Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

French Judge Orders Refund For Pre-Installed XP

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the and-good-riddance dept.

The Courts 663

Racketiciel writes "A French user asked for a refund after buying an ASUS computer that came with Windows XP and other software pre-installed. ASUS tried to apply a procedure which cost more money to the consumer than they will give back... The court ruled in favor of the user, who received back 130 Euro (~200 $) for the software. Here is the ruling (PDF, French). In France, this is the fourth victory for refund seekers during the last two years, and many people are now filing for refunds (in French). Two French associations (AFUL and April) published a press release on this victory the same day an important hearing happened." The English-language press release linked above gives a pretty good idea of what happened here, for those unsuited to wading through French.

cancel ×

663 comments

I for one... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458114)

welcome our anti-XP French overlords.

French (-1, Troll)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458122)

Can't MS just send some programmers over there to take over the country?
It's not like they'd put up a fight...
// joke

Re:French (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458194)

What pathetic little shit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_resistance

Re:French (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458224)

Heil Clippy!!!

Re:French (1, Offtopic)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458228)

What is with all this France bashing from the US. You do realize of course that if it were not for France the United States would exist and most likely you would be part of Canada.

Re:French (0, Offtopic)

MikeUW (999162) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458286)

If not for the French, Canada wouldn't have Quebec either...

Re:French (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458320)

It's really just a long-running joke, without any real origin that I know of. Other stereotypes:
1) Africans are poor
2) English are pompous
3) Germans and Irish drink a lot
4) Russians are smart
5) South American's smuggle drugs
6) Australians say "G'day mate" and are wilderness nuts
7) Japanese are very smart
8) Indians are cheap labor
9) Chinese all make crappy products all day

and on and on. Every country has stupid stereotypes, I'm sure some countries see American's as all cowboys or some other equally ridiculous thing...

Re:French (0, Flamebait)

iNaya (1049686) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458404)

But... all those stereotypes are mostly true. What was your point?

Re:French (0, Flamebait)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458456)

The point is that the French being afraid/surrendering is a long running joke. I'd suggest the joke has its origins in the take-over of France in BOTH world wars, as well as the cowardliness shown by the French against the German's.

There was an Australian (I think) commander who said something along the lines of "I'd rather have 3 German Divisions in front of me than 1 French Division behind me". Of course that could just be a joke buried deep in my psyche (German Blood) but there it is.

Re:French (4, Interesting)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458608)

What surprises me is that the French got labelled as surrender-happy, when Norway, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg all did the same thing, not to mention the Italians which switched sides in both world wars to avoid being the losing side.

Btw France fought tooth and nail in the first world war, so its not from that (and it certainly wasn't taken over, you might want to brush up on history a bit :P ).

Learn from history (4, Insightful)

aepervius (535155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458702)

You MUST be an american. I know of no german speaking like this. For a simple reason : they get history taught in college there. France was not "taken over" in both world war, only 1. The "great war" the trench/battle limit went back and forth north of France, but nobody took over France. For the second war, what did you expect them ? To die like a single man ? Are you for real ? You are aware that "die in honor" is an outdated previous century concept, and all modern commander would accept surrendering ? There was no cowardiness shown by france during WW2, don't get me started also on resistance and the work thereof under extremly awful condition (torture, execution, hostage killing etc...). And by perpetuating this mostly US joke, all you show is your pettiness of spirit. Jeez and I bet you will be one of the first to complain that french give you the finger.

Re:French (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458544)

Since when are Russians smart? The common joke is that they're just smart enough to make fun of the Polish (that is, not very smart).

Re:French (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458626)

Russians are smart? That really seems like the odd-man out on your list. I've honestly never heard that stereotype before.

Re:French (0, Troll)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458430)

Yes, and likewise if not for the U.S., Paris would have been renamed "Hitlerstadt" and we'd all be speaking German.

Re:French (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458498)

actually the russians did all the hard work to win the war http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II , so mebe you could argue that Paris would be Doestroyevskigrad or something.

Re:French (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458562)

And if not for the US, paris would be called pufter-grad and we'd all be speaking russian

Re:French (1)

Ravon Rodriguez (1074038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458724)

It's likely that the world would be a very different place without France, without the US, and without any other major power. We all have lots to be thankful for to each other. Can't we all just get along?

English grass (1, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458490)

What is with all this France bashing from the US. You do realize of course that if it were not for France the United States would exist and most likely you would be part of Canada.
And if we were part of canada we'd all be speaking english now.

As for the ruling. When do two wrongs make a right? This seems like a very meddlesome court. Sure they are fighting the excesses of bundling when monopoly software is involved. But I'd rather see them attack the root of the problem than set lousy practices like this as precedent.

As they say when elephants fight the grass gets hurt. Asus is the grass.

Re:English grass (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458580)

When do two wrongs make a right?
What's wrong with a consumer having rights, and not being forced to buy something they don't want because it's tied by a convicted monopolist to something they *do* want?

The *real* second wrong here is that the person had to go to court to get what they should have been able to buy in the first place.

Re:French (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458232)

Can't MS just send some programmers over there to take over the country?
It's not like they'd put up a fight...


Congratulations! You have just won the "dumb fuck post of the week" award.

Re:French (4, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458422)

Can't MS just send some programmers over there to take over the country?
It's not like they'd put up a fight...


You mean, like they did when they defeated the British Army and won the American War of Independence?

Re:French (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458578)

Microsoft defeated the British?

Re:French (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458630)

dont feed the trolls

Re:French (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458684)

I swear...the lengths some french people will go to so as to not be forced to speak english.

I'm surprised it's so much (3, Interesting)

Ctrl+V (1136979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458130)

I don't know that I have anything solid to base this on, but I've always guessed that the real cost per copy that larger systems makers have to pass on to Microsoft is more in the $30 range.

Re:I'm surprised it's so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458260)

It's even less than that. If you're an MCSE you can buy shrinkwrapped oem copies for about that much, less actually. If you go to a Configure to order system where they have the price breakdowns, the retail componant of the computer OS is like $15. So what this does is show that bad French judges aren't any deeper thinkers than any other bad judges the world over, and that Europeans deserve the punishing retail prices they "enjoy." That's the net effect, an across the board increase in computer margins "just in case of French" and since the French are part of the EU might be smart to do it for all of Europe. It's amazing that they managed to produce a decision so likely to encourage cartel like behavior in such a brutally competative market.

Indeed any other option than one of a selection of carfully crafted windows images WOULD cost the consumer more as it's a nich that would require logistics which isn't developed for most of these companies. How many linux desktops would one have to sell to justify that expense, and how much marketshare is that in light of the various competators the most crafty of which are the do it yourself'ers. Sure for enterprise customers, it makes a lot of sense. Outside of that you're talking about real money (maybe not a lot of it though) for some sliver of a fraction.

That will force them to give options (4, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458398)

If you look at the extra USD100 as punitive damages it is not so bad.

This will force the PC vendors (in France anyway) to provide better Linux options.

Re:That will force them to give options (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458634)

How is bundling Linux with a computer any different than bundling Windows? If there's no extra cost involved (ie, one of the many free distros) then, presumably, that's fine. Bundling anything that implies a "tax" would still get the same treatment (if people complain that is).

Re:That will force them to give options (5, Insightful)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458640)

It doesn't force them to consider Linux at all, there's no law on the books that says "if Windows is a pain in the ass, you must offer Linux."

What it will do is encourage the companies to not force bundled software. Either they'll make a point of selling bare-bones PC's, or they'll start honoring refund requests. If their licensing with Microsoft prevents that, then maybe they'll consider another operating system (which Microsoft would never allow to happen, Microsoft will just lower the price of licensing to make sure sales continue).

Nothing says it'd have to be Linux, it could be joe schmoes Perl-based OS if that's what Asus thought was a good deal for customers.

Re:That will force them to give options (1)

Hymer (856453) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458708)

No, it will not. There is another ruling that says something like: "a PC without OS can not be considered a functional PC, it is either defective (since it can't boot) or spare parts".
They have to provide something.

I see that the French term for OS is... (4, Funny)

jejones (115979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458134)

.."système d'exploitation". In the case of Windows, that seems appropriate.

Re:I see that the French term for OS is... (5, Funny)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458410)

The best part is that the abbreviation is SEX. It's not even a joke.

Re:I see that the French term for OS is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458482)

I don't know where you got that. I'm french speaking (not a citizen from the Hexagone, there are other countries that speak french) and I never heard that before. The closest would be sysex, but I've seen more SE than 'sex'.

(There is a 'geek vs. sex' joke in there I think. Sorry about that, t'was unintended.)

Tax on Microsoft (0, Troll)

postmortem (906676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458152)

This is same thing as $2mil/day charge ... milk ones that got money, especially if they are not EU companies..

How does this make sense? (0, Flamebait)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458156)

To me this feels like she bought a car with power windows and AC then went back to the place that sold her the vehicle and forced them to take out the parts. Not only that but then pay her money for the value of window motors and air-conditioning as if they had been bought separately. She knew what came with it when she bought it, why should the company be forced to refund those features she later decided she no longer needed?

Its not like there aren't other computers on the market without those features.

Re:How does this make sense? (4, Insightful)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458192)

Do Asus sell computers without Windows pre-installed in France? My French isn't good enough to find out, so if you could provide the link to this, it would be much appreciated for the rest of us /. readers not au fait with French.

Re:How does this make sense? (5, Informative)

kbdd (823155) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458360)

ASUS in France offers to buy back the Windows license, but the user must ship the computer two ways at his own expense, and he gets only 25 Euros back for the Windows license, and ASUS can keep the computer as long as they want to do that. French law forbids tie-ins, such as forcing someone to buy a computer with an OS already installed. The court felt that the 25 Euros combined with the cost of shipping the computer both ways and the fact that the procedure had undetermined duration was effectively discouraging the user from using that capability. Therefore ASUS lost.

Re:How does this make sense? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458206)

I call bullshit, even as I'm forced to post AC.

The fact is it is very hard to find systems without the operating system at the same cost as you would find from a place that sells enough systems with windows preinstalled for the total hardware cost to be cheaper. In fact, its impossible, unless you want to prove me wrong.

The fact is, Windows is being FORCED on people.

Re:How does this make sense? (4, Interesting)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458280)

The fact is, Windows is being FORCED on people.
Next time you buy a computer order it without a hard drive, and then order whatever hard drive you want separately... this has worked for me several times in the past.

Re:How does this make sense? (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458310)

Next time you buy a computer order it without a hard drive, and then order whatever hard drive you want separately... this has worked for me several times in the past.
A good idea, but it does not protect the millions of other people who don't know how to install a hard drive but wouldn't want Windows XP / Vista if they had the choice.

Re:How does this make sense? (5, Informative)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458408)

Those people don't care about the choice and wouldn't know how to make it if one were present. The exceptions to that statement buy Macs.

Re:How does this make sense? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458256)

Except that, the power windows and AC didn't come with paperwork, provided only after the sale, that not only said "you must agree with this", but also "if you don't, give it back and you'll get a refund for it".

Re:How does this make sense? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458274)

I would look at it more like buying a 1970's Ford Pinto. It came preinstalled from the factory with a new fuel component that had a fantastic new feature. Some times during brisk driving, the sudden mixture of gasoline and air, combined with a slight vibration, would result in some quite "super-tropical" temperatures being exhibited in your vehicle. Upon experiencing this feature, some customers disliked it and requested that Ford immediately remove it from their vehicle.

Why should Ford have had to remove this feature from their vehicle when the consumer already knew it existed when they purchased it? Surely they had read the reviews beforehand.

Well, as it turned out, the courts sided with the consumer in this case as well.

It's just another example of the consumer taking advantage of the trust of helpless corporations.

When will this madness end?

Re:How does this make sense? (5, Insightful)

countach (534280) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458302)

Does your car dealer sell you a car, you drive it away, then when you go to use the power windows it pops up an EULA with onerous terms that you don't agree to?

Re:How does this make sense? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458356)

Does your car dealer sell you a car, you drive it away, then when you go to use the power windows it pops up an EULA with onerous terms that you don't agree to?
While power windows don't come with an EULA, what about a satnav system? These typically start with requiring you to accept an agreement. Even more interesting, since thay require acceptance every time the car is used, whait if one decided to reject it a year after buying the car?

Re:How does this make sense? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458308)

Here in France it's forbidden by law to sell a product only if you also buy another: the customer must be able to buy it alone. You car analogy is bad because the "whole" car is considered as a single product, while the computer is a product without it's operating system. And even if you don't agree with this concept or anything, that's not the point here: since it's forbidden by law, any customer who asks a refund (without previously using the packed Windows of course) will win in court. That doesn't mean they have to sell computers without operating systems at all, they only need to give a *real* way to get a refund. Not asus' crappy "yeah we keep your computer for a month and you pay the shipping too, then we give you back 30euros".

Re:How does this make sense? (2, Insightful)

infaustus (936456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458440)

Why is a car considered a single product, while a computer including an operating system is not? The computer is pretty useless without an operating system. This law is stupid because if consistently applied it would lead to unbelievably absurd outcomes.

Re:How does this make sense? (3, Funny)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458658)

Only if its applied by stupid people, for whom common sense is a little too much to ask. My guess is you have spent too much time in the US.

Re:How does this make sense? (5, Insightful)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458336)

Thats complete and utter BS.

If I wanted an ASUS Computer, I should be able to buy JUST THAT. Most manufacturers still dont have a "No OS" option for their configured systems, and I'm damn sure that there isn't a single computer sold in a retail store that has "No OS" as an optional package(at least in the US).

Look, if the guy doesn't want to pay the Microsoft Tax, then he shouldn't have to. Last time I checked, they were 2 completely seperate companies, ASUS and Microsoft. Imagine that if every manufacturer pre-installed a $1000 copy of Adobe CS3 and you couldn't opt out of it, wouldn't you be a little pissed off? Wouldn't you feel that you'd have the right to get your money back for something you didn't want in the first place? This isn't the slightest bit different. Not to mention the whole EULA problem. If you can't see the EULA before you purchase something, you can't just say "Oh, well, I won't buy this then". If he didn't agree with the EULA upon starting his computer (which it may not have even appeared, if ASUS preinstalled XP, which would create a whole new problem in itself) then he has every right to tell ASUS to kiss his ass and give him his money back.

Re:How does this make sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458368)

what a hissy fit response, there ARE other companies than ASUS. ASUS can sell/offer any product they like, you do not need to buy from them. I thought this was a dead horse already. No, you do not have the right to choose what products companies sell. Your part as a consumer is limited to one vote: buy or no-buy. This is a bad precedent for businesses.
I can see now customers going to swap parts in cars, stereo equipments, etc. Hey, the VW bug has those blue-glow dials in the dashboard. I think they are crap and i don't like them - should the dealer be obliged to refund the retail cost of the blue-glowing dashboard? didn't think so

Re:How does this make sense? (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458412)

Stop with the crap-ass car analogy, its the dead horse. A car is 1 product, whereas ASUS's computer and Microsoft's XP are each 1 separate product. You're right, I don't have a right to choose what products a company sells, but I should have the right as to which I want to buy! If ASUS made the OS and sold it with the computer as 1 product, then yes, you're SOL. Nobody should have to pay the microsoft tax just to buy the computer they want

Re:How does this make sense? Easily (5, Informative)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458386)

Your analogy is not sound, you _can_ buy a car without power windows or AC, it's extremely difficult to buy a computer without a Microsoft operating system.

The computer was sold with XP pre-installed & a "shrink-wrapped" EULA. She wanted a computer but not XP, but was unable to buy a computer without XP pre-installed. This is generally called "The Microsoft Tax", because people who buy computers in order to run other Operating Systems (yes there are others) are forced to pay this tax.

She didn't want to pay this "tax" so asked to be refunded the cost of XP.

Re:How does this make sense? Easily (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458560)

it's extremely difficult to buy a computer without a Microsoft operating system
Not really [apple.com]

Re:How does this make sense? (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458400)

I have never heard of a car manufacturer that claims you have the right to take a car back and have the AC and windows taken out in the way that the EULA claims that you have the right to not accept Windows. Yes, she knew when she bought it that she had the right to take the copy of Windows back and they, as they always do, tried to get out of paying the refund. Read the EULA. That is if you even accept that there is any legal enforcability in an agreement made before you have the right to find out what you are getting. I prefer the option where the EULA has no legal basis and for that reason I do not like this case. It is only the right decision if you are in favour of EULAs.

Re:How does this make sense? (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458442)

Except that it's trivial to remove an OS from a computer.

Re:How does this make sense? (2, Insightful)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458550)

Whilst it may be trivial to remove an OS from a computer, it's certainly not trivial to get refunded for something you do not want. In this case it took a court case.

Re:How does this make sense? (4, Funny)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458602)

To me this feels like she bought a car with power windows and AC then went back to the place that sold her the vehicle and forced them to take out the parts.

Nah, that's a bullshit analogy. That's like your saying that a car needs power windows or AC to be usable - it's as if you're saying that an OS is an optional extra.

To be really useful cars, whether or not they have AC, need roads. Even off-road cars don't last long without them. Roads are the things that facilitate the application of the tool (car) to the task (transport), much like computer operating systems are to computers.

For a better analogy, try this:

To me this feels like she bought a car with power windows and AC then went back to the place that sold her the vehicle, complained that it only allowed her to drive between the car dealer, a MacDonalds and the local infectious diseases clinic, charged tolls on otherwise free roads and the stereo automatically put earplugs in the ears of her passengers when she listened to the stereo. She forced them to allow her to drive her car wherever the fuck she wanted and give her a new stereo.

See the difference?

I'm torn about this subject (1, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458162)

You bought what you bought. If you took the XP as part of the package, you should be stuck with it. You knew what the EULA was. Don't like it? Choose one of the many systems from another vendor that come with Linux or no OS.

But... It's not the OEM's job to decide for you what software to run. If you want just the computer with no OS on it you should have that option. If people use declining the EULA to work around the fact that OEMs don't offer no-OS options or the crudware is just offensive, I guess that's the best we can do.

If enough people did this, the no-OS option would become available. But... society is too litigious already and more of this doesn't help.

Can't we all just get along?

Re:I'm torn about this subject (4, Insightful)

Winckle (870180) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458208)

You knew what the EULA was. Don't like it?


But if i'm not mistaken the EULA does say "Click Disagree" and then take it back for a refund?

Re:I'm torn about this subject (3, Insightful)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458238)

I have no idea what the EULA is. If I found something distasteful in it, I have the option of refusing and returning the software (the software itself generally says this).

How can I agree to something I haven't read yet?

Re:I'm torn about this subject (1)

edschurr (999028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458592)

If you know about software EULAs and software refund policies then you ought to find the EULA beforehand online to ensure you will agree with it.

Re:I'm torn about this subject (4, Informative)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458242)

The EULA includes the option to reject it. And ProCD, the leading case for the enforceability of EULAs, supports the proposition that a EULA wouldn't be enforceable if you couldn't reject it and return the software for a refund. If people weren't supposed to be free to take advantage of the option, it wouldn't be there. So no, people shouldn't be stuck with it.

Re:I'm torn about this subject (5, Informative)

lixee (863589) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458292)

Tying a product with something else violates article L122-1 of the French law. The argument is that some giant corporation might convince or coerce somebody to bundle one of its products, creating a de facto monopoly. This is the same reason no telecom operator can force you to buy a subscription with your iPhone.

If you don't like the law, stay out of France. The majority of the population here like it very much as it keeps the competition alive and healthy.

Re:I'm torn about this subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458594)

wow, I am amazed. I would be much more proud to be french than an american.

Facilitating a monopoly (5, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458432)

Sure, you have a choice of PC with windows or nothing. It is a packaged deal, but they don't offer choices apart from the monopolistic one.

Unlike USA - where the DOJ's anti-trust ruling has no real impact on MS's business - the Eurpoeans take this more seriously. They feel that there should be options other than the monopolistic one.

Forcing vendors to give back more than the XP cost sends a clear message: give non-MS options or feel the pain.

Re:I'm torn about this subject (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458566)

You bought what you bought. If you took the XP as part of the package, you should be stuck with it. You knew what the EULA was. Don't like it? Choose one of the many systems from another vendor that come with Linux or no OS.

It's against the law to bundle stuff with sales, there's a difference with "get an XS T-shirt for free with this toaster" and "Toaster PLUS XS-T-shirt for only 99.95"

Wait... (2, Insightful)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458166)

Did he know it came with XP Pre-Installed?... If he did, I don't agree with this, if he didn't, then I do, provided it wasn't his own negligence.

ASUS (or wherever distributor) probably has the option of having a barebones components only option for purchasing, so do that, or at least ask if you can get one if its not advertised.

If it says "Comes With Windows XP Pre-Installed"... and he bought it, and then said "hey wait I dont want this"... too damn bad... keep the machine, or send the entire PC back... its not like it failed (jokes aside) as if it was a dud NIC or something...

"ASUS tried to apply a procedure which cost more money to the consumer that they will give back..."

Tried? it seemed to have worked.

Anyone have a more informative non-french link to exactly what he bought, and what was advertised, etc?

Re:Wait... (1)

astrotek (132325) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458246)

So if you a new asus computer for $1000 and return it, they will only give you $800 back. The oem license is also only valid for the motherboard. Where does it stop?

If the computer was $800 with a $200 "setup fee" then he probably wouldn't be able to sue.

Re:Wait... (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458304)

Oh, ok that makes more sense... I was under the impression that he (among others) had bought a new computer that came with XP installed, and he wanted to just return the OS but keep the computer.

An OEM licence costs more than a retail version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458168)

Negro puleeze. I smell BS somewhere here. I seriously doubt ASUS pays $200 for a mere serial. If anything the user should have gotten back something less than $30, as an academic copy of XP can be bought for $30 nowadays. Heck Vista Ultimate Academic is buyable for $43.

Re:An OEM licence costs more than a retail version (1)

woodrad (1091201) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458650)

I have been getting lots of emails about these new low prices.

I get thier reasoning but... (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458172)

I skimmed the translation and didn't see a mention of if the guy bought the computer in a store or if he bought it online. If he bought it online, then I'd definitely say there should be an option to have no OS or another OS installed (since the system is built when he orders it, there's no reason not to do this). However, if he bought it in a store, then he was well aware that Windows was already on the machine before he bought it and IMHO he doesn't have room to complain then about purchasing something he didn't want when he wasn't forced to buy the system at all and was well aware of what was on it in the first place.

I know some people will talk about "Well Windows is on most computers and it's hard to buy one without Windows" and that's true, but you also can't expect manufacturers to sell pre-built systems without an OS or with an unpopular one when most of their sales go to non-nerdy Windows users who are terrified of learning something new.

So, I'd say that if he bought the system online, then I'd support the courts ruling. If he went to some store to buy it, then I'd say that he willfully purchased something and then asked for a rebate because he got exactly what he purchased.

Re:I get thier reasoning but... (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458488)

But you get to see the EULA after your purchase. The windows EULA has changed over time. Someone buying a new computer may have never read that version. You may like the product, but not be willing to agree to the terms of the EULA. Therefore, you buy the product, but when you find you don't accept the licencing agreement, you return it. What's the problem with that?

Re:I get thier reasoning but... (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458542)

Well first off, and I'm being serious here, there are people who actually take the time to read EULA's? As a certified nerd for my entire life, I can honestly say that I've never read a EULA or known anyone who has. You just click "I accept" and then do whatever the hell you please.

Secondly, he's not trying to return the whole computer, just the OS. If he went back to Best Buy (or wherever he got it) and said "Look, I don't like the EULA that goes along with Windows, so I'm returning this computer", then I'd fully support what you said. However, he's trying to return PART of what he purchased. It's kinda like buying a dvd and then going "Oh, I don't like all these interviews / commentaries, but I don't want to return the $20 dvd, just give me $8 and take back the interviews and commentaries" when it was clearly marked on the case that the dvd included interviews and commentaries.

However, your comment does raise the issue of companies like MS being required to provide the EULA upfront so that you can read it before you purchase the software / system. I'd say that they definitely should be required to provide that information.

Well of course... (1)

Sneeka2 (782894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458174)

... and many people are now filing for refunds (in French).


It's in France after all!

(Came from the RSS feed, where there are no links. ;o))

Yeah, he has a perfectly good pirate copy of xp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458186)

No reason to buy xp when you can get xp for free

English translation (0)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458188)

Dependent sale: the guide of refunding of Racketiciel is âoea successâ

the drafting, published on April 9, 2008
Tags: linux, Windows, open source, legal, operating system, asus France, acer France, make an attempt judgement

Success of the guide of refunding of RacketicielThe Racketiciel work group, which is opposed to the dependent sale OS with a PC, is very requested since the publication last February of its guide of refunding. A text which describes the legal bases and procedures to obtain from a manufacturer of a PC the refunding of the operating system préinstallé, in general Windows.

Racketiciel, supported by Aful and April (*), also provides a legal assistance. âoeThe guide is a success. We receive a request per day to assist a consumer in a procedure of refundingâ, explains to ZDNet.fr, Alain Coulais, one of the persons in charge of Racketiciel (collective in the past GdT Détaxe).

A trentraine of presented dossiers

On the whole more than one about thirty files were presented since February. âoeAbout half has serious bases making it possible to launch a procedureâ, continues Alain Coulais, who thus expects a multiplication in France of the applications for repayment.

Between 2006 and 2008, three important lawsuits were gained: Asus France had to refund by twice a consumer, just like Acer France. The amount goes from 100 to 300 euros. A fourth similar lawsuit is on standby of judgement in Caen (14).

Heavier procedures were also initiated by UFC-That To choose, which continues for dependent sale Hewlett-Packard, Auchan and Darty.

(*) Aful: French-speaking association of the Users of Linux and the Free software;
April: Association of promotion and defense of the free software

By the drafting, ZDNet France

Sometimes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458200)

Sometimes the law has to step in and give us real choice. "I want your x machine without Microsoft crap on it" is perfectly reasonable.

I'm glad to see this happening.
I want to see each and every pc sold anywhere available with a linux option, and if it has to be mandated by law, so be it.

What a sense of entitlement. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458254)

Linux welfare as posited by a Randian looter liberal. What mushroom did you fall off that makes you think that of all the OSes, Linux should be afforded this legal entitlement? What if I wanted to just sell blank comps with no OSes? Would I be subject to your nanny state OS law?

Re:What a sense of entitlement. (1)

Ravon Rodriguez (1074038) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458716)

Indeed, if anything there should be a law that requires vendors to give the option of buying a blank hard drive with the computer. Software bundles should be purely optional, including OS. Sort of like what the French ruling does, except without jumping through the hoops of having to apply for a refund.

Re:Sometimes.. (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458508)

Why stop there? I want each and every pc sold anywhere available with an OSX option.

Re:Sometimes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458586)

Why stop there? I want each and every pc sold anywhere available with an OSX option.

Sure, no problem. I will sell you a copy of OS X with your dell PC.

It's up to you to make it work though!

Hmm? (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458240)

If the price for ANYTHING on a computer is raised for pre-installed items then the person should have the option of not having it installed. I hate to use the car analogy but, well, you *can* buy one without air conditioning and the price isn't added to the total. If you BUY a car (knowingly) with AC and then claim you didn't use it or want it you are shit out of luck in my humble opinion. However... If you buy a car, on some sort of special (as advertised), and the special is that you get AC at a discount then, well, again - even if you don't use it, I think you should be shit out of luck. Give people the freedom of choice to put whatever they want on their PCs.

Re:Hmm? (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458596)

AC in a car doesn't come with unknown licencing conditions. The EULA is essentially a contract, which means you must have the option to decline, but agree to it before it is valid. Someone could know Windows as a product, eg: by using it at work or seeing a freinds computer, but not know the conditions of the EULA. So they buy a computer with windows, read the EULA and don't accept it, why should they not get a refund?

If you don't like the bundle (-1, Troll)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458294)

Don't buy the bundle.
If you can't find a computer without XP, well SOL, you don't have a "right" to buy a computer not bundled with Windows XP, you don't have a right over computer makers.
This is of course a useless point since you CAN find computer without OS very easily in France.

Using unfair, stupid socialist laws to attack Microsoft is stupid and evil.

Re:If you don't like the bundle (4, Informative)

lepidosteus (1102443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458344)

"you don't have a "right" to buy a computer not bundled with Windows XP"

Actually you're wrong, in France this is a right covered by law: two products sold together must be available alone too. You may agree or not with it, but in the end it's law and computer seller have to do it, so when an user go to court he wins.

Re:If you don't like the bundle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458354)

Using unfair, stupid socialist software to attack competition is
stupid and evil.

Re:If you don't like the bundle (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458376)

Uh, why not? ASUS makes computers, Microsoft makes OSes. You shouldn't have to buy shitty product from another company that you dont want to get the product that you do want. End of story

Re:If you don't like the bundle (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458418)

If they are willing to sell them together, it's their concern. You don't like it don't buy. I'd rather buy the product separately, but if that's not an option, I wouldn't consider FORCING them to offer that option.

Re:If you don't like the bundle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458682)

In france there are laws which protect consumers from abusive business practices. These laws FORCE vendors to provide unbundled products.

Instead of "if you don't like it don't buy" (ha ha ya'll consumers can blow me)

it is

"if you don't like it don't sell" (poor monopolists have to compete, go cry me a river)

The interesting question is, how did the people of france manage to get such cool laws. Why don't we have laws like this in america?

You missed the point, read the ruling (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458436)

You missed the point. The laws says that it is illegal to refuse to sell you a computer if you are willing to pay for it. The law also says that the store cannot legally tie two products together.
This means that if you want to buy a computer without the OS they must sell it to you without it
and not charge you for windows that you don't want.

Re:If you don't like the bundle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458476)

you don't have a "right" to buy a computer not bundled with Windows XP
Actually, in France, you do.

Re:If you don't like the bundle (2, Insightful)

Koby77 (992785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458604)

If you don't like the bundle Don't buy the bundle.

You can't force someone to accept the terms of a license simply thru purchase. If you could, then I would sell iPhones for $1 which also include my special new license that entitles me to half of your yearly salary.

Your "too bad you bought it" doesn't hold up. If it did, then does that mean that once we make the purchase we can copy and redistribute it? Or decompile and alter it? If you say "too bad you bought it", then I've got my own theory that says "too bad you sold it to me".

Well, it turns out that the situation isn't so lawless, because there's something called a software license. Once again, you can't force someone to accept a license, especially if you haven't even been given the opportunity to read the license yet. The license says that you don't have to accept it, but if you do then you can't do things such as modify the software or copy it and distribute it to others for free. But the people in bed with M$ are hoping that you won't decline the software license, because there's usually a part in it which says that you're entitled to a refund if you don't agree.

I applaud the people in these articles for standing up for their rights. It's not stupid socialist law, it's simply using the software license against M$. They're hoping you won't take them up on that part of the deal, and will blindly accept the Microsoft Tax even if you don't want it.

Apple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23458394)

I wonder if this would work for a Mac too - could you get one without OSX or get a refund on it if you didnt want to use it?

Why the hell should customers "JUST SUCK IT UP" (1)

aarggh (806617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458480)

While I am sure someone will inevitably locate some obscure stores that you can buy non-OS supplied laptops, (probably for a premium), but has anyone here actually ever tried to buy a laptop without an OS, it's pretty damn hard. I well understand that this is done from a sellers point to offer a complete solution that fits 99% of the market, and in turn MS locks the sellers in with reseller contracts that benefit MS.

This is fine, but to obstruct customers from not paying extra for the software they are forced (and the important word here is FORCED) to buy when they want a laptop is plain wrong, and clearly in some countries, illegal. If I want an Asus laptop because of some particular feature or price, and want to run my own software on it, why the hell shouldn't I be able to return the supplied software for a refund, AS MOST EULA"s VERY CLEARLY STATE AND OFFER!

In sales speak this is nothing more than a line item, and shouldn't be any more complicated than "I'd like to return the software as I don't agree with the EULA and would like a refund". The only reason it is at all a problem, is because MS do not want consumers enforcing their legal rights.

Or as most people seem to think, should we all "just suck it up" even though we don't agree with it?

Re:Why the hell should customers "JUST SUCK IT UP" (1)

ameyer17 (935373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458530)

Not quite what you want, but the HP Mininote and MSI Wind have versions that come preloaded with SuSE, the Asus EEE has a Xandros version, and Dell sells laptops with Ubuntu and (I believe) some models can be purchased with a FreeDOS disk in the box and no preinstalled OS.

Re:Why the hell should customers "JUST SUCK IT UP" (2, Informative)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458600)

Agree completely. Here in the UK I can buy unencumbered computer-tooters from Novatech.

Yay.

Disclaimer: I have no association with them other than being a satisfied customer :-)

'Tied Selling' is illegal in many states. (5, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458646)

Tied selling, whether applied to banks forcing you to buy insurance to get a loan, even when you are already insured, or to buying a PC with MS Windows pre-installed, is illegal in many jurisdictions. The MS EULA also says something to the effect that you can refuse to use it and get a refund. These lawsuits simply hold the sellers responsible for all their promises.

Just a thought. (1, Interesting)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458670)

I look at it one of two ways:

(1) She bought the computer knowing it had Windows XP on the system and decided that she didn't like the terms after she bought it, ergo she (and the court / law is wrong) because you should not be able to modify the terms of a contract after it has been executed. (Even if you don't want to be party to the other party's outside deal.) You know the terms, deal with it.

Or (2) she bought a computer without regard to the specs (highly unlikely, but for the sake of arguement we'll go with it). She gets it home and finds it has something she didn't like. So she sued (after probably asking the company to refund it, which in my opinion they rightly and justifably denied). The law / court failed again, because there are vendors who sell computers without an OS (or an alternative OS) and she could have patronized their business. Yet she unjustifiably cried foul and forced a company give her a refund (essentially, saying that the company needs to sell its product her way, which is bullshit). Granted, however if France already has a law saying that a company HAS to sell computers without OS (which I don't think any particular country does, but again for sake of arguement I'll assume they do), then ASUS is in the wrong.

Truthfully, if it were my company I'd analyze how much profit is actually earned from that country and if it wasn't a mid to substantial amount (> than 15%) I'd tell the country (in this case, France) go fuck themselves (politely of course). If the government feels so strongly about it, let them sell computers they way they want them sold.

Re:Just a thought. (4, Informative)

aarggh (806617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23458714)

I like your enthusiasm but you're wrong!

Point 1) As offered by the VENDOR, the customer simply exercised their LEGAL right to not agree with the EULA supplied with laptop as they didn't want the OS but wanted the laptop.

Point 2) Well, thats just silly. Again, please read Point 1.

But I suppose having people exercise their rights to not be ripped off by what amounts to not much more than collusion is somehow against the constitution?

Bear in mind, quite often in principle the groups supporting people like this, are also the groups supporting things like, not being discriminated against with DNA testing, health insurance, etc, etc. But I guess you would see things like that as bad for business too?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...