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Persistence Pays Off With Israel's First Windows Refund 84

Posted by timothy
from the paving-the-way dept.
As Niv Lilian reports at Ynet News, Haifa (and the Haifa Linux Club)'s Zvi Devir just preferred to run Linux rather than the pre-installed Windows on his newly bought Dell computer, and didn't want to pay for the unwanted Windows system. Now Devir has prevailed, after a fight in Israeli small-claims court, to become the first Israeli to obtain a Windows refund (also in Hebrew), winning the $137 that Windows added to the cost of his machine and escaping the nondisclosure agreement that Dell had wanted him to abide by as a condition. Perhaps others will follow his lead. Update: 12/03 23:02 GMT by T : Zvi Devir wrote with an update: "BTW, the settlement was out of court, before any court sessions took place."
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Persistence Pays Off With Israel's First Windows Refund

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  • That's a great precedent.
  • by toodeepforme (1370289) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @04:03PM (#25980257) Journal
    Oh god, I am seriously fearing the flood that is to come. This will set a precedent(if only a small one), that could change the way computers are sold, as well as if windows will be considered "standard" software for much longer.
    • by corsec67 (627446)

      What, you think getting a refund for a Windows license is new [linux.com]?

    • by Aphoxema (1088507)

      Oh god, I am seriously fearing the flood that is to come. This will set a precedent(if only a small one), that could change the way computers are sold, as well as if windows will be considered "standard" software for much longer.

      In Israel.

      • Well yes. But if one thing is true of Israelis, it's that they do not give half a shit about copyright. The ones who don't actually want to run Linux will all claim Windoze refunds so they can install Windows with the pirate disk they bought at the market.

        If the Israeli courts keep requiring that these refunds be issued, suddenly you will see all of Israel "running Linux".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why are you fearing that? Why should windows be considered "standard" software? Not all of us want to run windows on our computers so why should we be required to pay for a windows license as part of the cost of a new computer? Particularly an OEM license that we can't legally use on any other hardware?

      If the cost of a windows license bundled with a new computer is $150 then why not sell machines at the normal price and allow the user to choose to get a machine with windows pre-installed, adding $150 to

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jhantin (252660)
        Because the license costs a high volume OEM about $60 and they bundle -$70 worth of free trial crapware [cnet.com] that only runs under Windows, so the Windows license comes at no cost to you and the OEM makes an extra $10 in the bargain. That's why a Linux box and a Windows box price out the same in practice.
        • If you actually compare like to like, Dell is charging $608 for the following Linux machine vs. $669 if you buy with Vista installed. Now, the windows version comes with works, but the ubuntu version either comes with OO.org or it's just an apt-get away (or applications|add/remove).

          Granted, you could get OO.org for he windows version too, but that presumes that Works, which can read some Office documents and writes.. rtf (only, I think) has value. Also, it appears that "no monitor" and Intel Celeron proce

          • by jhantin (252660)

            If you actually compare like to like, Dell is charging $608 for the following Linux machine vs. $669 if you buy with Vista installed.

            Touché. It's been some time since I last compared.

      • Because in my opinion, most of the people who buy computers with windows preloaded are exactly the type of people that would choose it anyway, because face it. Most technically literate people, at least that I have met, have either bought standard high end machines, or have built their own, and installed whatever OS they please. And in regard to the belief that windows is not user friendly, and relatively easy to learn, it was my experience screwing around with Win. 98 that got me into computers, which di
    • by erroneus (253617)

      Yes, it might last longer than 40 days and 40 nights... ;)

    • When I mailed and asked some time, probably to Microsoft though, may had been a bad idea, I got the impression that one wouldn't be able to return only Windows but would have to return the whole machine.

      Rather obvious that Microsoft would prefer it that way but ..

      Is this true? Makes somewhat reasonable sense for the manufacturer to be able to set up rules like that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cbiltcliffe (186293)

        Depends what country you're in, probably.
        Canada and the US have laws against bundling - requiring the purchase of one product to purchase another product.

        So the manufacturer can't require you to buy Windows if you buy the computer hardware.

        How it is in other countries, I have no idea.

        • So when are we going to have lawsuits about not getting the specific CPU or hard disk that you want when you buy a computer? Wheres my refund for just the disk? Just how stupid is this pick-and-choose going to get?
          • The hardware is made/assembled by the same company (in theory. I know this doesn't happen.)
            There is an obvious delineation between software and hardware, and it's made by a different company.

            Besides, you can frequently specify what CPU and hard disk you want, even with big retailers like Dell, HP and the like.
            You can't specify that you don't want Windows. At least, not in any way that doesn't require significant digging on their website.

            There's also the problem that the hardware is yours to do with as you

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "This will set a precedent(if only a small one), that could change the way computers are sold" - yes, the windows will be sold the same way as with Asus EEE - i.e. preinstalled, without any EULA to be read and agreed on.

    • I doubt this will be the case as most people click through the EULA without even knowing they are entering a contract (or caring) I addressed this issue in a blog post a few days ago here: http://www.pcdisorder.com/2008/12/no-means-no.html [pcdisorder.com]
  • Read the article. (Score:5, Informative)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @04:12PM (#25980411)

    This doesn't have to do with Windows as much as it has to do with Dell.

    Basically, Dell said (in the EULA) that they would refund money if you don't agree to the terms. So that's what the guy did.

    If anything, this just shows how few people read license agreements than anything else. And shows that, once again, 'customer support' still stinks :)

    • This doesn't have to do with Windows as much as it has to do with Dell.

      Basically, Dell said (in the EULA) that they would refund money if you don't agree to the terms. So that's what the guy did.

      If anything, this just shows how few people read license agreements than anything else. And shows that, once again, 'customer support' still stinks :)

      The article is also basically devoid of any details regarding the methodology. There wasn't even anything at the Haifa Linux Club web site about it. It looks like since the arrival of Vista-infected machines, the old methods for Windows Refund [google.com] need updating.

      The club at least could make some noise and show the new steps to the dance. Many will be buying new computers in the coming weeks and could use the extra 150 USD / EUR

  • by argent (18001) <[moc.agnorat.6002.todhsals] [ta] [retep]> on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @04:16PM (#25980527) Homepage Journal

    The laptop in the stock photo [ynetnews.com] for the article sure looks like didn't come with Windows in the first place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slakdrgn (531347)

      What's even more funny is the guy in that picture looks a lot like Wil Wheaton.

    • by negative3 (836451)
      It looks like one, but it's not one of hte white Intel Macbooks - the ports are slightly different. My macbook has on the left side: power, ethernet, mini-dvi, firewire, usb, usb, mic, headphone, lock. And no fan ports - those are hidden by the screen hinge. It looks like a decent attempt at a knock-off though.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's more than a "decent attempt at a knockoff"; that's an iBook, which can't even run Windows except via some messy emulation.

      • by 68kmac (471061)

        It looks like one, but it's not one of hte white Intel Macbooks

        It's a 12" iBook G4

    • Cute boy...
  • Somebody tag it "OY VEY!".
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @05:52PM (#25982033) Journal

    ...for trying to wiggle out of their contractual agreement. Now, I'm not sure a click-through EULA is in fact a contract, but then that's DELLs to decide. Either it is or it isn't.

  • by LuYu (519260) on Thursday December 04, 2008 @12:56AM (#25985417) Homepage Journal

    I am of course overjoyed at the fact that there is someone who managed not to be forced to pay for Windows, but I still have to ask this question: Did Dell take the loss or did MS?

    Aside from saving money, refusing to grant an undesirable vendor money is another reason to refuse a purchase. If Dell still paid MS, then MS is still insulated from market forces. How can customers choose against MS if MS gets paid even when those customers do not purchase MS software?

    I hope the next time this happens, Dell will supply a written document certifying that it has refused payment to MS for the copy in question.

  • A Jew with a coupon! /iamajew

  • Just the first that didn't accept Dell's NDA.

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