Readers to OpenBytes may remember that a couple of years ago, I like many people bought a PC of my choice only to have Windows pre-installed.  It was unwanted, it was uneeded and presumably this forced inclusion, added to the claimed “sales figures” of Windows.  I enquired about a refund and after a little to and fro, found it was possible albeit a rather convoluted and maybe intentionaly weary return process where my machine could be striped of Windows and a recompense given.

An encouraging story from the pages of TechWorld which details a user with far more tenacity than me states:

A French laptop buyer has won a refund from Lenovo after a four-year legal battle over the cost of a Windows license he didn’t want. The judgment could open the way for PC buyers elsewhere in Europe to obtain refunds for bundled software they don’t want..

Source: Techworld

I imagine after much manovering and squirming the news that the laptop buyer has finally achieved justice will come as a refreshing conclusion in a world where consumers shouldn’t be forced into paying for items they don’t want:

After reconsidering the case, on Jan. 9, Judge Jean-Marie Dubouloz ordered Lenovo to pay Petrus legal costs of €1,000 (around US$1,300), damages of €800 and to refund the cost of the Windows license. Petrus had estimated the cost of the software at €404.81, but the court found that excessive, given that he had paid €597 for the PC and software together. Observing that “it is commonly accepted that the price of a piece of software represents 10 percent to 25 percent of the price of a computer,” the court ordered Lenovo to reimburse Petrus €120 for the software…

Source: Techworld

So maybe the old saying “the customer is always right” holds wieght with Judge Dublouloz.

A good link to bookmark would be the global campaign group “No More Racketware” which can be found at http://no.more.racketware.info/index and they have numerous projects aimed at people who want to become involved in ensuring that the future of computer is not one which software is forced onto users.

Thats good news for the consumer and in my opinion not so good on companies like Microsoft who have for so long ruled the computing world with software crammed onto a harddisk with no thought for what the end-user wants or needs.

I suppose Microsoft can always resort to plan B though – “If you can’t make the products people want to buy, skim a little off the top of those that do” (in respect of its patent aggression)

Tim (Goblin)

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