Trying to buy a PC without Windows part 6 – Lenovo

IBM is not one of Microsoft's biggest fans, particularly after it was well-and -truly shafted in the OS/2 fiasco. So it seems very surprising that its subsidiary Lenovo refuses absolutely to provide any refunds for unwanted Microsoft Licenses, thus completely ignoring the Microsoft EULA. 2009-11-26 12:57 Good afternoon Garfield Unfortunately we are unable to advise the cost of the Operating System License as this is a bundle price including our OEM costings from MS. Kind regards Lenovo Sales Team Read More ►
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Trying to buy a PC without Windows part 5 – Acer, the most shameful response so far

On 2009-11-26, I wrote to Acer UK to establish what its policy was regarding the Microsoft Tax. This was its response:- Hello, Thank you for contacting Acer. Regarding your enquiry, The value would be £33.95 for vista home premium. This can only be refunded within 30 days of purchase and to get it refunded you would need to send the laptop into the acer repair centre to have the HDD formatted.  This would not be covered under warranty so would cost £51.99.RegardsJonathanAcer Technical Support Team This is one of the most shameful responses so far and justifies raising the matter… Read More ►
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Upgrade to 64 bit Goosebuntu (9.04 & 9.10)(Jaunty & Karmic)

This is a relatively quick and very effective way to beef up your (K)Ubuntu installation. In other words, it's how to install all your favorite Ubuntu apps all in one go! Note this primarily applies to (K)Ubuntu 9.04 & 9.10 (Jaunty & Karmic), 64 bit versions. For (K)Ubuntu 8.04 please visit earlier (and possibly outdated) article:- http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=124&Itemid=58 Basically the list below contains most of my favouirite (K)Ubuntu applications complete with their code libraries. The name "Goosebuntu" is not entirely serious - it is just a name we coined in the office. However, the following apps will turn a standard (K)Ubuntu… Read More ►

Trying to buy a PC without Windows part 4 – eBuyer

This is the fourth article in a series of case studies illustrating the difficulty one has purchasing a PC in the UK without being forced to pay a "Microsoft Tax". We use Linux on all our PC's and have done so for several years. Therefore we do not need, nor should we be forced to pay for any Microsoft software licenses. This week we focus on eBuyer.EBuyer is another British "pile-em-high-sell-em-cheap" internet-based boxshifter that shifts a heck of a lot of PCs and laptops. We have bought quite a bit of kit from it over the last two years including… Read More ►

Update – Laptops Direct

We eventually did hear back from Laptops direct. Amazingly, its sales team openly admits that it ignores the Microsoft EULA! So nil penguin points! But if there were a category for honesty then it would get plenty of penguins! The emails are in reverse order and since I guess the sales person is just "following orders", his/her name and email has been withheld for privacy reasons:- Subject: RE: [Fwd: RE: - Sales Enquiry]Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 16:19:18 +0100From: [Laptops Direct salesperson] To: '[removed]' References: That is correct,[Laptops Direct salesperson]From: [removed] [mailto:[removed]@garfnet.org.uk]Sent: 14 July 2009 16:16To: [Laptops Direct salesperson]Subject: Re:… Read More ►
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Why we object to the Microsoft Windows Tax

Rationale 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… Read More ►

Update – Dell

This is an update to the Dell OS-free laptop fiasco:-http://www.garfnet.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=182&Itemid=331 Seems that whilst Dell cannot be bothered to respond to our enquires with regard to buying laptops OS-free, or whether it is prepared to refund customers for unused Microsoft licenses as per Microsoft's EULA, it is however perfectly happy to spam its customers - even those who make it clear they do not wish to be spammed. This is the gem we received from Dell this morning. And yes, it WAS addressed to "Mr ". can't see this email? View it in a browser Add us to your address book… Read More ►
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Trying to buy a PC without Windows part 2 – Laptops Direct

This is the second article in a new series of case studies illustrating the difficulty one has purchasing a PC in the UK without being forced to pay a "Microsoft Tax". We use Linux on all our PC's and have done so for several years. Therefore we do not need, nor should we be forced to pay for any Microsoft software licenses. This week we focus on Laptops Direct. Laptops Direct is part of a British-based chain, run by Buy It Direct Ltd. whose sites are mostly registered to an address in Huddersfield:- Unit A, Trident Business Park, Leeds Road. Huddersfield, HD2 1VA, United Kingdom… Read More ►
Tux with broken Dell t-shirt

Trying to buy a PC without Windows part 1 – Dell UK

This is a new series of case studies illustrating the difficulty one has purchasing a PC in the UK without being forced to pay a "Microsoft Tax". We use Linux on all our PC's and have done so for several years. Therefore we do not need, nor should we be forced to pay for any Microsoft software licenses. We did some research and approached Dell UK to buy some of its rather smart-looking Vostro laptops, OS-free. Now Dell has a reputation for being fairly "penguin-friendly" and that it will build systems to the customer's specification. Moreover, its new Vostro laptops… Read More ►

Trying to buy a PC without Windows part 3 – PC World

This is the third article in a new series of case studies illustrating the difficulty one has purchasing a PC in the UK without being forced to pay a "Microsoft Tax". We use Linux on all our PC's and have done so for several years. Therefore we do not need, nor should we be forced to pay for any Microsoft software licenses. This week we report on a visit to our local PC World. PC World's Penguin rating Marks out of five for PC World's customer care. (This is probably higher than it deserves. However all the staff we spoke… Read More ►
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Hungarian rebels against the “Microsoft Tax”

[Reproduced from DEOSS ]Seems that Micro$haft's corporate enslavement permeates far beyond the English-speaking world. A long and complex legal battle is currently raging in the former Eastern Bloc state of Hungary. APEH (the Hungarian Tax Office) has decided that all Hungarian businesses now have to submit their tax returns on-line. This would not be a problem in itself. However in an act of inexplicable ignorance, APEH has assumed that all computer users use Microsoft Windows. To complete their tax returns, Hungarian business people have to download two Windows executable programs, run them on their Windows based PC's and then submit… Read More ►