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MS Responds to Rebate Day 174

ensor sent us a link to a ZD article about Microsoft's Response to all the recent Windows Refund Hoopla. It's not taking is seriously. They consider it a PR stunt. Update: 01/22 02:14 by S : Apparently Microsoft has removed the refund clause from the EULA for Windows 98... which sounds like I can't use Win98 if I don't agree to its EULA, but I must still pay for it if I want a particular notebook? Anybody know what the new EULA is? LWN is claiming the clause removal in Win98 is untrue, any Australian readers care to comment? Update: 01/22 06:42 by S : Dell will not pay a refund because their systems are only quality assured with Windows. Seems like the perfect loop-hole: it is not Microsoft that is requiring Windows on the computer, but the hardware manufacturers... but the tactic could back-fire, since it casts doubts on the PC-compatability of their hardware.
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MS Responds to Rebate Day

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    To see the real reasons behind the now-famous EULA refund provision and the problems which OEMs got with the refund policy, one may look at the documents from the 1994-1995 M$-antitrust case.

    That time M$ was charged with having monopoly on the OS market and exercising its power on OEMs and, less important, on customers. In a concent with DoJ antitrust division, M$ promised to allow customers to choose the operating system, and DoJ agreed that (I'm citing the meaning, not verbatim) "since there is no other popular operating system on the market, and taking into account that computer cannot operate without an OS, to avoid customer confusion PCs can be sold with M$ OS pre-installed". So, PC goes with pre-installed M$ OS, but customer can legally have this PC without that OS -- technically it was intended to be settled through the refund clause (see, it is not "a loophole", as ZDnet suggested, it was a legal issue in the face of the antitrust case!).

    "Final Judgment" on that case, issued in August 1995, in part said that:

    M$ cannot restrict use of the PC to M$ OS or any other MS software, or forbid developing non-M$ software on the PC; customer or developer does not have to get permission from M$ for that or notify M$ about his intension to use or develop non-M$ software;

    per-processor license agreements with OEM are illegal ("per-processor licensing" means that OEMs paid M$ licensing fee for each sold processor no matter whether it was with M$ OS or other OS or without any OS at all, or probably even without a hard drive) and were converted to "per system" license agreements.

    The latter part basically means that the only allowed types of license agreements were "per license" and "per system" variants. "Per license" thing is obvious: OEM pays M$ for each sold "M$ license". I think that in reality it would mean that OEM is charged by M$ the street price which is not very nice. "Per system" is much more interesting. It says that OEM will pay for each sold "system", and "system" means a PC model (with definite model number) for which M$ and OEM have a contract to sell it bundled with M$ software. Usually, one can see the label "Disigned for M$ (R) WIndows (R) 95" or similar on that models, but it is not necessary. OEM has a freedom, however (M$ press representatives say here absolute truth) to create a new model (with a different model number ! ) which is equivalent to the M$-ed one in any respect except it doesn't have the sin of the OEM-M$ licensing contract, and OEM does not need a permission or does not have to notify M$ on this,
    and this model can be sold with anything non-M$ or without anything at all.

    Good. Now, see how often OEMs produce new models for that pleasure to make a few Linux geeks happy, with a chance to loose the status of a "preffered" customer of M$ (which could well double the price of the lincense and kill the whole business). On the other hand, it is absolutely impossible to decide who should pay for returned software. OEM already paid M$ for the license, and even if the license comes back from the customer, the "system" is still sold. For OEM, it would be just money from its pocket, with no apparent falt from its side. They do not want that precedent (this explains why Toshiba agreed to refund for M$ software but only if I return it with the notebook -- see $5 refund story). They are trying to negotiate with M$ with obvious result -- M$ does not want to dissolve the contracts in any way, otherwise you know what would happen...

    And now another antitrust case, and "Refund madness", and customer rights defenders... OEMs really do not have a good way out of this trouble. Most likely, they would not mind to give up -- in the way that it would be not their decision but the result of exceeding force.

    After February 15, M$ license's live may well never be the same.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'd love to get a refund on the multiple copies of win95, NT, and NT Server I have lying around my office, but I agreed to the EULA! Silly me. I still use NT on my laptop, but I have multiple unopened copies. But to return those, I'd have to lie. And if I can't get my money back honestly, I won't pursue it. I made an informed decision, and I have to live with it.

    However, I learn from my mistakes. At work I resolved mid-last-year to stop generating revinue for MS, and I've stuck to it. If any other software vendor treated us in the same way, we'd dump them in an instant (and we have). And looking away from the business relationship towards the functionality of our systems, it's no surprise that our uptime ratio and performance are both increasing as we phase out NT.

    Our last NT production server is slated to be migrated to Linux next month (and if MS had an inkling of which megacorp it is, and how close it is to their backyard, they'd collectively piss themselves). And I won't have to worry about that goddamned EULA ever again.
  • '"OEMs are completely free today to ship any OS they choose. There is no provision in any of our contracts telling OEMs they can't ship something else" or even a so-called "naked" system without any operating system preloaded.'

    uh-huh, sure. I called Dell to inquire about the Inspiron 7000 laptop. I told the guy I didn't want Windows, wouldn't use it, and would immediately install Linux or FreeBSD upon receipt of computer. He said that he would be willing to ship me one with a blank hard-drive, i.e. NO Windows, but HE WOULD CHARGE ME THE SAME. So they can ship 'a so-called "naked" system', as long as they still force the hapless consumer, ME, to pay for a copy of frigging Windows that I won't even receive.

    Let me write that again: they would charge me for a product that I did not want and that they would not deliver.

    I could build my own desktop computer, but I can't build my own laptop, and I can't buy a laptop without paying the MS tax (unless I were rich and could buy a SPARC laptop for 12 grand). The result: I gave up and bought no laptop.

    Oh well, I'm sure billionaire Michael Dell won't miss my 2400 bucks, but maybe someday it will matter.

    Why can't Microsoft just get out of my way?

  • but it is a loud publicity stunt that brings to attention how MS has OEMs by the "shorthairs". Sure the idea of people getting money back for a worthless product shoved on them is nice, but this is all happening for the publicity and rightness of it all.
  • And a damned good one too.

    Look, for years, there have been thousands of people trying to save a few bucks buying computer equipment. And for years, those same folks have been forced in many situations to buy a computer saddled with an operating system they either did not need, nor want.

    How many machines bought by large corporations that immediately removed Windows and installed OS/2 in the 90's were there? Answer: Lots!

    Regardless of the OS installed later, there has been an assumed "tax" for far too long.

    And for those of you that say "build your own"?

    To you I direct your attention to the millions of PC buyers that WANT to buy a box from a Dell, or Compaq or HP and have the freedom that a three year warranty affords.

    I can say that from personal experience with my now 3+ year Dell, which has been rock solid despite myriad home-performed upgrades (including a very happy Linux partition) that whenever I called them for hardware service, they never asked what OS I was running.

    Please. Take a moment and look at the bigger picture.
    I want to die peacefully in my sleep as my grandfather did...

  • As I said.

    I never had a copy, and I would return it if I had one :)
  • I had to vote "No" because I don't have a copy of Windows (at least not that I paid for). Had I actually paid for Windows at some time in my life, I might actually do this though. Now that I think about it, I have only paid for 2 Microsoft products in my life: VB5 and Flight Simulator for Macintosh. I got VB 5 for $99 (studnet discount) and it came with NT Workstation 4.0. Oddly enough, I still feel robbed. Maybe I should return it as a gesture...
  • No more need be said. But have fun, guys, I'm delighted to be reading about this stuff. :)
    *returns to fussing with linuxppc box w. windowmaker and all kinds o' funky widgets and programs :) *
  • If I were them, I wouldn't take it seriously either.

    1) It's the OEMs who have to give back the money, not Microsoft. Microsoft already sold the OEMs the copies. It's the OEMs who sold to the users.

    2) There are going to be relatively very few people actually asking for refunds. First, anybody that's booted up their computer even once is ineligible, so all those of you who switched from windows to linux aren't eligible (or even if you booted windows once just to run partition magic). Secondly, over 99% of the people who own Windows actually want it, and do not want to return it for a refund (contrary to popular belief, Linux's marketshare is still WAY under 1%.) Out of those few who don't want it, even fewer will actually bother trying to return it.
  • Posted by Rezidew:

    MS Says they don't require OEM's to ship their
    operating system.

    Tell it to the judge...

  • Posted by Brad_S:

    I asked a sales person for no operating system with the assembled system, the sales person insisted that I purchased Windows 95 but after a little bit of deleberation he kinda said;

    "Ok then.. we just won't tell anyone about this one then .. {wink}{wink}"

    Implying that I was going to put an Illegal copy of Windows on my pc. When I told him that I was going to install Linux on it he said that "we will not give you any support if you use Linux", I replied saying that I do not need his support anyways and then took my business elsewhere.
  • Posted by theAnti:

    another lucky guy.

    I don't have a copy,too. In germany it's possible to buy a computer without an OS.

    In fact i have some Win-Licenses, but I don't think I can refund my WinOS/2, even if i don't use it.
    And I think they won't refund my WfW 3.11 (the best Windos ever) ;)
  • Posted by grahamatwork:

    Just occasionally I wish people would read the Linux Advocact HOWTO. I love Linux and dont use anything else at home, but pouring vitriol on Microsoft continuously just makes us all look a bit immature.

    Saying that, I still think you should be entitled to your money back if you don't use or want the software, just try and remain calm.

    Graham Arden
  • Posted by Stephen "The Carp" Carpenter:

    I personally, legally, own 1 windows licence.

    Unfortunatly, I already agreed to the EULA
    (over 2 years ago...before I knew Linux
    existed...not my fault - I was upgrading
    directly to a PC from my //GS)

    Of course I have not USED that copy of windows
    in over a year now...too bad...There is
    no provision for getting rid of it after
    accepting it. Maybe one of these days I will
    have to burn it in some sort of ritual.
  • Posted by nitemare:

    Never had to even try returning a copy of windows. I just boot linux when I want to and boot Macos if i need to.
    Now I'm sure someone is going to say that
    apple does the same thing, bundling Macos with their boxes. But its different in that Apple makes their own hardware, and they aren't a monopolistic monster...buying into every industry they can until they control all types of communication in the world.
  • Posted by The Famous Brett Watson:

    Has anybody noticed a major flaw in the logic of your average OEM computer company here? They are paying per CPU for Windows, so they refuse to sell "naked" PCs because you'd expect a discount they can't offer (except at their own expense -- hell will freeze first). Similarly, they can't sell you a machine with an alternative OS like OS/2 except as an extra item. You still get Windoze because they still pay for Windoze whether you want or use Windoze or not.

    Hence, their current behaviour.

    They're missing an obvious point, however. They could ditch Windows and offer Linux as an alternative without modifying the cost. They would still refuse to offer "naked" machines, because you would rightly expect a discount. They could replace Windoze with Linux, however, and sell the machine at the same cost. They'd still be paying the MS tax on the computer, but because there is no Linux tax (not even on a per-use basis), there's no need to modify the cost.

    One could rightly expect some sort of discount for a free OS like Linux, but they could blah-blah about how it costs them to install it -- and then hackers would say "so give me a naked machine and I'll do it myself", to which they would respond, "we don't offer naked machines" etc ad nauseam.

    The point is that OEMs could easily extend their OS range to include Linux without damaging their precious bottom lines (unless Microsoft started playing bully-boy, which would be absolutely wonderful fuel for the MS-DOJ case). The bad point is that Microsoft would then (in effect) be collecting the Windows tax on Linux.

    On the bright side, MS might still be raking in the cash under that scheme, but their market share would get hurt, and that's probably more precious to them than straight cash.

  • there's clearly at least one option missing from the poll, especially "I would if I *had* a copy".
  • Unfortunately I need my coies of 3.1, 95 and NT to make a living so there's no chance of me taking anything back just yet. Having said that...

    It's great that people who do have the choice are excercising it though. I really hate all these horrible licences. The only closed source licence I could understand (and was actually enforcable under Scottish Law) was the Borland/Inprise one.
  • Becourse, I never bought it. Not even once have I owned a copy of M$ WinSlow ;-)

  • Oh jeeez. Come back when you've stopped smoking shredded copies of Atlas Shrugged. Or better yet, don't.

    -lee, typing this on his FreeBSD-only box
  • Since I bought my 2nd-hand machine w/ Linux preinstalled, I guess I have to pass on this. It's such a good feeling to know that bg isn't anywhere near my 'puter.

  • I run all Power Macs...I do have a copy that came with Connectix Virtual PC. It came free with my G3 so if I returned it and got money back that would be like stealing from Apple/Connectix. Connectix makes good software.

  • I would return mine, since I never used it, but it got stolen when my dorm was broken into last year.. That and a Zip drive that I didn't use anymore because of the Click of Death..

    Some people..
  • Well, when I bought my machine, it had Windose pre-installed. It was win3.1 (not 3.11!) and it was a legal copy - not so common for home user in our lands, which are called "country of one diskette". And I admit using it.
    Since then my hardware went a chain of upgrades which basically left nothing but dust to remain from the original configuration. And the software got upgraded to Linux - now 2.2.0pre8. So my computer never got in touch with windws more recent than 3.1 - and I have thus nothing to return or complain. And I feel good for it!

    On the other site, in our lands it would be almost impossible to return it unless you buy it from very respected company's reseller - which going to cost you about additional 50% of price. Others just won't understand what you are talking about.
  • I would, but I built my system from scratch, AND I actually have to use Windows NT to do work related things.
  • ... return my win95, I can't. I require it for the sole purposes of running Half-Life and You Don't Know Jack.

    Hmmm... well, and Quicken (tax time, y'know ;). I suppose I could do that in linux, but my accountant likes things in Quicken, and I figure I can suffer through a little windows use better than I can suffer through an audit... ;)

    rickf@transpect.SPAM-B-GONE.net (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

  • Most of the people that read / use slashdot are geeks. We use or at the very least know about alternate operating systems (from BeOS to Mac to BSD to Linux and even SCO, SUN and AIX). How many people actually *buy* computers from Dell or Compaq for home use just to get it home and reformat the harddrive and do god knows what to it (like overclock with a water-cooled heatsink). Most of the people here are going to purchace from a place where you can get Linux (or BeOS or Mac or whatever) installed, and are going to purchace from a smaller company that a friends owns or such. I personally bought from a small company in Arizona, and got exactly the video card I wanted with the RAM I wanted and the Motherboard with the options I wanted. Lets face it, we're not afraid to do this because we're not afraid to jiggle the video cable a little if the screen is black, or even *gasp* open the case and examine the card. The only OEM stuff I have is stuff from work, and as a contractor, I really can't pull NT off of my workstation and install Linux to administrate the NT environment. Sure there are probably tools to allow me to engage in administration duties, but I'm not a permanent member here, and this isn't my PC to play with (although, I've gotta admit, I'm using spare cycles on this PC to crack RC5). Fact of the matter is that we're not going to have OEM's to deal with as we are for the most part buying non-EULA PC's.
  • will they refund my win 3.11 (if i find all disks?!)


  • Sorry...
    1) My only bought system came from gateway with Win 3.1, before Linux was out.

    2) I need 95 - otherwise I can't play some games, do some work stuff, etc...
  • Many /.ers including myself are guilty of saying that Per-System or Per-Model licensing is a violation or a loophole in the consent decree. I looked up the consent decree [tqn.com] and found that

    (G) Microsoft's revenue from a License Agreement for any Covered

    Product shall not be derived from other than Per Copy or Per System

    Licenses, as defined herein. In any Per System License:

    So Per-Model or Per-System licenses are kosher per the consent decree. (The consent decree as a whole is a highly recommended read).
  • Basically, the M$ guy is saying that they don't care about it. Won't harm them, as (they think) the grip on OEMs won't loosen - OEMs don't want it to loose, they grew dependent on M$ - and it is indeed very good for M$.

    No, I'm not crazy. The idea is that the bigger this "refund day" gets, the more Bill can show to the courts that he doesn't have a monopoly. He is smart, everytime we try to outsmart him we get hurt or he gets richer or both.

  • I would venture to say that the whole reason MS put that refund clause in the EULA was because of the 1995 consent decree that prevents them from doing per-processor Licensing fees. But if you think about it, If you charge the vendors who require you to purchase windows less than vendors who give you a choice, it's the same damn thing. So if you can't getting a refund, the net effect is still the same as if they still had per-processor licensing.

    company A requires you to purchase windows with every machine, and gets OEM win98 for 45 bucks.

    company B doesn't require it, and they sell 90% systems with windows, and 10% non-ms systems and pay $50 bucks for OEM win98.

    If they each sell 100 computer systems, MS gets $4,500 from each company. So, charging different dealers different prices is effectively the same as per-processor licensing, and still gets MS the same money they were getting before. This is why I contend that the refund clause in the EULA was to satisfy the DOJ with the 1995 consent decree. MS can say that it's the responsibility of the OEM's, and I guess you can say it is, but I'll bet you that if a manufacturer takes too many refunds, it will translate to higher prices from MS. It may even be that the OEM must cut their losses, and whatever they give you for the return is straight from their pocket. This is a seriously screwed up situation, and should the OEM's refuse to give refunds due to this, it might could be considered a violation of the 1995 consent decree.

    There may be a solution if MS decides not to take these people seriously. Can you say "class action lawsuit" boys and girls? I thought you could :)
  • by Forge ( 2456 )
    The only "complete" ( as in store bought, single box, Name brand" ) PCs I have ever owned were a coleco Adam ( how many Slashdot have ever seen that ? ) and an IBM AT ( The Original ).

    The 1st didn't run much MS software ( not sure about the basic ). The second ran DOS and I used it extensively.

    All the MS software I have now is BETA testing stuff. All legit. All $0. All valuable education. ( I still find it amusing when the people who tell me Windows is better than Linux are shelling out money to have me fix Windows for them. ).
  • Ditto (on the subject line).
  • I NEVER had any license from microsoft !!!!
    (made my intel box myself -

    my bebox isn't M$ realted -

    maybe some stuff in my atari falcon might be m$

  • I've got at least 3 or so copies of NT workstation and one copy of NT server that I and my employer will never use because these machines are Linux only boxes and the NT copies are utterly superfluous (We've a site license, believe it or not...). We're going to attempt a refund request on the date specified. All of you out there should too if you meet the criteria and have a Microsoft product covered by the EULA (Note: At least some copies of Windows 98 don't have the standard EULA with it- they've got some other license with them, according to the rumors going around. Make SURE you've got the EULA as a license for the software...)
  • This is what a monopoly can leverage. Since they will not allow choice, I would like to stick my copy of MS95/Office that came with my top of the line Gateway Solo up the asshole of Bill Gates.

    If the DOJ keeps playing the wimp and does not use some muscle, the MS destiny will be complete.

    You have no choice. You as a consumer will use what Bill Gates dictates you to use. Unless you are on the edge an use Linux or BSD or an Apple or Solaris or .... May times not be hard enough for them to be bought out by The Monopoly (tm).

  • So, as I read this, MS sez "OEMs must make their own decisions." I.e. MS will not refund OEM money. Not surprising: MS sold the OEMs the right to install MS products on all their pc's for a given price, or some very low price per pc. But the retail price of these products is quite high, ~$100 for windows, several hundred for Office. Neither MS nor the OEMs can afford a significant number of people demanding the refund...

    I think what MS is saying is "We sell such a high volume, we can stand the nuts making a fast buck off us, and so can the OEMs. It's still a good racket." Which it is. But we can still get some PR, personal satisfaction, and $ from doing this :)

    Poll idea: which brand of machines/architecture do you buy (for yourself, not work), or do you roll your own intel or alpha? I haven't bought an MS OS in quite a while, not since my original copy of win95 (needed for game programming bfore linux glide :)
  • MS's PR flack said:

    "We consider this a PR stunt by some Unix guys." -- Adam Sohn, M$ PR Flunkie.

    That rubs me JUST the wrong way.

    AS IF "some Unix guys" that were just fucking around with some stupid OS back in the 70s didn't build the Internet with it. AS IF most of the best software in the world has arisen from UNIX and its decendants!


    that really, really ticked me off. Gross generalizations like that get people in trouble.
  • > Sohn added that Microsoft has no plans to > orchestrate a counter-demonstration emphasizing > customers' "high satisfaction" with Windows.

    I repeat, to the best of my knowledge, there is NO B3 bomber.

    Sounds familiar? We have NO plans to emphasize "high satisfaction" even though we just emphasized that in this same sentence.

    I also like the fact that "high satisfaction" is in quotes :).

    I'll give MS this much, they know the power that language can have on thought.

  • It seams like fun but none of the twenty or so
    computers I own could even run windows wihout
  • My wife and I both run Linux (with a small partition for IBM PC-DOS and GEOS/New Deal Office) on laptops we bought used. They both had Win95 installed when we got them, but that lasted about as long as it took me to get them to my office. So... no return possible.

  • > The geeks who are unfamiliar with business tend to have a hatred toward Microsoft simply because the company has had an enormous impact on 'their industry'.

    But the geeks who are familiar with business tend to have a hatred toward Microsoft because it unleashes a barrage of crappy products on the previously uninitiated. And it purports to be the Great Innovator. And it uses its cash stockpile as a club against any who would attempt to compete against it.
  • http://www.redhat.com/support/docs/rhl/RHL-5.2-Man ual/install-guide/manual/doc016.html [redhat.com]

    If they can get away from this we can start being truly Windows-free.

  • I have Win3.1 from an OEM license for an older computer, which is no longer in use. I got a free promotional copy of Win'95 upgrade through the ACM programming competition a few years back. I got Win'98 through work, where I have access to an MSDN subscription. I don't need no rebates.

    'Course, that's not to say I use them. Although my hard drive is partitioned about 40/60 for Windows/Linux, usage-wise it's about 0.1/99. (The other 0.9% of the time it's turned off.) Only reason I have so much hard drive space for Windows is because all I have in Windows is games, which typically take 300-400 megs each nowadays. Blah.
  • wait, is linux competition or not? will people be replacing windows with linux, or no?

    hope the gov't attorneys bring this up in the trial...
  • And please stop turning this thing into another Microsoft-bashing campaign. It makes Linux users look so immature. It is very simple. According to the EULA you get with your pre-installed windows, you can get a refund. If you want it that bad (I personally would, but that is beside the point) go through all the trouble and in the end you will probably get it. It might take a few months, and you might have to invest some money in legal advice, but of course the EULA is quite clear and even Microsoft would not try to wriggle its way out of it. My point is: remain your dignity and calm while you adress Microsoft, it is better for yourself, Linux and 'our' public image.

    Also, I think it is wrong to think of Microsoft as 'the enemy'. Why? Because we are all in this IT business together. All workers, Microsoft, Linux, or whatever else you have, contribute something to the general progress of the computer 'knowledge'.
    Microsoft did invent some good things too. Remember that a lot of good companies just got bought by them, so those people did not belong to Microsoft before. Are they suddenly bad programmers because of a takeover?

    Think of it this way: alienating capable Microsoft programmers is a dumb thing to do, because you should try to get them to work on Linux projects. Only Linux doesn't have any money to offer, so they should get drawn to the 'bright' side by 'warm fuzzy feelings' for Linux, its projects, or its people. The way Microsoft-users are adressed by Linux-users in general, I can't imagine it will install any goodwill. Let alone have them come to 'our side'.
    ------------------------------------------ --------------
    UNIX isn't dead, it just smells funny...
  • Alot of folks who use a Microsoft based OS do not realise the total cost or "stor value" of the software that they have on their computer. Beside the folks who buy pre-built systems, the folks who build there systems or upgrade their system usually get a copy of the OS from a friend or some other means. Now, i am not try to point fingers at anyone, but if it was completly possible to stop piracy in all its forms, and to prevent folks from abusing "shareware" software, and stop "cracking" of software... then alot of folks would be switch from MS to linux, based on the fact that most of them cannot afford to pay the high prices that is required to attain software these days. Those few of you who were never in the piracy scene may not realize the dept of piracy that runs rampant in the computer industry. Even in companies and schools, managers are forced to either ignore the license of some software because they cannot afford to pay those crazy ammounts of money for software that they need. Maybe it is wrong, but that is not the point. It is happening, and it would not be happening if something was not wrong with the current software system. Microsoft may not have cause it, but they are the symbol of all that is wrong. How we deal with this could decide the next step in the evolution of our species.

    well, this is what happens when you don't sleep for a long long while!
  • so I *could* return it. :P
  • They're just asking for it.. If they don't take this seriously, this could be ammunition against them and potentially a very bad PR move.

    Actually, I hope they don't take this seriously, and this thing blows in their faces.

  • They're the ones who've been in bed so long with Microsoft, they're bound to get venereal diseases.

  • I have a PowerPC, and therefore never had Windows.
    --Eric Guenterberg
    To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first, and call whatever you hit the target"
  • First computer I ever used ... A Coleco Adam ... It even had CP/M!

  • I thought everyone here would be building theirs from parts .. it's not as it that's difficult anymore, and it allows you to know exactly what you're getting ..

    Who here buys pre-built systems? Why!?

  • I have built most of my own computers, except my first 286, and that came with Geoworks, so I don't have a lot to bitch about. The only complete machine I ordered besides the 286 came with command.com and nothing besides, which wasn't needed anyway for my CD-ROM install of Debian.

    I wouldn't recommend the company that sold me the machine for any reason other than not making me buy windows 95, unfortunately.


  • by twl ( 5820 )
    I broke the shrinkwrap back in July for the win98 for my Libretto -- which of course is now running 2.2.0-final. :(
  • I think it's a riot that the same company who was busted trying to orchestrate grass-roots support for themselves, not to mention (allegedly) arranging for positive survey results in a study then used by their DOJ-trial witness, should use the phrase "PR stunt" ANYWHERE.

    One more corporate hypocrisy to file in the "why-slashdotters-flame-microsoft" cabinet.
  • Here's the reply I received from Dell:

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Enterprise Online [mailto:Enterprise_Online@Dell.com]
    Sent: Monday, January 25, 1999 5:04 PM
    To: 'Ben Kimball'; Enterprise Sales Support; Dickerson, Shawne
    Subject: RE: Windows Refund


    I am not aware of this. I have copied our customer service to see if they
    are aware of the program. Rob Myers

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Ben Kimball
    Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 3:41 AM
    To: enterprise_online@exchange.dell.com
    Subject: Windows Refund

    What are your steps involving returning unused copies of Windows? We
    do not
    use Windows, we use SCO Unix. We recently became aware of the fact that you
    will be offering refunds for unused copies of Windows beginning February 15.

    Thank you very much.
  • Well, actually I do have a copy of Win3.1/DOS 5, but hey, I was young and foolish :-) And Linux was pretty unknown in 1992, anyway.

    When I bought a new PPro a couple of years ago, I specifically asked for "No operating system please, thank you very much!", and they agreed without questions.


  • Bought it from VAResearch without Windows. Why waste a trip? But it would be fun, in a sad sort of way.... :-)

  • A) I build all our office/project PC's from parts.
    B) Usually the parts don't include windows
    C) If they did, I suspect my boss would want to
    keep them.

    Good luck to y'all anyway.
  • The only computers I have ever owned are the two I built from scratch. Those don't come with crappy bundles.
  • I wish I could return it. MORE LINUX GAMES PLEASE!
  • What's the use of returning windows cd, when
    you can make a nice clock out of it, or use
    it for shooting practise targer ? Also the box
    is quite good atleast for a target...
    What comes to those "manual"'s one can fire
    up a grill with it :)
  • Since I'm a Mac/LinuxPPC user, Rebate Day doesn't apply, but if I did have Windows, you had better believe I'd be returning that copy.
  • I'd return my 98 perhaps, 'cept MS gave it to me for being a guinea pig, er Beta tester... :) Now it's Linux for me...
    Time flies like an arrow;
  • If I returned Windows, how would the idiots in the house ever use the computer again? They can barely use it now.

    (THEM) Help me use Microsoft publisher!
    (ME) I don't know Microsoft publisher.
    (THEM) Your the computer guy! Help me!
    (ME) (*&^#@(#@ OK! What do you want to do?
    (THEM) Insert a picture
    (ME) OK, let me try then.
    (THEM) But I wan't to do it so I learn.
    (ME) I have to do it cause I don't know how.
    (ME : search through menus until I find the correct entry)
    (THEM) Oh, so that's how you do it.
    (ME : Nearly strangle them for being too afraid to actaully try to work things out)

    Let these people near a command line? Hell, let them near my standard Window Maker/GNOME combo? KDE? I don't think so. I get annoyed enough by the moron level questions as it is. An entire new OS is far to far above these people. Even if it is massively superior

    Of course, if the machine was just for me Windows would never be installed (point to clause in EULA at point of sale, before paying). Not that this would happen, cause I build my own machines.

    Colin Scott
    Final Year Computer Systems Engineering Student
  • Well, I lied. I said I would return a copy... but then I just realized, I don't have any to give back. The only copy of I have belongs to my employer. (First thing I did when I got my new box was slick it. Never even bothered with Windows.)
  • users have a "high satisfaction" with windows?

    These guys really DO live in cloud cuckoo land. This isnt some nice statistical survey - this is the simple fact that most people with computers have never had any non-windows experience.

    Ask any Amiga/Mac/SGI/un*x/Linux/BeOS person who also uses any Microsoft OS whether they have ANY satisfaction with it - I think they'd soon come down to the real world.

    MS may dominate right now - but they'll fall down soon - and very fast too

  • Okay, so MS doesn't pay the oem's for any refunds.
    So nothing will change for ms? Uh.. I dinna think so laddie :>

    Why would any OEM want to renew contracts w/ MS under the same flawed eula? Heck if I were an OEM
    I would only start purchasing an OS AFTER I got the order form completed for my next batch of computers.

    Now then, do I order from MS who told me to slag off about my refunds, or do I spring for a couple thousand copies of linux? (CD pressing anyone?)

    More importantly though it is the concept that customers might want a choice about what they want loaded on their systems that could be the real shift in thinking.

    Q>What would it be like to live in a world where no company just assumes your going to want Windows or NT on your system?

    A>If MS blows this off, we may all find out gratifyingly soon. : )


    ~I've always maintained that one should never tangle with anything that has more teeth than the Osmond family.
  • by arrow ( 9545 )
    I cant stop laughing over this one. I have been telling everyone I know about this in hopes to find some people that fit the requirements for a refund...

    1. People want refunds
    2. MS laughs and says No.
    3. DOJ sees MS go back on EULA
    4. MS gos down in flames.

    Have you helped a newbie install linux today?
    One a day is all it takes. www.redhat.com
  • No copy of windoze for me either...if i had one, i'd turn it in, but i built my machine myself, and i never contaminated my hard drive. slackware was the first thing to inhabit its pristine sectors.
  • Do they accept them with coffee stains on them :)
  • ...when it runs perfectly fine on my computer.
    Of course I don't run that crappy Windows 9X, spending an additional $50 for NT was worth it.
  • Do you really think it's important to tell the entire slashdot readership that you've assembled a pc from separate components, so you don't have a copy of Windows to return?

    Geez, get a life, people. Half the posts for this story basically say just that.

    Firstly, every man and his dog can assemble a pc nowadays. It's really not necessary for you to tell everyone. Secondly, the point of the story is about *bundling* - about buying ready made systems from big OEMs, especially laptop, i.e. not stuff you assemble yourself.

    I really don't give a rat's arse if you assembled a pc from components... something as difficult to do as building something out of lego.

    One or two posts, fine. But so many?

  • The whole refund/protest issue illustrates exactly what the DOJ should be investigating, in my opinion. It's these kind of business practices that are the real crime, not some stupid OS/browser integration. Just points out how ignorant the federal goverment is in tech issues.

    Back to the subject, no Windows here to return either. But if I had a copy...
  • No press release about Windows Refund Day. The lead press release is, interestingly, Why does Microsoft charge so little for Windows? [microsoft.com]

    I wasn't really in the mood to read all the dense economic jargon, but two interesting (albiet contradictory) thoughts crossed my mind:

    • Windows is cheap because Microsoft is always running scared -- real competition or no

    • Windows is actually expensive, as a percentage of the cost of a new computer.

    • The market for operating systems is tied to the market for computers. The optimal number of operating systems will be sold by MS only if the total package is reasonably affordable. So a $ 500 price for Windows would be absurd, since many fewer computers would be sold.

    I'd be curious to hear what others thing about this.


  • Hi all,

    The ZDNET article glossed over the subject rather
    quickly, almost as if wanting to report, but
    fearing some dark menacing force was about to
    stomp out their existence.

    Seriously, "just between the end-user and OEM's"?

    The contract is written BY Microsoft FOR end-users,
    OEM's, and to benefit themselves. MS charges for
    Win?? to be installed on OEM systems, but when
    refund time comes, OEM's pay while MS is free
    of any responsibility. All because of the EULA.

    I think MS has ALOT to do with this refund issue.

    This is another nail in the coffin, but it is also
    a wakeup call to OEM's out there. To be more care-
    ful of the contract they are signing with MS AND
    the contract that MS is dishing out to the end-

    MS is right. OEM's ARE adults and should be able
    to take care of themselves. Should have been
    adult enough to read things carefully and not have
    agreed to something they didn't understand.

    MS is probably going to issue a counter statement
    later in this issue. Why? Because they will have
    realised that once again, they have made light of
    a serious issue, one which will snowball itself
    against their company.

    Because.. if the OEM's realise that there is another
    choice and decide that they've been screwed even
    more deeply than they had originally thought, it
    won't take much more to convince them to more
    seriously consider a split from MS.

    Vote with your dollars. Even if those votes are
    in the negative value range, VOTE WITH YOUR $$$.

    Without a strong OEM foundation, other OS's will
    stand a much better chance of breaking through
    to the OEM's.

    Vote with your dollars.

    I for one am looking forward to Feb 15th to see
    how it will turn out. I've no win?? to refund
    since my system is completely Linux. ^_^;

    - Wing
    - Reap the fires of the soul.
    - Harvest the passion of life.
  • None here, I bought my original computer back in the days of DOS 5.0, and upgraded it one piece at a time every few months... :)
  • "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."

  • I am a more recent convert. I just got my SCSI emulation going for CD burning, so by next month I should be 100% MS free. But I can't return it. :-(
  • the only reason i had to vote "no" on the question of returning WinDOZE on Rebate Day is because i actually use it. hard as it seems. granted, the only reason i use it is to play Starcraft....
  • Reasonably good story from Ms. Foley, one of the better ZDNet writers, but ...

    How can I install the alternative OS BEFORE turning the machine on????

  • But I still need to use the Hebrew version of Office all the time, and that only runs on the Hebrew version of Windows. Anybody wants to put Hebrew/Arabic support for WINE, maybe?
  • SUCK..SUCK..
  • Maybe.

    According to the http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f0000/0047.htm [usdoj.gov] If model ip3xyz ships with 'free' windows 98 the OEM is charged for that license. OEM needs to ship model a computer with a different model number to escape the charge.

  • I've got to say this is one of the better satires comment's I have seen.

    Keep up with the goot work AC.
  • I fixed one once. I still have two TI 99/4As at home.
  • I wish I could do that. But until I get a new computer, and until Linux has better games. I will be forced to live with a fourth rate OS. At least I can spend most of my time in Linux.
  • I have 5 PC's , 2 ACER, 1 COMPAQ & 2 DELL, and all have come with W95 , except the compaq (with NT). I have Linux in all, and i haven't used my copies of Windows.
    I like Windows, but I don't use it.
  • this is so typical of microsoft...nothing phases them...there so full of sh-t
  • Well, in Denmark it's also possible to buy a machine without an OS. A few hardware vendors do not do this, though, as they conclude that if you don't _buy_ an OS, you must be installing an illegal OS on it.
    Their criteria was that they did not sell a machine without OS, so I asked that if I bought a PC, they'd install Linux on it..? Yes, they would - at additional cost. But I'd get Windows in my shopping bag anyway.

    It took me about 2 clock cycles to leave the store and go to another shop, which did not have this policy :-)

    Best regards,

    The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.
  • I have never legally owned a copy of linux, and now that I have 2.2.0 running smoothly (YAY Linus and everyone else!), I never will buy one!
  • This refund day thing is a bad idea - it will backfire. We all know that only a tiny percentage of Windows licences to be returned. Microsoft can then point to a massive level of user satisfaction. If you consider the amount they will pay out, it must be one of the cheapest pro-MS publicity stunts they could invent!
  • The "no copy to return" option should definitely be added to the poll. The way that poll reads is something microsoft would use to prove their point.
  • ...but not only have I never paid for a copy of Windows in my life, I actually need the damned thing to run Starcraft, at least until WINE becomes 100% Windows-compatible.

    I do support the principle of the thing, though. Go, Windows Refunders! Rah rah rah!
  • Neat.. if at least the 737 people who answered "yes" to the poll return their copiefs of windows, and they all get at least $50, (could be more!), that's almost $37,000 that Microsoft loses in one day! Not much, but still rather satisfying. :)
  • I am starting a business (legalities are being completed) in which we plan on making VME, CompactPCI, single-board, and embedded PPC (some custom jobs of 8xx series) systems. We will use true POSIX compliant OSes (VxWorks, LynxOS, etc.) and hope to show you why Linux is best on a mac. If you have requests, reply.
  • That's probably true. But since they've already paid Microsoft for the license,that doesn't make them very keen on shipping other operating systems. It probably costs them more to ship a blank hard drive than a hard drive with Windows, because it disrupts the normal assembly process.
    I think this is a perfect example of Microsoft's stranglehold on the industry.
  • Technically, OEM's don't have to _install_ the MS OS on every machine, but they do have to _pay_ for it, no? ZD seems to have missed that little detail.

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus