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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Tax is 1/3 Price of French Laptop (heise.de) 1

kripkenstein writes: According to a recent court case in France, almost one third of the cost of a particular Acer laptop goes to Microsoft, while another portion goes to other software vendors:

The total of 311.85 euros of the overall purchase price of the notebook of 599 euros [...] was made up of 135.20 euros for Windows XP Home, 60 euros for Microsoft Works, 40.99 euros for PowerDVD, 38.66 euros for Norton Antivirus and 37 euros for NTI CD Maker.
In the ruling, Acer was forced to refund the cost of the software, which the purchaser returned and did not want. If this price ratio is representative of other computers, is the 'Windows Tax' even worse than previously speculated, especially with more expensive Microsoft OSes such as XP Professional or Vista Home Premium and above?

Security

Submission + - Government sale of used storage tapes not a risk? (networkworld.com) 1

coondoggie writes: "There is little risk of the government exposing personal data or state secrets by reselling its used magnetic storage tapes, the General Accounting Office reported today. The Federal Government is the largest user of magnetic tape in the world snapping up one million reels annually, experts say and a large secondary market that buys and resells thee tapes has grown up around it. Critics say federal agencies are selling used magnetic tapes containing sensitive government data to companies which then resell them to the general public. Congress too has been concerned that magnetic tapes containing sensitive government data have become available to the public. The GAO report says there is no general legal requirement that the government erase all data on all magnetic tapes before disposing of them. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/19807"

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