists) and right-libertarians (free-market, small government, fiscal conservatives like the Globalization Institute) seem to agree on. I guess it is an all round positive sum for the consumer and MS is the only one that gets to loose freedom - The freedom to impose a monopoly.

Edited 2007-09-24 19:00

Reply Score: 10

RE: idiots
by TheBadger on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:07 UTC in reply to "idiots"
TheBadger Member since:
2005-11-14

It's best not to resort to name-calling without some better arguments...

First, nobody is formally forced to use Windows. Install whatever you want if you don't like it.


Well, let's disregard the hardware ecosystem with its NDAs and "secret" firmware, with Windows being the only thing you can use some devices with until they get reverse-engineered - admittedly a feature of backwards industry thinking than Microsoft manipulation, I imagine, but anyway...

Sure, you can install something over Windows. The point *never* *was* that you couldn't do so: it was that you had to pay for something you didn't need or want. This kind of CPU tax got Microsoft and Intel into a certain amount of trouble before the lobbyists got to work.

Second, the issue that vendors offering alternative deals (e.g. Linux) drop their deal with MS over sub-standard OEM prices is a separate one - it has nothing to do with pre-installing OSes in general - and if that's a problem then go after it. Try to enforce in court that such agreements are an abusal of MS's monopoly or whatever.


The special OEM pricing is obviously a non-issue for vendors who force everyone to pay for Windows, but there's a whole spectrum of issues between vendors who no longer enjoy special OEM prices and those who won't sell anything else. Underlying all of this is exactly how much these prices (special or otherwise) are and whether there's cross-subsidisation going on: when a Windows version of a specific model is suddenly cheaper than the same thing bundled with FreeDOS, who is subsidising who, and why is that? When you ask for a refund and are offered $10 instead of the retail price for the same product, is it a fair amount or are they giving you the brush off?

Third most users *want* windows.


Ah, the self-fulfilling "consumer demand" philosophy at work: the punters don't know any different, so we won't give them anything different, or at least not if it isn't a "new and enhanced experience" from the same vendor.

Fourth, even those that don't want windows want the OS to be pre-installed. Geeks excluded. If these idiots want to establish alternatives to windows, then why do they argue that pre-installing Linux, BSD, OSX, or whatever is not in the public interest?


I'm sure a lot of people don't care if Windows is on the hard disk or not - just being able to refuse to accept the EULA and get a refund without having to document the entire process and then take people to court would be an improvement on the situation now. In any case, and in contrast to your broad categorisations, many people don't insist on any preinstalled OS - see here for an example (French language): http://www.racketiciel.info/

It'd be better if you didn't need to get a refund at all, because you weren't charged for extras in the first place. I'm sure a bunch of people installed their old copy of XP over Vista, too, so this isn't just a matter of Microsoft vs. the universe.

But hey, let's rather start a legal battle that won't benefit the end-user at all.


Typically, I've advocated that people spend their money with vendors who don't keep topping up some Microsoft slush fund. Installing an "alternative" OS over Windows and putting up with the situation, as you suggest, is not exactly going to bring about any change: the money keeps coming in, the vendor thinks that everyone loves Windows, even though they could all be running NetBSD for all the vendor knows and cares, and Microsoft collects its n% of the price tag.

However, from a regulatory perspective, it is alarming that one product (the hardware) is, more often than not, tied to another (Microsoft Windows) from one end of the distribution channel to the other without any adequate explanation of why this is, other than speculation that some kind of pricing agreement exists to force cowardly vendors to sell only a range of products that deliver revenues to Microsoft.

Reply Score: 7

RE: idiots
by Soulbender on Tue 25th Sep 2007 05:31 UTC in reply to "idiots"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Third most users *want* windows."

No they don't. Most users want a computer that can perform the tasks they need, they dont care if that computer is running Windows, OSX, Linux or DOS.

Reply Score: 3

I think you're interpreting bundling wrong
by aent on Mon 24th Sep 2007 18:24 UTC
aent
Member since:
2006-01-25

I'm interpreting bundling as you MUST purchase Windows. I don't think there is a problem with listing Windows seperately, check a box, and whatever you check ends up installed on the computer, as long as you aren't FORCED to buy Windows, with an option to install something else, or nothing for additional savings.

Reply Score: 9

polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

Exactly. You should be given the option to not have anything installed, but it should come with something by default.

The problem I think OEMs have is which distribution out of the thousands to use and have to support, if they were to actually give an optional OS specifically, as opposed to leaving the disk blank.

This is what is slowly happening now; Dell with Ubuntu, and HP supposedly doing something soon.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"You should be given the option to not have anything installed, but it should come with something by default."

Well, it doesn't need that. Selecting an OS (or lack of one) would part of the process.
An small unfortunate side effect of this is that it gives more power to the technically clueless sales force that does not necessary care as much for the customer as they do for their sales commission (and possible kickback money from company X).

Reply Score: 2

pashar Member since:
2006-07-12

It should come with several options: install windows, install linux, install freebsd, etc... And none of them should be default.

Reply Score: 1

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

I don't think there is a problem with listing Windows seperately, check a box, and whatever you check ends up installed on the computer...


I agree.
There is hint about denying pre-installation, it is about not allowing to hide the option and the cost.

Reply Score: 2

the option isn't going to work
by twickline on Mon 24th Sep 2007 18:45 UTC
twickline
Member since:
2005-12-31

Microsoft was forced to offer a version of Windows for sale in the EU with Windows Media Player un bundled and from what Ive read there have been very few sales of this version of Windows.

I believe if they want to break Microsoft's monopoly they should force Microsoft to unbundle everything from the core Operating System. And let people choose what Browser, Media Player, Chat/IM, other programs they want after the fact of purchasing there system. I'm 100% sure many people would still go strait to Microsoft for there OS addons but many would not.

At the same time they should allow Unux operating systems to bundle, then the salesman could say here is windows a shell or here is *nix *bsd with most everything you need installed and configured for first use.

Also the governments within the EU should adopt policy to move everything to non Microsoft in there part to remove there governments away from a single vendor. Then there many thousands employees will have first hand experience with alternative Operating Systems.

--
Microsoft's patent protection scheme is the equivalent of bailing water with a sieve.

Edited 2007-09-24 18:50

Reply Score: 2

RE: the option isn't going to work
by polaris20 on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:54 UTC in reply to "the option isn't going to work"
polaris20 Member since:
2005-07-06

On the flipside of this though, is you're going to get my mother or Thom's grandma that wants to buy a computer and just use it, and they simply don't care what media player, IM, e-mail, browser it has, as long as it works.

They'll fire up this computer with the power of choice, and be fully frustrated because they have to figure out what to download.

They're not computer geeks, they're users that want to use the computer, not crusade against MS.

I'm not saying you're wrong either, just stating a POV from what I think a lot of users will be at.

Edited 2007-09-24 21:55

Reply Score: 2

Yet more big government interference?
by MollyC on Mon 24th Sep 2007 18:45 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

I'm of two minds on this.

1. It is not government's business what OS an OEM chooses to install. OEMs can already install whatever OS they want. And they can obtain the OS licenses in various ways, such as buying licenses at full retail price, buying licenses at discounted OEM price if the OS maker provides such deals for OEMs, or simply using zero-cost licenses for free as in beer OSes.

OEMs can also use the OS-bundling as a competitive advantage. An OEM that wants to try to corner the FreeDOS PC market can bundle FreeDOS. An OEM that wants to cater to Linux users can do so. If an OEM chooses to install Windows because the OEM thinks that's an advantage, then fine. Or OEMs can offer multiple OSes. Or OEMs can offer no OS at all if they think there's a viable market for that. The point is, it's up to the OEM to decide what bundling policies best help its bottom line, and big government has no place in that decision.

For example, VA Linux's original business plan was to sell PCs preloaded with Linux at a time when no big players were doing so, and corner the Linux user market. The plan failed ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:LNUX.png ), but VA Linux had every right to try, and not be stopped by government banning the bundling of OSes.

2. On the other hand, if banning OS bundling would end the EU's witch hunts, then I'd be for it. Just as long as that policy remains in the EU and doesn't spread to the US, since I disagree with such a policy philisophically.

Edited 2007-09-24 18:48

Reply Score: 2

Drop the pretense.
by daddio on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:10 UTC in reply to "Yet more big government interference?"
daddio Member since:
2007-07-14

1) It would sure be neat to be able to buy a MacBook without OS-X if you just planned to install Linux, so this doesn't just affect MS

2) Un-bundling WOULD NOT as you insinuate, require that vendors refrain from pre-installing Windows, just require that they offer an alternative without it.

3) If MS didn't engage in secret agreements with nearly every large OEM to force ALL of their customers to buy a copy of windows whether they want it or not you would have a point.

4) If there were not at several viable alternatives that would cost both OEM's and consumers less money and would more closely approximate their needs you would have a point. (makes the thinking man/woman scratch his/her head and wonder why they do this when it would save EVERYBODY money, but see point 3)

5) If Microsoft weren't being SPECIFICALLY propped up by the US Gov't (who I agree has no business requiring OEMS to install a specific OS) in their conflict with the E.C. then you might have a point

Reply Score: 3

RE: Drop the pretense.
by PlatformAgnostic on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:53 UTC in reply to "Drop the pretense."
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

On point (3), you're obviously misinformed (I'm not going to argue the rest). Due to the DoJ case and the consent agreement, every deal that Microsoft does with OEMs is scrutinized by the US government. If they had these secret deals, both the OEMs and Microsoft would have to be conspiring together to hide it from the government, and that sort of thing would get out rather quickly. These deals are one specfic thing that Microsoft is not allowed to do. They are simply not allowed to offer a lower rate for manufacturers exclusively bundling Windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Drop the pretense.
by Beta on Mon 24th Sep 2007 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Drop the pretense."
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

“scrutinized by the US government.”

Does that cover deals made by Microsoft UK, or Microsoft GmbH, or every single over European-based Microsoft wing?
Unlikely.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Drop the pretense.
by Soulbender on Tue 25th Sep 2007 11:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Drop the pretense."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Due to the DoJ case and the consent agreement, every deal that Microsoft does with OEMs is scrutinized by the US government."

Does that include non-US OEM's like, say, Acer and Toshiba and contracts entered into in foreign countries?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Drop the pretense.
by MollyC on Tue 25th Sep 2007 01:18 UTC in reply to "Drop the pretense."
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

PlatformAgnostic already destroyed your point #3.
Points 1, 4, and 5 aren't paricularly pertinent to my argument.

As for point #2:
"2) Un-bundling WOULD NOT as you insinuate, require that vendors refrain from pre-installing Windows, just require that they offer an alternative without it. "

My point is that it's not government's business what OEM's install. Government shouldn't ban OS-bundling, nor should they require offering alternatives. If OEM's see a competitive advantage to shipping naked PCs or to offering alternatives, they will do so, as Dell, HP, and Lenovo are doing with Linux (without government forcing them to).

Government forcing the issue wouldn't speak well for alternative OSes as it would *look* like OEM's are being forced to offer them against their will because the OSes can't compete on their own.

Edited 2007-09-25 01:19

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Drop the pretense.
by dagw on Tue 25th Sep 2007 11:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Drop the pretense."
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Government forcing the issue wouldn't speak well for alternative OSes as it would *look* like OEM's are being forced to offer them against their will because the OSes can't compete on their own.

Nobody is forcing anyone to offer anything. If you only want to offer Windows Vista as the OS for the computers you sell, then that is perfectly OK. The only thing you are required to do is to also sell your machine without any OS at all.

Reply Score: 2

Lettherebemorelight Member since:
2005-07-11

1. It is not government's business what OS an OEM chooses to install.

Neither the EU or its people owe microsoft anything. I also find your sense of entitlement quite appalling. It is government's business to make sure their consumers have choice.

Reply Score: 4

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Neither the EU or its people owe microsoft anything.

Your statement has nothing at all to do with what I wrote. I didn't mention Microsoft at all, except to list Windows among the various OSes I listed that OEMs might want to pre-install.

I said NOTHING regarding Microsoft being "owed" anything. I talked of the rights of the *OEMs*. If an OEM wants to bundle Windows and only Windows, then that is their right. Same for Linux, FreeDOS, or whatever. If an OEM want to offer multiple OSes, that too, is their right. If they want to offer OS-less computers, then that is their right to. It's not government's business.


"It is government's business to make sure their consumers have choice."

No it's not. It's up to the OEMs to decide for themselves their own OS-bundling policy based on what they see as helping their bottom line. If they see a viable business in offering Linux, FreeDOS, or nothing, then they will do that. Government forcing them to do any of these is wrong.

It could be that offering multiple OSes or no OS would cost an OEM more money than it would make. For example, multiple OSes results in more support calls and more internal testing, which costs money. And any naked PC sold by an OEM is PC sold without the opportunity for the OEM to partake in the market for 3rd-party bundled appets and trial-ware (I hate such software, but OEMs do make plenty of money on that stuff). So it's not a guarantee that the money made from alternative-OS PCs or naked PCs would be greater than the costs (both actual cost and opportunity cost). Maybe it would be profitable, maybe it wouldn't be. But it's up to the OEM to decide that, not government. (It would be terrible if big government forced some small-time OEM into bundling policies that caused the OEM to actually lose money. )

Dell, HP, and Levono are offering Linux already because they see a viable business there, so there's no reason for government to get into this (other than being on a power-trip, which the EC definitely is on).

But as I said before, if this would end the EC witch hunts, then fine, do it.

Edited 2007-09-25 01:56

Reply Score: 1

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

If you look at this objectively, Microsoft own >90% of the global market in operating systems, this means that there is no competitive market, meaning that there is very little price competition or feature drive. As the EU is designed to protect Consumers, not Companies, they are trying to act to restore this balance for the benefit of Consumers.

The fact that MS has limited influence in EU governance, along with the fact that EU Rulings actually end up being enforced, unlike the US rulings, says more about the corruption in the US than anything about the EU.

Reply Score: 3

Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

1. It is not government's business what OS an OEM chooses to install.

Oh, but it is. When markets are not behaving realistically, parties such as the competition commission can step in to analyse the problem.
You cite an example of Linux being preinstalled failing in the market. That is hardly evidence that the market is free. If might even highlight the reason the EU would step in.


2. On the other hand, if banning OS bundling would end the EU's witch hunts

“witch hunts”?
I think you need to reread your Power Evangelism pamphet, middle of slide 22, in case you forgot.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

just as long as that policy remains in the EU and doesn't spread to the US,


Because, you know, the U.S has no subsidizing, import restrictions or other artificial legal hurdles for foreign businesses...
Can we just stop this EU bashing? It's as boring, pointless and offtopic as U.S bashing.

Reply Score: 2

Computer
by Luminair on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:20 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

A computer is a complete product just like any other. Regulating the OS would be like regulating the knobs on a toaster.

Consumers and knob manufacturers don't need the government to look out for their knob interests. The market is taking pretty good care of that so far. See: the recent successes of Mac OS on Macs and Ubuntu on Dells.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Computer
by chemical_scum on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:29 UTC in reply to "Computer"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

A computer is a complete product just like any other. Regulating the OS would be like regulating the knobs on a toaster.

On the contrary a computer is just a commodity. So to break a major player from using it's influence to manipulate the market into becoming a monopoly is a simple straight forward anti-trust proposal.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Computer
by Luminair on Tue 25th Sep 2007 01:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Computer"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

You just suggested that Microsoft was "using it's influence to manipulate the market into becoming a monopoly", yet that is not what we are talking about here. What you allege might be illegal, and that is IF they were doing it. But if they were doing that, we'd be reading the words of lawyers and not think tank employees.

The Globalisation Institute paper did not suggest what you suggested! They simply say that Microsoft has such a large portion of the market share that it is not in the interest of consumers. And their suggested solution is preventing computers from being shipped with operating systems.

And I'm saying that mandating that is crazy pills. IMO at most the EU should mandate that PC makers must ALSO sell computers without operating systems. That is to say, maintain the status quo, but format the hard drive and offer a refund if the consumer asks for it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Computer
by Beta on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:47 UTC in reply to "Computer"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

And the success of BeOS pre-installed on systems?

The market didn’t put an end to that, Microsoft did.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Computer
by Luminair on Tue 25th Sep 2007 00:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Computer"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Give me a break! Talk about a romanticized version of history.

That is not a fact. That is a very debatable opinion held by what I predict is a small group of people.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Computer
by stestagg on Tue 25th Sep 2007 09:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Computer"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Erm, Microsoft prevented the OEM from selling bootable copies of BeOS, how is that debatable.

Reply Score: 5

I disagree
by jack_perry on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:39 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

Imagine the headaches for a vendor who decides to focus its efforts on configuring a computer for Windows, but is forbidden by EC regulations from bundling Windows with the hardware. An end user buys the computer, looks at the price tag for Windows, and decides to install Linux to that machine despite the vendor's warnings.

It turns out that no Linux distribution comes with a driver for the software modem that the vendor chose for the machine in question. Of course, no Linux distribution advertises this, and the user has on idea that it's a software issue, not a hardware issue. He complains to the vendor that they're selling a defective product, the vendor tries to fix it but can't, etc. Is the EC now going to regulate what hardware can go into a computer, in order to ensure that the end user is not constrained to purchase a particular OS by the hardware vendor's choice?

What the EC should be doing is forbidding OS vendors from requiring hardware vendors to sell only one OS with the machine. Beyond that, if a hardware vendor wants to add value to its product by bundling it with an OS, the vendor should be free to do so.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I disagree
by niemau on Mon 24th Sep 2007 20:30 UTC in reply to "I disagree"
niemau Member since:
2007-06-28

first, with the proliferation of broadband, less and less people are using traditional modems, software or otherwise. i realize you're just giving an example, but it brings up an interesting point. if it wasn't taken for granted that a particular operating system would be installed on a machine, vendors would pretty much be forced to use more open hardware. and there's a trickle-down effect, too. software modem manufacturer losing business may start to open up, or at the very least, provide drivers for alternative OSes. this is how we will get peripheral manufacturers to start playing fair!

the OEM should be able to suggest windows, or offer installation of windows at an additional expense. it just shouldn't be forced on anybody.

it's bad enough that MS's EULA / bundling practices pretty much force customers to buy a new copy of windows each time they purchase new hardware. however, it's absolutely unforgivable that customers that don't even use windows in the first place are required to buy a useless windows license each time they purchase new hardware.

one can argue that there are third-parties like system76, etc. but, it's pretty disheartening that it's usually still cheaper to buy the HP machine with windows than to buy an equally spec'd machine from a small white-box OEM.

so basically, i get your point and understand your concern. but, things have to start somewhere to break the chain of forced reliance.

Edited 2007-09-24 20:34

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I disagree
by Snapper on Tue 25th Sep 2007 13:05 UTC in reply to "RE: I disagree"
Snapper Member since:
2005-11-16

"RE: I disagree
By niemau on 2007-09-24 20:30:39 UTC in reply to ""

It's bad enough that MS's EULA / bundling practices pretty much force customers to buy a new copy of windows each time they purchase new hardware. however, it's absolutely unforgivable that customers that don't even use windows in the first place are required to buy a useless windows license each time they purchase new hardware.

one can argue that there are third-parties like system76, etc. but, it's pretty disheartening that it's usually still cheaper to buy the HP machine with windows than to buy an equally spec'd machine from a small white-box OEM. "


You said it all right there. Because the licensing is so cheap it makes sense that a new one has to be bought each time a new pc is bought. Is the consumer really losing something if they buy a new pc with a windows license (tied to that pc) for cheaper than you could build one separately? How is the consumer losing out on this deal? I don't get it. This is a strong statement in favor of economies of scale doing it's thing and the consumer getting a great deal.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I disagree
by niemau on Tue 25th Sep 2007 16:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I disagree"
niemau Member since:
2007-06-28

You said it all right there. Because the licensing is so cheap it makes sense that a new one has to be bought each time a new pc is bought. Is the consumer really losing something if they buy a new pc with a windows license (tied to that pc) for cheaper than you could build one separately? How is the consumer losing out on this deal? I don't get it. This is a strong statement in favor of economies of scale doing it's thing and the consumer getting a great deal.

they're losing out because they're giving more money and power to a company bent on maintaining an unfair and illegal monopoly. duh.

the economies of scale would be even better without the added 'windows tax'.

Reply Score: 2

It's completely stupid
by Harald on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:40 UTC
Harald
Member since:
2006-03-10

So if the opinion of this 'think-tank' is adopted...is the EU going to eventually force Apple to stop shipping iMacs and iPhones with OS X?

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's completely stupid
by Beta on Mon 24th Sep 2007 19:59 UTC in reply to "It's completely stupid"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

It would certainly affect Macs, though one could see Apple, and other device makers, argue that phones are custom hardware and therefore require a custom OS (even if it isn’t true).

What might also happen if they follow the report, is the adoption of more open standards and protocols wrt hardware in the EU. It might mean unbundling takes a back seat, but the customer still benefits.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It's completely stupid
by Harald on Mon 24th Sep 2007 20:26 UTC in reply to "RE: It's completely stupid"
Harald Member since:
2006-03-10

My point, however, was that Apple makes both the OS *and* the hardware...in which case they should be allowed to ship their own products however they see fit.

It's one thing to step between a partnership of 2 or more different companies (Dell and MS) to address any competition issues...it's entirely another to step WITHIN a company.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: It's completely stupid
by Beta on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's completely stupid"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

They shouldn’t - Apple don’t make most of the hardware, they just mix it together.

If Apple were exempt, then Microsoft would start to make their own brand of PC, and that would lay waste to the entire point of this choice-of-OS idea.

Reply Score: 4

RE: It's completely stupid
by Tutor on Mon 24th Sep 2007 20:52 UTC in reply to "It's completely stupid"
Tutor Member since:
2007-09-24

Even Macs would have to be offered without OS:

"This paper’s recommendation is that the European Commission should require all desktop and laptop computers sold within the EU to be sold without operating systems."

People should read the paper, it's just two pages. No word about phones.

It is a great idea and I hope the EC does it. May the unbundling begin. Anybody that wants Windows can still buy it, you know?

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's completely stupid
by Tutor on Mon 24th Sep 2007 20:53 UTC in reply to "It's completely stupid"
Tutor Member since:
2007-09-24

double post because of errors...

Edited 2007-09-24 20:56

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's completely stupid
by miles on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:42 UTC in reply to "It's completely stupid"
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

AFAIK, Apple has been selling their computers without MacOS (now OSX) for quite a while. I don't know if it has changed recently, but I don't see why it would have.

Reply Score: 1

Mac OS X
by Mellin on Mon 24th Sep 2007 20:19 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

"We consider the Mac to be a premium, niche
product, like a Bang and Olufsen television,
which is difficult to justify in the business world
outside of the publishing sector. We therefore
do not think that the Mac, despite claims of its
superiority, provides a meaningful competitive
threat to Microsoft.

"

Apple doesn't have to ship Macs without Mac OS X

Edited 2007-09-24 20:20 UTC

Reply Score: 1

bundle ornot, that is the question !
by beosfrance on Mon 24th Sep 2007 20:42 UTC
beosfrance
Member since:
2007-04-10

I think the idea is to let the customer the choise. The same hardware could be sale with Windows, or Linux, or whatever the manufacturer what to provide. Not without any OS (which would be stupid !) cause of course if you don't want to pay cause you already have a license or because you use an OS not on the manufacturer list, so choose the free of charge one and install your system on top.

But hey, Microsoft never forbidden Dell or IBM to sell a their hardware without Windows. Ok they used to make some pressure like if you sell hardware without Windows so our OEM offer is over: you pay full prize. Again, ehy, that's a company ; ) And like any companies, they have special deals with people they do business with ! Normal situation in fact...

Also, would you think normal to buy a Mac without MacOS X ? Or a Sun without Solaris ? Or (in the good ol' days) a BeBox without BeOS ?

And the idea of a core OS option of Windows (without IE, WMP, MMK ... is the stupidest thing i've heard !!!!
What about MacOS X without Safari, TimeMachine, SpotLight, DashBoard, the iLife suite, .... then ? Solaris without Sun Java preinstalled ? Their apps create and use the power of the OS (no i'm not a MS fan ... watch my nickname !), just like Safari and iTunes do for Mac OS. They are the only things given for free with the OS. On the other hand, i'm totally ok to remove Norton / Nero craps !!!

my 0,02 €: give the customer the choise between Windows or a free software. But please don't be so stupid to sell no installed OS computer... it's part of it !

Reply Score: 1

What I don't get.
by cyclops on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:05 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

I do not see what is wrong with giving a cost to the bundled windows, and having it as an optional extra...which is what it is.

I see nothing wrong with the actual bundling it should be considered *added value* that comes with an *added cost*

Ignoring any alternative OS debate. What I would like to see is fair pricing for small computer builders who do not have the economies of scale to receive better pricing on their OEM systems, So can compete with the likes of Dell etc.

I do find the whole *Naked PC* marketspeak offensive. It just pushes users to buy their OS with a PC which is a shame.

To be fair I'd like them to examine the whole Windows pricing $600 for an OS is outrageous. No wonder small businesses cannot compete, and to be fair is killing the small enthusiast.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What I don't get.
by dylansmrjones on Mon 24th Sep 2007 22:28 UTC in reply to "What I don't get."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I can remember back in the "old days" (1998) when every PC was sold without an OS. If you wanted Windows you had to pay extra.

I don't see bundling an OS with a PC a problem, as long as it is an extra. And of course it should be possible to choose between several OS'es.

But that would mean customers have a choice, and MS can't have that... apparently.

Reply Score: 3

So sad
by miles on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:34 UTC
miles
Member since:
2006-06-15

This could be considered as trolling, but it's not.

I just want to say it's so sad that on a site like OS News, where you would expect only one or two permanent trolls to be uneducated, the first 10 posts (at least) are going on a private fantasy, making their own movie and turning this simple point into an horror-story for pre-pubescent teenagers.

*Nobody said your granny will have to install the OS.*
*Nobody said your granny will have to install the OS.*
*Nobody said your granny will have to install the OS.*

oh, and please also note :
*Nobody freakin' said your granny will have to install the OS.*

Happy?

Now, when your granny and I will go to the shop, we'll both see three prices : one for the PC, one for the screen, one for the OS.

Computers you buy at the shop are like that already : you'll have the price for the computer, the screen, the printer, then maybe a few other accessories. Since granny is better than you at maths, she can add it herself, but since the shop knows you weren't listening today at school, it usually adds them for you too. Now it will also add the price of the OS, whereas before it was hidden (and as a dreaming teenager you are, you always believed it wasn't more than, let's say, 50$).

I, for one, am quite happy that now people will have to realize Windows doesn't come for free, and that they'll usually save more than 150$ buy choosing another OS.

And of course, Windows will be pre-installed if you buy it. The shop just needs to format the hd for the ones that already paid for an OS - it's a 2 min job, and since the ones that will ask will have saved the salesperson 15 min by not being freakin morons like your average teenager, they've already understood it saves them times, actually. Add to that the fact they'll only have to support the hw, it's quite a win-win situation.

Edited 2007-09-24 21:38

Reply Score: 3

Hehe
by siki_miki on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:38 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

That would be a nice financial disaster for MS ;) European comsumer sales down ~50% ;)

Of course, it should be possible for ANY customer to buy a same machine with and without Windows, Office or similar tools, possibly with another choices offered (paid systems would hopefully have some kind of support guarantee).

It's just MS's dirty business practices that prevented that from happening more massively (and not only for cheapest machines).

Reply Score: 3

Eye for an eye
by luicpend on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:43 UTC
luicpend
Member since:
2007-09-24

So, MS was evil (and it is now a poor evil anyway), so actions must be taken against everybody?

1- Poor Apple (getting a worse evil, by the way), releasing nice laptops totally useless. Imagine that somebody misses the point and installs Vista!

2- Poor grandma, grandpa, even poor me. Imagine, your computer crashed, going to the closest shop to buy ANY computer, and then missing hours installing OS, patches, antivirus to kill the virus that already entered the system while installing ....

3- Poor innovation. How to delimit the difference between a computer and a non-computer? How to say then what must be verified....

I guess you should visit Brussels to understand how such a proposal could take place. Too many government positions, too much burocracy, too few clever ideas????

Reply Score: 1

RE: Eye for an eye
by miles on Mon 24th Sep 2007 21:57 UTC in reply to "Eye for an eye"
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

Sorry, did you take a minute to read the article and think before speaking, or are you just telling us the story of you new Hollywood teenage horror flick? Because if it's the case, feel free to impose us the ending too, it's not like we wanted to hear the beginning in the first place.

Edited 2007-09-24 21:58

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Eye for an eye
by luicpend on Mon 24th Sep 2007 23:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Eye for an eye"
luicpend Member since:
2007-09-24

Sorry to dissapoint you, but I had read it.

The point I try to make is that MS has hurt competency, by making Windows a mandatory component on most computers. WHO was hurted? The consumer? probably, but not much. As of today, Windows is still a much better alternative on the desktop than Linux. And all the problems with MS relate to a few years ago, like 10, when MacOsX was a wish in the future.

So, was hurted the competence? Perhaps. And I mean it, if there had been 10 succesfull OSs, I wonder who could have put any efforts on Linux, etc.

I am not MS friend, be sure of it, but trying to decrease its market quote by trying these types of measures only hurts the final consumer. Now, is that think tank having that consumer as a main goal?? Or just trying to make a point, or looking for ways to hurt MS??

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Eye for an eye
by stestagg on Tue 25th Sep 2007 09:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Eye for an eye"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Well, Linux wasn't suitable for the Desktop untill recently. But other OSs were developed that stood a good chance of competing, but never achieved market penetration due, at least in part, to MSs (legally acknowledged) anti-competitive practices.

It is interesting that the state of the market is so bad that only a non-commercial, volunteer-run Operating System that can't easily be: sued, bought-out, out priced or driven to bankrupcy is the only competitor to have survived the ravages of the MS PR/Legal departments.

Reply Score: 3

Just to add...
by miles on Mon 24th Sep 2007 22:06 UTC
miles
Member since:
2006-06-15

Oh, and I also find quite funny the fact that the same persons taking for granted the fact they can ask their computer provider to change the hard drive, graphic card or the amount of ram in the system they're buying suddenly understand how unfeasible it would be to remove the OS.

Do you really think that when you ask for a bigger hard drive, they just have to set a jumper behind the computer and would magically go from 250 to 320Go in a second? Without having to reinstall? And changing the graphic card would of course not necessitate *at all* to reinstall and reconfigure the drivers?

But, of course, formating the hd is soooo difficult.

For those that haven't booted their brain today : it's far cheaper to change the graphic card or the hd on a computer you sell without OS. Period.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Just to add...
by SReilly on Mon 24th Sep 2007 22:33 UTC in reply to "Just to add..."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

For those that haven't booted their brain today : it's far cheaper to change the graphic card or the hd on a computer you sell without OS. Period.

Nobody is saying otherwise. Personally, I roll my own PCs (and Macs) so I do know that installing an OS takes time. What you seem to have forgotten is that invariably, when more HD capacity is added, they leave the old HD in the PC!

Neither is anybody saying that how you interpret a two paragraph article lacking any details whatsoever is incorrect, it's just that most of us have had to deal with the stupidity of bureaucracies before so we quite understandably have some reservations about what this proposal entails.

You might want to consider taking your own advice and hit that power switch behind your right ear before you start hurling insults at people.

Edited 2007-09-24 22:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Just to add...
by miles on Tue 25th Sep 2007 12:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Just to add..."
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

"What you seem to have forgotten is that invariably, when more HD capacity is added, they leave the old HD in the PC!"

Hum, not really. If the hd was a 250Go one and you ask for a 320Go one instead, do you really think they give you the 320Go but forget to remove the 250 one?

You might be as kind as enlighten us in which para-world you live so we can go over there when we shop for computers.

"it's just that most of us have had to deal with the stupidity of bureaucracies before so we quite understandably have some reservations about what this proposal entails"

And this involves filling this thread with fantasized scenarios even a computer-illiterate person would reject because they're completely out-to-lunch.

I'm sorry that pointing to some people that they forgot to put their brain in motion before writing is seen as an insult. I mean, the writers of these posts seem quite happy to present themselves as total morons - they didn't wait for my post for that.

The "stupidity of bureaucracies is a far-fledged excuse for the total lack of though and the polluting of a thread with posts that belongs more to celebrities gossip sites.

Interpreting the article as "my grandma will have to install Windows herself" isn't just the product of an utter lack of touch with reality, and it's too easy to accuse years of Microsoft-spread FUD. It's more like some kids like to brainwash themselves, it makes their life more like what they see on TV

Edited 2007-09-25 12:06

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Just to add...
by SReilly on Tue 25th Sep 2007 22:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just to add..."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Hum, not really. If the hd was a 250Go one and you ask for a 320Go one instead, do you really think they give you the 320Go but forget to remove the 250 one?

Are you really this dense or are you just being difficult? Have you ever worked as a hardware engineer in a systems store?

The customer has bought a system and comes back to you for a HD upgrade.
Rule number one. If you can sell the customer more stuff, do so.
Rule number two. If it works, don't fix it.
Rule number three. If you can possibly help it, don't give yourself or your colleges more work than needed.
Rule number four. If the customer does not understand what you're talking about, see rule number one.

If it's a new system, you just install the larger HD and copy the same OS image file you use with the smaller HD.

Sheesh, any two bit engineer can tell you that!

Furthermore, people have a right to voice not only they're fears, but also they're opinions. You might not agree with them; you might even consider them dumb, but to say so is highly offensive. Yea, your entitled to speak your mind, but when some one comes along and pulls you up about it, at least have the integrity and intelligence to voice that you realize your offense.

Otherwise, you'll reap what you sow.

Edited: Added bits.

Edited 2007-09-25 23:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Just to add...
by miles on Wed 26th Sep 2007 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Just to add..."
miles Member since:
2006-06-15

If you consider the post you were answering, yes I'm talking about a new system. If you noticed, that was the point of the article in the first place - they weren't talking about hd sales ;)

Since I was also pointing how easy it is to format the hd, I tink you might want to consider that "you just install the larger HD and copy the same OS image file you use with the smaller HD." is exactly what I'm talking about. So the upper part of your post is quite OT.

I didn't mod down anybody for spreading FUD about the EU (and that's just a consulting group, mind you), nor for living in their own fantasy world. However, I don't mind reminding people that we live in a slightly different world than their own cataclysmic fantasy.

You won't mind useless bashing of the work a consulting group has done (mind you, they're people also), but reminding you to use your brain half a second before doing so is *highly offensive*?

"Otherwise, you'll reap what you sow."
I don't mind using my brain, it doesn't age it any faster.

Reply Score: 1

Enough already uninstall it or----
by GENIUS on Tue 25th Sep 2007 00:35 UTC
GENIUS
Member since:
2007-09-10

Don't install the stupid operating system I am so tired of hearing the EU does not like this or that. I could really careless if the EU bans toilet paper for crying out loud.

I run Fedora Core 7 on my laptop and workstation at work and I could careless if MS gets fined 2 trillion dollars. It does not make any difference in the grand scheme of widgets being sold.

Dell, HP, and so many other vendors are offering Linux distro's of choice or whatever on earth you want I find when a Government body gets involved everyone gets the shaft. In the end MS will pass the cost to the end user, making widgets increase in cost to get back the fine money MS had to pay.

Basically IF you don't like Windows buy a machine without it or build one and install the OS of YOUR choice simple as that.

Really the END user is responsible for using their money to dictate what will be sold. IF they would buy the machines without Windows (or build) this would send more of a message than foaming at the mouth saying the EU is putting the screws to MS...

The same people in the EU are taking kick-backs from MS and most likely used money from MS to manipulate the legal system in the EU just like in the USA...

Reply Score: 0

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

You are WAY overcrediting the user's ability consider their purchases.

Reply Score: 2

Just wrong
by Karitku on Tue 25th Sep 2007 12:07 UTC
Karitku
Member since:
2006-01-12

I think proposition is just idiotic. Ofc manufacturers must have absolute control how they WANT to sell there computers. Instead they should monitor OEM deals and not allow Microsoft to make deals that force manufacturers sell only there product as bundle. Sameway EU shouldn't be allowed make laws that doesn't allow manufacturers sell products with only Windows as option. In the end it's always customers decision to choose what OS they want and markets decision whatever they will meet the customer needs. Dell is doing this by providing Linux PCs and without EU babysiting customers. Give power to people, let us to choose.

Reply Score: 1

v Morons
by Snapper on Tue 25th Sep 2007 12:59 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I don't know about un-bundling Windows, but I am sure getting very, very tired of Microsoft's lock-in and its anti-trust behaviour.

It seems that many, many other people are beginning to feel the same way.

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20070923170905803
http://www.sutor.com/newsite/blog-open/?p=1851

Now here is my suggested approach, as an alternative to "un-bundling Windows".

Why not just require Windows to support viable open standards as well as Microsoft lock-in stuff?

There are a number of programs already available for Windows that support open standards:

LDAP
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ldap
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LDAP_software#Microsoft_Window...

NFS and NIS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Windows_Services_for_UNIX

W3C
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svg#Support_in_applications
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefox
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_%28web_browser%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Exchange

ODF
http://arstechnica.com/journals/linux.ars/2007/07/07/sun-releases-o...
http://www.sun.com/software/star/odf_plugin/faqs.jsp

... but Microsoft have to fix their dirty trick that disables ODF in Office 2007 first ...
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Sun-ODF-Plugin-1-0-for-Microsoft-Off...

Open codecs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorbis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flac
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xvid
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X264
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_%28codec%29

OK, so given that Windows can be made to support open standards and interoperability, then instead of "un-bundling Windows", I would suggest a far better approach to breaking up Microsoft's belligerent anti-trust activities is to require Microsoft to support interoperability standards.

Let Microsoft choose from the above software, and then require Microsoft to distribute all these (and many more) "make it inter-operate with open standards" upgrades as a mandatory service pack.

Microsoft could perhaps even do this rather than pay any fines.

This way, the market could decide if it wants to be forever locked in to Microsoft, or if it would prefer to use something else by its own choice.

Seems like a great outcome to me.

Edited 2007-09-27 13:01

Reply Score: 2