Why we object to the Microsoft Windows Tax

Penguin points graphic


At the moment, everyone who buys a PC from a UK supplier has to buy a Microsoft Windows license whether they want it or not. One has no choice, it is included in the price one pays. So, even if you are using one of the many free alternative operating systems such as Ubuntu, Debian or FreeBSD, you are still forced to pay money to a giant foreign corporation, Microsoft, regardless of whether you wish to use its products or not.

The Microsoft End User License Agreement states:-

By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, return it to the retailer for a refund or credit.

Yet retailers are not honouring this. This means that Linux users such as ourselves are effectively forced to pay a what amounts to a tax, to a large foreign corporation even though we use none of its products.

What we plan to do about it

We are conducting a series of case studies illustrating the difficulty one has purchasing a PC in the UK without being forced to pay a “Microsoft Windows Tax”. We use Linux on all our PC’s and have done so for several years. Therefore we object most strongly being forced to pay for any Microsoft software licenses.

These studies are being documented and gathered in order to submit a formal complaint to the UK Office of Fair Trading and perhaps even to the EU Commission in the hope these regulatory bodies will finally put an end to Microsoft’s monoploy and this iniquitous abuse of the market.

Meantime suppliers will be awarded “penguin points“, (named after Tux, the Linux penguin) up to five points for customer care and up to another five for the degree to which they honour the EULA and don’t force non-Windows users to pay for unwanted Windows licenses.

Marks out of five for customer care. That is, is the supplier friendly and helpful? Does it answer emails and enquires promptly? Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic
Marks out of 5 for penguin-friendliness. That is, does the supplier either supply its machines OS free or will it refund unused Windows licenses without hassle & argument? Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic Penguin points graphic

Penguin points graphic

Penguin points graphic

Overall rating 10/10 = the perfect Linux-friendly supplier. Unfortunately it seems that such a supplier does not actually exist here in the UK!

Microsoft Vista EULA

UK Sale of Goods Act

Other users who object to the Microsoft Windows Tax

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