For the first week of class our assignment was to read about software licenses and share our opinion about them.
When reading the Microsoft windows license there was part that caught my attention :
By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, contact the manufacturer or installer to determine its return policy. You must comply with that policy, which might limit your rights or require you to return the entire system on which the software is installed.
Last year, when I was searching for a laptop, I was looking to find one that didn’t come with Windows pre-instaled, since Seneca provides a license, and I was using Ubuntu as my OS, I didn’t need another copy of Windows.
I started to search on the web if there were any laptops sold withouth Windows, I found a few that shipped with Ubuntu but the tech specs were worst then the ones that came with windows and the price was more expensive. Then I started looking for other options, I read that was possible to get a refund from the computer manufacturer from the pre-Instaled version of Windows that came with the computer if I didn’t accept the license terms, and by doing that not installing in the OS in the PC. I started inquiring the retail stores to see if that was actually true, but they didn’t have an answer, then I started looking at the manufactures websites, couldn’t find an answer either. Finally I send them emails, and even called the call center, but nobody gave me a straight answer.
In the end a bought a laptop that came with Windows since I needed one for school. However, that stayed in my mind, because I was paying for windows even though I didn’t want to buy it. Was then that I read the license and understood that I didn’t have an option. The license doesn’t determine specifically what the return policy is, it is a grey area, leaving some space for confusion.
What bothers me the most is not the fact that the computers come with Windows pre-installed, but the fact that I don’t have the option for refusing it. The same way I can chose the brand of the processor, video card, manufacturer, etc. Why can’t I chose the OS ? I believe that the PC should always be sold without any OS , but since they already do it with Windows, why not with a linux distro as well?
In Europe microsoft was prohibited to ship windows with IE as the default browser (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/ff606439)
Hope they don’t stop just in the browser, but in the future apply the same restrictions to the OS as well.