26 September 2007

The Beginning of the End for the OEM Tax?

I wrote recently about the call to unbundle operating systems from PCs, but without much hope it would ever be heeded. Maybe I was too pessimistic:

The ruling by a French court according to which the manufacturer Acer has to refund the purchase price of the preinstalled software that the notebook buyer in question does not use to the notebook buyer, has been welcomed by proponents of the sale of PCs and notebooks without preinstalled software. In the case that has now been made public the court ruled (PDF file) that Acer, over and above the sum of 30 euros it had previously agreed to pay, was obliged to refund the plaintiff the complete sum he had paid for the software he had subsequently returned.

The total of 311.85 euros of the overall purchase price of the notebook of 599 euros that Acer was forced to pay back 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. On top of that Acer had to pay a further 650 euros in, among other things, legal costs.

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