I have no inherent problem with computer makers shipping their machines with Windows pre-installed. Of course, I’d much rather see a lot more diversity when I walk into an electronics retailer, but I can’t really blame OEMs for taking the safe bet and focussing on what they know customers seem to want. Still, we need better ways to return our unused OEM copies of Windows, and apparently, a lot of people in Italy agree.
Last Friday, a law went into effect in Italy which more or less introduces the concept of class-action lawsuits to the Repubblica Italiana. The Aduc consumer defense association didn’t waste a single moment, and announced that it will file a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft, seeking compensation for the OEM copies pre-installed on computers.
“Individual cases affect a limited number of users,” Aduc Chairman Vincenzo Donvito told Reuters, “Therefore, as there is a large number of users involved, and with the importance of the free market issue, we have decided to take a collective legal action against Microsoft.” Donvito recently won a pilot court case in Firenze (Florence) about this very subject.
I’d love it if OEMs started offering more choice in this regard. I don’t mean they have to supply Linux – merely a simple “no operating system” checkbox would suffice, lowering the price of the machine by a few dozen Euros. Especially on cheaper machines like netbooks this could make a significant difference.
Have any of you ever tried to get reimbursed for OEM copies of Windows? Did you have any success?
So they are suing Microsoft because OEMs aren’t offering options besides windows? How the hell does the logic work with that. The only way that would work would be if Microsoft was paying OEMs to only offer Windows, but since that was one of the things they got hit for during the anti-trust stuff, I really doubt they would have started that up again.
I can certainly sympathize with the consumers here, if I just want a PC to install Linux I do dislike paying for a Windows license, and places that offer a machine without Windows installed can be harder to find but it is possible. On the other hand I’m not sure if a lawsuit is the best way to do this, again because unless someone is doing something shady behind the scenes then the OEMs aren’t doing anything legally wrong wrong just annoying.