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Microsoft Urges Vendors Not To Sell ‘Naked’ PCs

The convicted monopolist from Redmond is at it again. This time the target is PCs that are not preinstalled with an OS. I hope the PC vendors in the UK would not take heed to this veiled threat.

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.

5 responses to “Microsoft Urges Vendors Not To Sell ‘Naked’ PCs”.

  1. EngLee Says:

    Good point you have there. Anyhow, I don’t think Microsoft can take any action to force vendors to sell PCs with their OS. It’s actually the consumers who make the decision. Vendors will probably be selling according to market demand, if consumers are unite enough.

  2. Jonathan Says:

    I would agree that this really may be the beginning of another strong arming tactic by Microsoft, but then again, I would not really consider myself the average PC consumer.

    When you think about it, the average user does not care about whether or not Microsoft is strongarming them into using Windows, as a matter of fact, they welcome the OS with open arms. When they finally figure out how to plug their PC’s cables in correctly, they want to be able to turn it on and start using it. A PC with an OEM version of Windows will give them this and they would not want to buy a PC without an OS anyways.

    For you and I it is another story though. We know the power of Linux, OSX, etc. and want the flexibility to choose which one we want to run. Personally I think that this will give me another excuse to spend time doing what I like, playing with new hardware, and building my own PC. Microsoft doesn’t control the individual hardware components that I can buy from places like TigerDirect so I can make a PC into anything I want going through them.

    All in all, I don’t think this will affect people in any real sense. In principle this may be a nasty move by Microsoft, but the reality of the situation dictates that the point will be lost in the fray soon.

  3. Dabido (Teflon) Says:

    Some computer places will load Linux on a machine, but they charge for that also … in fact, some of them charge more.

    I tihnk Dell doesn’t give you a choice (not in Aussie anyway), you either take it with Windows, or you don’t get it at all.

    I’m in the process of cleaning up my old desktop so that I can remove WinXP from it, and install a Linux/Solaris dual boot (well, I might leave WinXP on it and make it a triple boot) … anyway, it’s going to be a long process, as I have 120 GB of disk space, and only about 20% of that is free … and that’s after freeing up a lot of that space yesterday by removing about 20 odd games.

    *sigh* I miss programming on my old Linux machine … so, will be good to have this one sorted out! 🙂

  4. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    Eng Lee,
    Au contraire. MS have done it before and continues to do so. When it comes to Windows, it’s not the consumers who are making the decisions… it’s really MS, being the caring company that it is, deciding for them. Mind you, it’s all in the consumers’ “best interest”.

    It is because I agree wholeheartedly with you that I’m disturbed by this move. I grew up on MS technology. I thought MS-DOS was cool. I found Windows 3.x to be a significant improvement. I drooled when I first saw Windows 95.

    However, I also thought that BSODs and crashes are “normal” computing experiences. Imagine my suprise when I found out it shouldn’t be. In addition, imagine the “enlightenment” I received when I found out that “important” computers like servers and mainframes don’t run Windows.

    I too, was an “average consumer”. But because of my exposure to multiple platforms, only then did I discover the power and flexibility of other OSs. The way I see it, this is not an issue for “me” or “us”… but for “others” who are oblivious to Windows alternatives. MS obviously want to maintain this scenario, but for me, I want others to be informed that there are other better alternatives.

    Such behaviour is, to me, perfectly acceptable for an enterprise. They provide a service and they can place what they feel is a fair price for such services. If they charge for the distro itself, then it’s a different issue altogether.

    My company purchased a Dell server with Red Hat 9.0 (boxed set preinstalled) some time ago. I don’t really know how they priced it, so I can’t comment on that. I think Dell probably will only sell Linux pre-installed computers to companies, but this is just my assumption. Dell is known to be a close ally of Microsoft.

    I used to tri-boot XP, Linux and OpenBSD on my home box. Removed the OpenBSD slices because admittedly, it’s way over my league. I’d definitely give it another swing, when I get more “disposable income” to purchase another hard disk 😛

    Thanks for commenting guys. I sincerely appreciate it.

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