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Sony Microsoft The Courts Windows

Sony Wins Battle Over Preinstalled Windows in Europe's Top Court (arstechnica.com) 238

An anonymous reader shares an Ars Technica report: The sale of a computer equipped with pre-installed software isn't an unfair commercial practice because most customers prefer to buy a laptop they can use straight away, Europe's top court has ruled in a victory for Sony. "Failure to indicate the price of each item of pre-installed software" isn't misleading, the Court of Justice of the European Union added in its ruling on Wednesday. The CJEU was asked to intervene after French citizen Vincent Deroo-Blanquart took Sony to court for failing to reimburse the cost of pre-installed software -- Windows Vista Home Premium operating system -- that he did not wish to use on a laptop. Sony refused and instead offered to cancel the sale altogether.
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Sony Wins Battle Over Preinstalled Windows in Europe's Top Court

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  • I can't go to the grocery store and tell them I don't want the chees that comes with my mac and chees. So it is the same with a computer.
    • by The Conductor ( 758639 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @09:28AM (#52840441)
      Fine, but you can sell the cheese packet on Ebay if you want. Try selling your OEM copy of Windows on Ebay sometime. The pre-installed software is either chattel goods for sale or it isn't, one or the other. Microsoft (and Apple) want to have it both ways.
      • Fine, but you can sell the cheese packet on Ebay if you want. Try selling your OEM copy of Windows on Ebay sometime. The pre-installed software is either chattel goods for sale or it isn't, one or the other. Microsoft (and Apple) want to have it both ways.

        You can try sell that shit if you want. I've not bought a laptop in a while but as far as I know they all come with the key, be it in the box somewhere or stuck to the computer. You could quite easily sell/give that to someone and they can then install a copy of that version of windows. At the end of the day you can't pick and choose what parts of a product you like you either buy what they're selling or don't. You can ask them to change the package sure but they can tell you no as well.

        • by mulvane ( 692631 )
          Unless it's an OEM key and tied to specific manufacturer. Sony OEM keys won't install on ASUS for instance.
          • by The Conductor ( 758639 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @11:24AM (#52841147)
            That points up the technical barriers to treating pre-installed software as chattel goods. True that, but even if you solve that technically, my point is that you are legally enjoined from re-selling or re-purposing the software. So, when it comes to bundled sales, the interpretation (that we have chattel goods) favors Microsoft's business interest at the expense of the consumer, but when it comes to parting out and re-sale, a conflicting interpretation (that we don't have chattel goods, but rather, a license) favors Microsoft's business interest at the expense of the consumer.

            The terms of the agreement have been altered, pray that the corporate lawyers don't alter them further [insert Darth Vader breath here].

        • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @10:02AM (#52840635)

          No, you can't. Preinstalled copies of Windows are almost universally OEM versions, with the license is already bound to that hardware before you even open the box. Good luck getting Microsoft to allow you to transfer the license to something else. Maybe you can do it by fraudulently claiming a hardware upgrade, to a cooperative MS agent, but it's a violation of the terms of the license.

        • I've never had an OEM key work for activation since XP *at all.* It did not work on the PC it was attached to. The only key that worked was the generic embedded on the OEM disc. Usually PCs use a certificate or key file in the SLIC table of the BIOS to validate Windows.
      • Try selling your OEM copy of Windows on Ebay sometime.

        I wonder what these things are if they are not OEM copies of Windows being sold on ebay. [ebay.com]


        veracity:

        conformity to facts; accuracy.
        habitual truthfulness.

        • Those are (one would hope) fresh copies of OEM WIndows. Once installed they're officially non-transferable, though with fraud and good luck you *might* be able to fenangle something with an MS license agent.

          • Some of them appear to be parted out from a machine, but they sell bundled with hardware (usually a hard drive) to evade corporate lawyers. Therefore this is not evidence that consumers have won back their legal rights due to them for having paid cash for chattel goods, but rather an indication that Ebay has become infiltrated with black markets.
      • by Sneeka2 ( 782894 )

        (and Apple)

        Apple only sells you hardware, the software is "free" (asterisk, caveat, it's accounted for in the development budget of the product, yada yada). You cannot purchase the software separately, even if you wanted to. The software only runs on their hardware, if you have the hardware to run the software, you already have the software. It makes no sense to sell the software on Ebay, because a) it is free to begin with and b) anyone who has the hardware to run it also already has the software.

        Microsoft on the oth

        • So the Hackintosh that I am typing this on is Apple hardware and came with a copy of OS-X?

          Facts suck don't they.

          • by Sneeka2 ( 782894 )

            Is that Hackintosh supported by Apple in any way, or any other company for that matter? Did you legally obtain a copy of OS X according to Apple's EULA? No and no.

            Of course you can cobble together your own computer from sand if you want to, nobody is stopping you. But Apple is not intending for their software to run on that machine, nor would they sell you the software for that purpose, nor will they support you in any way if something goes wrong. You're way off the reservation with what you're doing and ar

            • Off the reservation my ass? I own a legal copy of OS-X, came with my Mac Book. The Mac Book died. I have chose to repurpose the license to non-Apple hardware. Not much different from re-purposing an OEM Windows license.

              I don't give a shit what Apple intended or if they will support my configuration, there is a reason it's called a Hackintosh.

              Also, for your information Apple used to sell a DVD with license of Snow Leopard and Lion. $19.99

              As to a different conversation, you made a few factually incorrect

              • by Sneeka2 ( 782894 )

                So you did get your copy of OS X for free with an Apple product then, as I said.

                And no, what you're doing with that copy right now is not intended. Apple's EULA does not allow it. You're actually in breach of contract. That you can technically pull it off doesn't matter; you can use many things for purposes they weren't intended for. You can use that shiny Snow Leopard DVD as a coaster, just don't complain to anyone when it becomes unreadable.

                That Apple used to charge for their software in the past hardly m

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @10:13AM (#52840709) Journal

        I think the better analogy is you can go and buy just a box of Macaroni easily.

        Most importantly it will be:
        1) Offered a price that reflects the actual cost and a reasonable markup
        2) Widely available its unlikely any full grocery store will sell boxed Mac'n'Cheese but not sell macaroni and cheese separately. Freeing you to purchase either product without paying for the other.

        The Windows tax is insidious because most of these manufactures will not sell a system to this day without an OS installed, and most still don't offer an alternative to Windows on many models. Like the boxed Mac'n'Cheese its actually more effort to provide the assembled product, imaged hard disk vs hdd just installed but left blank. Yet if you are allowed to buy the system without an OS its often not discounted at all. You can make the argument that managing more separate stock imaged/blank would be more work, fine so image them all and don't provide a license key for Windows, to customers who don't order it.

        The reality is that in a completely open and free market place a PC with a pre-installed (and licensed copy ) of Windows should cost more than one without, you should be able to order just about any model a manufacturer sells without Windows but you can't. So MS is in some way or did in the past leverage their near monopoly position to affect the supply chain and choke out alternative vendors.

        • Except that the discount you get from the crapware being preinstalled pays for the Windows license. So the cost of the product w/o the Window license and the crapware would be equal.
    • but I can buy noodles in a bag if I don't want cheese. Getting a laptop model I want without windows can be hard

    • The analogy is more like you don't want pay extra for the benzene that comes with your mac and cheese. You tell 'em to leave out the benzene and refund whatever it costs for them to add it. They say "go fuck yourself, you piece-of-shit worthless customer; if you don't like benzene in your mac and cheese, then go buy someone else's." Both sides seem pretty reasonable to me. I can understand why the court would side with the seller: there's plenty of other mac and cheese vendors.

      On top of that, this is fucki

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        I can understand why the court would side with the seller: there's plenty of other mac and cheese vendors.

        But which major non-Windows laptop brands other than Apple are sold in stores? It's not like you can walk into a Best Buy and walk out with a System76 laptop.

        • by Etcetera ( 14711 )

          But which major non-Windows laptop brands other than Apple are sold in stores? It's not like you can walk into a Best Buy and walk out with a System76 laptop.

          Steve Kahng, is that you?

    • Many products do have a label indicating that you can, in the event you're not completely satisfied, return any unused portion for a full refund. Those are usually products worth purchasing. Many jurisdictions offer such consumer protection regardless of the label. It's worth finding out if you're paying taxes to support such an endeavor.
    • by Dracos ( 107777 )

      Your analogy is flawed. Mac and cheese is mac and cheese. You can tell them you don't want the dead bug you found in the packet of cheese powder, however.

  • The user pays [a pittance] for Windows, but they typically don't pay for other preinstalled applications unless they're paying rather a lot for a bundle of stuff they already know the value of, and it drives the sale. Rather, the vendors pay the OEM for inclusion of their garbage in your install. If someone had to pay the true cost of that software, it would be the user, whose machine is subsidized by crapware. I went to TFA and didn't find any useful information (that is, the summary here is about as informative) and I'm curious as to what other software on the device was supposed to have been worth money.

  • by l2718 ( 514756 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @09:29AM (#52840447)

    Just because you may want the company to offer different products, doesn't mean they have to. My electric razor came with all kinds of useless attachments, but it would be silly to ask for a refund for those I don't use. The seller offers the product for sale, the buyer decides whether to buy it, they negotiate the price, and if both are satisfied the sale takes place.

    Asking about "the price of each piece of preinstalled software" is even worse nonsense. We don't obliged sellers to disclose their costs of assembling their products (that's their private information!). And the retail price of the components is utterly irrelevant.

    In the specific case of MS-Windows on laptops there is a question of abuse of monopoly power (the ruling does have an exception for when the bundling distorts the market) -- but as long as Sony's policy of not offering component refunds is due to Sony (rather than a contractual obligation between Sony and Microsoft) I don't see how that could be a cause for complaint either. I remember situations where MS insisted that to get an OEM license vendors had to promise to only sell machines with preinstalled OS -- but even then I don't think it had to be MS-Windows that was preinstalled, and this is not similar to what's in the complaint.

    • Attachments? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by phorm ( 591458 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @09:42AM (#52840529) Journal

      My electric razor came with all kinds of useless attachments, but it would be silly to ask for a refund for those I don't use

      Were any of those attachments a third-party product with a not-insignificant cost that were produced by a known monopolist? There are lots of thing we buy that may come with components that aren't used - or aren't often used - but in general those are still part of the product. When I buy a car, it's not like I can't get the options like fancy mags, high-end stereo+woofers, etc... I just pay for them as an option. Including an OS or not is a pretty easy option. Heck, they could even include an unactivated version of windows but require you to pay if you want to use it (and get a serial key etc).

      • I just pay for them as an option. Including an OS or not is a pretty easy option.

        The point is that the manufacturer decides what's an option and what isn't. If you don't like their decision, look for another manufacturer.

        Using your car analogy: On some cars, automatic transmission is an option. On some models, it's baseline and you get it whether you want it or not.

        Fortunately for computer users, it is much easier to change the OS on a laptop than to replace the transmission on a car.

        • I think your analogy highlights the two different perceptions of this issue. One group of people (including you) regard the operating system as an integral part of the product, like the car gearbox. Others (including me fwiw) regard the OS as a separate entity, like a car trailer.

          • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

            Meanwhile, pretty much every single every other option concieveable is entirely optional. A site like Dell or HP is almost like a white box vendor in terms of the amount of choices that are available to you.

            There is only one choice that's conspicuously absent.

        • If you don't like their decision, look for another manufacturer.

          Yes, like a manufacturer who ships products with BEOS, who Microsoft threatened to squash [quora.com] by the power of monopoly. Oh wait, there are none left. These days you can buy a device that ships with Android and pony up only a nominal Microsoft tax [howtogeek.com]. Plenty of options!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @09:55AM (#52840603)

      The EULA that comes with Windows specifically allows customers to return it for a refund. The agreement is the first thing that pops up on a new computer.

      Based on the ruling and your logic, the MS EULA is invalid. Sony is not bound by the terms of the written agreement. Keep in mind that the customer does not see the agreement until the computer is purchased and in their possession.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        The EULA that comes with Windows specifically allows customers to return it for a refund.

        "It" being the entire computer.

        Or show me the wording in the EULA that allows returning the Windows license separately from the entire computer.

      • Keep in mind that the customer does not see the agreement until the computer is purchased and in their possession.

        But they must agree to the EULA to use the computer. It's the first thing they see when it powers up. They have the option to decline the EULA if they do not agree to using it, and can then request a refund for the system. Customers have the option to return the computer back to the store. Microsoft also provides a 45 day money back guarantee which applies to OEM computers and retail copies of their OS/Software.

      • by l2718 ( 514756 )

        The EULA that comes with Windows specifically allows customers to return it for a refund

        NO. The EULA specifically refers customers to the OEM to get a refund based on the OEM's return/refund policy. That policy could be that they can get a separate refund for Windows but keep the device, but it doesn't have to be. Here Sony's refund policy is that you can return the whole device and get all of your money back.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@worf . n et> on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @11:07AM (#52841039)

      Actually, the thing is a bit more subtle than that.

      FIrst off, the court ruled that Sony is not obligated to sell you the computer you want the way you want it. That's it. If Sony (or anyone else) wants to put together a computer a certain way, they are free to. Sony does not have to offer you an option to have no OS, just as they don't have to give you an option to buy more RAM, or less HDD, or swap the HDD for an SSD.

      The issue was simply the consumer wanted a Sony laptop. They didn't want the OS, so could he buy said laptop without the OS? Sony refused to do so, offering instead to cancel the sale of said laptop.

      This is not like the usual case where a user buys a computer, refuses the Windows license and asks for a refund - the sale has not taken place yet.

      In short, the court simply ruled a vendor is not obligated to sell you the specific configuration you want

      • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

        Perhaps someone should start a 'buy a Sony and return it for refund' drive. If that's the way Sony's going to play the Microsoft EULA refund clause, then let's play it by their rules. A few thousand refunds ought to get them to take notice. Of course, they probably charge a shipping and/or restocking fee that's more than the cost of the Windows license...

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @09:32AM (#52840465) Journal

    I think this was probably the correct legal conclusion. Clearly, the computer and operating system were meant to purchase as a bundle. If I buy any other product bundled up with something else, returns or exchanges are "all or nothing" (speaking as a U.S. citizen, anyway).

    You can't just buy the package deal of a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush, and say "I want to know what the included toothbrush is worth, and get refunded for just that part of the package, because I still want to use the toothpaste."

    That being said? This probably helps clarify that bundled OEM software or operating systems should be treated as free "throw ins" when making computer purchases. They're generally restricted in their licensing provisions anyway, so they're useless for anything except that specific computer they were bundled with. About the only significance I see with the pre-loaded OS is that hardware manufacturers may have designed the whole machine not to run many other options.

    Hopefully, more people will put pressure on the vendors to ensure their computers can run alternate OS's, instead of just buying them first and making assumptions it "should be able to work". My workplace was recently bitten by this when we bought one of those Intel NUC PC's to replace a dead Dell PC running our Finance's scanning software and flatbed scanner. The old system was all configured in Windows 7 Pro so we hoped to just image the drive and blast it back onto the NUC, to get things back up and running. Nope! The NUC seems to not be able to run anything older than Windows 8.

    • by Sneeka2 ( 782894 )

      I wouldn't even necessarily describe it as "a bundle". It's a product. The product includes an operating system, necessarily, because without operating system all you have is an oversized paper weight. Sony doesn't want to be in the business of selling oversized paper weights, nor of supporting people who bought them to install some OS of their choosing. Sony also doesn't want to offer other operating systems. They are selling their product, part of which happens to be the Windows operating system.

      Would we

      • Sony also doesn't want to offer other operating systems. They are selling their product, part of which happens to be the Windows operating system.

        Why did Sony, maker of the PlayStation video game console, choose to offer only a PC product containing a major, inseparable component made by Microsoft, maker of the competing Xbox video game console?

        • by Sneeka2 ( 782894 )

          Why does Apple buy tons of parts from Samsung and is at the same time suing the living daylights out of them? The real world is complicated, you know?

      • Would we have the same discussion about any particular hardware part that comes with the product? Is anybody complaining that a car company is selling cars only as "complete bundle" instead of each part individually?

        No, we would not have that discussion -- but not for the reason you seem to expect. With cars or any other product, there's nothing stopping the owner from disassembling the thing and selling off the parts. Unlike a Windows install, the ECU from car A won't contain DRM that makes it refuse to ru

        • by Sneeka2 ( 782894 )

          Fair enough with the car example; and of course I am aware that some car companies also sell just their parts. Let a man have his obligatory car analogy, will ya?

          The issue with DRM is more complex and there is a point to be had there. However, you're still buying the product as is and as advertised. Disassemblability is not an explicitly advertised feature. You can sell the whole thing as is to somebody else. Whether you must be able to also sell individual bits and pieces of it is rather debatable.

          • Whether you must be able to also sell individual bits and pieces of it is rather debatable.

            No it isn't; it's a fundamental principle of property law going all the way back to when the concept of property was first invented. If an object is mine, it's mine and I can do whatever I want with it. Disassembly doesn't have to be "explicitly advertised" because it is an intrinsic feature of what property is!

            What Sony (and Microsoft) are asking for here is a fundamental change in the status-quo, where things that

    • I would also argue that when they present the product they present it as a "computer with MS Windows installed", so it is clear from the outset what is being offered. If the person doesn't want that configuration, then they should look elsewhere. There are plenty of alternatives, and based on the opinions of the /. readership, better ones.

      At the same time, then could also include a refund cost of $0 and charge $100 admin and support fee as part of the small print?

    • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @10:12AM (#52840703)

      True, but things are often different when dealing with a convicted monopolist with a long history of illegally abusing its position to coerce manufacturers into not offering alternative OSes.

    • Where your toothpaste analogy fails is that it's easy to buy toothburshes and toothpaste separately. What if that weren't the case? What if toothbrushes only and always came bundled together with a brand toothpaste you didn't like to use? And the only way for you to buy a toothbrush was to also pay for the toothpaste which you'd never use?

      I agree with this legal decision for desktops, but not for laptops. It's easy to to build your own desktop if you don't like any of the pre-built offerings with Win
    • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

      The problem with that logic is that way back when - before "everybody" thought a computer was a box that runs Windows, computers used to come with a choice of OS - or at least with a separate invoice line item for the OS. Mostly, that OS was MS-DOS (because back then, everybody thought a computer was a box that ran MS-DOS), but then Microsoft started cutting deals with OEMs to include a 'free' copy of Windows with all of their DOS computers. That turned out to be a case of illegal anti-competitive bundlin

  • You can't buy/order a Laptop with Linux Pre-installed. They won't do it. This ruling should have had the caveat that if a user wants a different OS Pre-installed, Sony should have to offer a "Linux option"

    • Here [dell.com]

      And some generic laptops here [cyberciti.biz]

      Seriously. Did you even try?

      • Odd, neither of those websites appear to be Sony.

        And yes, it's *possible* to find non-Windows-preinstalled laptops, but you have to already be on the search for them. It's barely hidden that Microsoft uses their market position to keep Windows alternatives the obscure, weirdo option.
    • Better option is to buy from a vendor that already does that. Let the idiots who wants Windows Vista to buy that laptop from Sony and just make fun of them, no need to go all SJW.
    • by Sneeka2 ( 782894 )

      Can you also force Honda to sell their cars with BMW engines, while you're at it?

      No? Why not? Because it makes no sense to force a company to sell some specific variation they have no interest in selling?! You don't say!

    • This ruling should have had the caveat that if a user wants a different OS Pre-installed, Sony should have to offer a "Linux option"

      That is entirely naive.

      Can I get a ruling that forces Audi to offer Pioneer audio decks in their cars? Or maybe a ruling that forces Ford to offer Continental tires on all new vehicles?

      The manufacturer makes what they believe they can sell, and you either buy it or walk away.

      We need rules for safety and environmental issues because consumers can't reasonably assess those characteristics on their own---and even if someone could, there is no way to do it before taking possession of the product.

      But the OS? It'

    • This ruling should have had the caveat that if a user wants a different OS Pre-installed, Sony should have to offer a "Linux option"

      WHICH "Linux Option"? RedHat? Ubuntu? Gentoo? Slackware? Android? SteamOS? ChromeOS? ...

      Why stop with a "Linux Option"? What's special about Linux that the legal system should force it to be offered and not others? How about FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD? ReactOS? Redox OS?

      Why stop at open source OSes? (Have to go do other things or I'd list a bunch of these, too.)

      And a

  • Whiney Consumerism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ogive17 ( 691899 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @09:37AM (#52840491)
    I'm tired of the trend of whiney consumerism. If you don't want an OS, don't buy the fucking computer that has it pre-installed. It's not like it was advertised as just the hardware and he was surprised when Windows booted up.

    I'm glad common sense prevailed in this case.
    • I'm curious what OEMs you're aware of that even offer the *option* of an alternate or no OS coming preinstalled.

      Dell is one such example, but it's not easy to find it on their website even if you know exactly what you're looking for; and it's definitely not something they advertise in physical stores. I don't think it's an option for Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, Toshiba, Sony, Samsung, LG, or MSI.

      There's some very small companies that sell computers with Linux preinstalled such as System76, but their visibilit
      • I'm curious what OEMs you're aware of that even offer the *option* of an alternate or no OS coming preinstalled.

        Given the Linux desktop penetration, I'm not surprised.

        Most users are not interested in learning an entirely new OS that won't run the apps they're used to, so there is no reason for manufacturers to offer it.

        It costs money to validate the software and provide support. An OEM can't just install the OS, boot it up, and call it good. If the expected sales of the Linux version don't cover the expected costs, then the product probably won't be offered with Linux.

        Honestly, it often seems like Slashdot doesn't un

        • by Etcetera ( 14711 )

          I'm curious what OEMs you're aware of that even offer the *option* of an alternate or no OS coming preinstalled.

          Given the Linux desktop penetration, I'm not surprised.

          Most users are not interested in learning an entirely new OS that won't run the apps they're used to, so there is no reason for manufacturers to offer it.

          It costs money to validate the software and provide support. An OEM can't just install the OS, boot it up, and call it good. If the expected sales of the Linux version don't cover the expected costs, then the product probably won't be offered with Linux.

          Honestly, it often seems like Slashdot doesn't understand that most people don't care about their OS or about open software.

          There's some very small companies that sell computers with Linux preinstalled such as System76, but their visibility among non-Linux enthusiasts is fairly negligible.

          Why would anyone seek out a company that sells a product they don't want?

          A typical user is not interested in Linux, so I expect him to be unfamiliar with OEMs who support Linux.

          The awesome thing is that the GP would probably force a distro of Linux that uses systemd. Can I force Canonical or RedHat to give me a version of Linux (past EL6) that doesn't use systemd? 'Cause if so, I'd throw Sony under the bus for that :D

      • by geek ( 5680 )

        There's some very small companies that sell computers with Linux preinstalled such as System76, but their visibility among non-Linux enthusiasts is fairly negligible.

        Completely irrelevant to the point of the post. They exist. Buy from them or shut the fuck up and build your own.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          System76

          They exist. Buy from them

          The featured article doesn't appear to state how big the plaintiff's Sony laptop was, but I do know System76 doesn't make anything smaller than 14 inches (source [system76.com]).

          • by geek ( 5680 )

            System76

            They exist. Buy from them

            The featured article doesn't appear to state how big the plaintiff's Sony laptop was, but I do know System76 doesn't make anything smaller than 14 inches (source [system76.com]).

            Boo fucking hoo

      • by El Lobo ( 994537 )

        But wait a minute. I don't want a computer with freaking Linux. I just want Sony to sell me a computer with BeOS pre-installed. Why in the world nobody has this option? (See the stupidity of this discussion?) Sony just sells whatever they want. You want a to buy a computer with FreeBSD? Good luck.

    • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday September 07, 2016 @10:19AM (#52840729) Homepage

      You are the whiny idiot, not the consumer.

      This is not a problem of the consumer whinnying, but of a major software using illegal monopoly power to force companies to either sell computers with ONLY their software or NONE of their software.

      Let's be honest here - Sony didn't decided "Hey, I want everyone to use Microsoft". What, you think Sony loves Microsoft? Yeah right.

      No. Microsoft went to them and said "Sell ONLY our stuff or you get no Windows."

      Sony caved like a coward, signed an agreement, and were contractually obligated to refuse to sell non-windows computers. They don't care that much, because most consumers want Microsoft.

      It's the poor consumer is forced to buy Windows that they do not want, not to keep Sony happy, but to keep MICROSOFT happy.

      This is nothing but a cowardly country refusing to enforce anti-monopoly laws because the monopoly successfully used a complex contractual agreement to trick them.

      • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
        Last time I bought a computer, I got it without an OS installed. *gasp*

        I paid money to the company that provided me exactly what I wanted. *gasp*

        It's not a difficult concept to understand. Don't like what Sony is offering, don't give them your money. Giving Sony money when you're not satisfied with your purchase only encourages them.
      • Let's be honest here - Sony didn't decided "Hey, I want everyone to use Microsoft". What, you think Sony loves Microsoft? Yeah right.

        No. Microsoft went to them and said "Sell ONLY our stuff or you get no Windows."

        Sony caved like a coward, signed an agreement, and were contractually obligated to refuse to sell non-windows computers. They don't care that much, because most consumers want Microsoft.

        What a convoluted (and unsubstantiated) story you came up with. You could easily edit this down to be much simpler (and more accurate):

        Sony didn't decided "Hey, I want everyone to use Microsoft", but since most consumers want Microsoft they gave them what they wanted.

        You can't say in one sentence that the majority of the users want Windows and then in the very next one say that they don't want Windows. Which is it? How likely is it that Sony would want to make it more difficult for the 99% of the people w

      • using illegal monopoly power to force companies to either sell computers with ONLY their software or NONE of their software

        That happened a long time ago, and the law responded. Is there any evidence that this behavior continues?

        Sony didn't decided "Hey, I want everyone to use Microsoft".

        Sony doesn't care. They want to sell lots of computers while keeping their production and support costs low.

        If that means only supporting one OS, it will be Windows because that is what most consumers expect on their PCs.

        It's the poor consumer is forced to buy Windows that they do not want

        Some manufacturers have offered PCs with alternative OSes or no OSes installed. Hardly anyone bought them.

        So the consumers voted with their wallets, and they voted in favor of Windows. O

  • First of all, everybody knows Sony is crap. So don't buy their shit and complain afterwards.

    But second, they offered to cancel the whole deal, but Vincent refused. Another reason to not complain. Although most laptops are sold with Windows, it is possible to buy one without. Dell for example sells FreeDOS / Ubuntu laptops. He should have picked that one.

    Apparently there is not enough market for non-Windows laptops. If where him, I would simply buy the laptop I want, removed Windows, installed Linux and used

  • "The sale of a computer equipped with pre-installed software isn't an unfair commercial practice because most customers prefer to buy a laptop they can use straight away"

    Fairly charitable to describe Windows as 'usable', but I digress. I don't see why offering the choices of ChromeOS or Ubuntu or whatnot is so verboten. If the OEM can make multiple editions of the same computer but with a different brands/types/amounts of CPU, drive(s), GPU, RAM, and bundleware, then it's obviously trivial to also offer the same option for an OS. Heck, they might even find that customers like the idea of saving $100 because they don't need to pay the Microsoft tax.

    Unless of course Micros

    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      Actually, Windows costs OEMs around $59 and they make more than that on shovelware, so the OS is a money maker for them. If they want to have FreeDOS or Ubuntu, they actually have to charge MORE sometimes.
    • by Sneeka2 ( 782894 )

      it's obviously trivial to also offer the same option for an OS

      I don't know what planet you live on, but on the one I'm from this is far from trivial. Windows detects differing amounts of RAM and CPUs etc. pretty autonomously, there isn't a lot the vendor has to do to offer these variations. However, supporting an entirely different operating system, ensuring that all drivers are working, keeping it maintained with updates/ensuring updates to the OS don't brick the machine, training support staff to support customers with the OS... all that is far from trivial and mult

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