I’m against this move not only because I’m a advocate of Open Source software, particularly Linux, but also because this iniquitous “suggestion” by Microsoft is detrimental to small IT businesses. The way Microsoft approached this issue is as if all these “naked” PCs will be installed with pirated versions of its OS and applications. This is not always the case.
There are a lot of reasons why customers refuse to pay the Microsoft Tax. One obvious reason is that they do not want Windows on their systems (believe it or not). Although many mainstream PC vendors claim that their computers come “pre-installed” with Windows, a lot of knowledgable consumers know that the cost of Windows has been included in the selling price. The worse thing is that you don’t really own that Windows OS of yours. You can’t sell it off even if you don’t install it on your computer (I’m referring to the OEM version of Windows here, not the boxed set).
I hope that similar “suggestions” by Microsoft would never be implemented in Malaysia. As it is, Malaysia has a thriving and independant custom-made PC market. I would like to see this market grow as it makes computing more affordable for Malaysians. However, I do agree that these businesses who are engaged in piracy should be prosecuted. If you can’t pay Microsoft prices, there are always legal alternatives.