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Dell Customer Gets Windows Refund

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the show-us-the-check-dave dept.

372

scottv67 writes "Dell today gave freelance programmer and sysadmin Dave Mitchell, of Sheffield, UK, a refund of 47 pounds ($89) for the unused copy of Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2 bundled with his new Dell Inspiron 640m laptop, Mitchell says. Dell also refunded the tax, for a total of £55.23 ($105)."

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372 comments

Return on Investment? (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16767823)

I'm no fan of EULAs or any software licensing (not even the GPL) because I feel they don't really give you much room to negotiate a contract to your terms. But there comes a time in every transaction that you have to gauge your time versus what you get in return for your time. In this case, the US$100 this guy received was probably worth it for him to spend a few hours going through this process, but is it worth US$100 for most people? Laptops do seem to run better under *nix today than just a few years ago, so I will finally accept that a laptop can be a decent workstation for open source OSes. But I also see that for many people who use the PC, even if they eventually put another OS on it, Windows works fine, and even if they never run it, the path to try to return their copy is costlier than just eating it with the rare chance that you MIGHT need to run it.

Sure, there is a small percentage of "geeks" who will never run Windows, but for the great majority of *nix users, I'm not sure if this is the case -- even the average slashdot geek. Personally, my laptops that I use require Windows because they're production PCs -- AutoCAD, RIP print drivers (don't even try these under anything but Windows), scheduling/project management software, etc. For me, if I did run *nix, the 3-4 hours it would cost me to get a $100 refund would exceed the refund's return. What are most techs worth today?

I'm glad Dell did it, and I wish they did offer laptops free of operating systems. I'm not aware of the exact details of Microsoft's license agreement with Dell, but to me it seems as though they've both agree to a figure that makes a sense in a market perspective: the software is just expensive enough to make everyone money, and just cheap enough to make it useless to try to work around buying a copy. Also, Dell likely is able to produce less expensive hardware since they can now sell laptops that work out-of-the-box, rather than dealing with the support issues of helping users run their hardware on dozens of different operating systems. It is a double-win for both manufacturers, and not enough of a loss for the average user.

I'm never shocked when a geek complains about the Microsoft licensing scheme, even though I agree that more choice is better. When I break down the cost of a workstation for an average business client for a year, the US$210 or whatever Microsoft "tax" is barely 1% versus the costs of the applications and maintenance they need to run that workstation for a year. That's right, 1% -- many of my business clients spend upwards of US$10,000+ a year per user on software licenses, maintenance, and hardware. And they still need Windows for it, so if you price in Windows across the board (those who need it and those who don't want it). I'm sure that percentage of overall cost falls even lower -- making it seem to me that trying to get a refund doesn't show a big return on investment overall.

In this user's case, it may have been (I wouldn't have gone through the hoops, I'd buy an OEM laptop from another manufacturer such as Averatec), but I don't see that being true for most cases.

Re:Return on Investment? (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#16767927)

If you had 1% of your yearly income stolen by mugging every year (Say, $350 if you make 35k), would that be ok?

Re:Return on Investment? (4, Informative)

Lanoitarus (732808) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768073)

You missed the entire point. It may not be "ok" to have 1% of my income stolen each year, but that doesnt mean im going to spend 5% of my income (in this case, in the form of time invested) to prevent the 1% getting stolen.

Re:Return on Investment? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768187)

I have way more than 1% of my income stolen each year -- actually, about 50% stolen. You do, too. It's called taxes, and the more you try to reduce that percentage, the more you seem to pay anyway.

Re:Return on Investment? (4, Insightful)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768241)

If you had 1% of your yearly income stolen by mugging every year (Say, $350 if you make 35k), would that be ok?


To answer the question: of course not.

A mugging is where you are FORCED to give up your dough...buying a PC with Windows is not a mugging, since you can, with some time and effort, build your own to-spec PC without Windows and install your own OS on it. Furthermore, paying for a Windows license is a one-time thing, until the next version is released. I paid for a WinXP license on my laptop once, and once only, and I've had it for several years. Maybe site-licensing for businesses is different; I'm not familiar with that idea.

The original point is this: is getting the OEM cost of Windows refunded worth the time and effort? If I can make $50/hour doing some work, but I spend three hours getting a $50 refund on some purchase, is it worth the effort? Is the extra time and distance required to fill up at a gas station a mile down the road worth saving an extra two cents per gallon as opposed to the station I'm in front of now?

If I give up $10 in potential income to save $5, I still lose.

Re:Return on Investment? (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768531)

You can already buy a PC from Dell without Windows on it. This is about Laptops, which for the most part you cannot build yourself without Windows. If you could, I suspect that if you could build your own laptop, Dell would offer Windows-free laptops in order to reclaim some of the built-it-myself laptop market.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768565)

If I can make $50/hour doing some work, but I spend three hours getting a $50 refund on some purchase, is it worth the effort?

Depends what the work and purchase is...

-b.

Re:Return on Investment? (4, Interesting)

pottymouth (61296) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768025)

"Sure, there is a small percentage of "geeks" who will never run Windows"

Would you appreciate it if I posted something like "sure, most idiots run Windows" or "most stupid people will still run Windows". Stop refering to Unix/Linux users as geeks. They don't bite the head of chickens at the fair they just choose to use a less popular OS than the average person. Sticking labels on people is what brings about wasted communications to protest like this one.....

Re:Return on Investment? (4, Funny)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768165)

They don't bite the head of chickens at the fair

Hey, speak for yourself. I'm a coder by day, carnie by night. But I much prefer biting the heads off of rabid bats.

-b.

Re:Return on Investment? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768205)

At least he used "geeks" ... I probably would have went with "elitist jackasses like you."

Re:Return on Investment? (4, Funny)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768219)

So true. This site is for NERDS, not geeks. News for Nerds, stuff that matters

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768235)

Some people are just geeks. It's not a bad thing. Learn to embrace your label.

Re:Return on Investment? (2, Informative)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768303)

Geek has not had a negative conotation for a long time (especialy in geek subcultures like /.). So lighten up, the guy is just pointing out that only those people that really are into OSS/*nix/alternative OSs/whatever are going to be the ones that never run windows, and yes, geek is a good term for them.

Re:Return on Investment? (2, Insightful)

cloudmaster (10662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768597)

We're not exacltly a minority here on the dot...

Re:Return on Investment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768489)

Do please stop trying to tell other people how they should be offended. I am a Geek and proud of it. My wife loves me because of it. Don't try to be the Thought Police just because you don't like the word and don't understand what it means.

Re:Return on Investment? (4, Insightful)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768095)

But there comes a time in every transaction that you have to gauge your time versus what you get in return for your time. In this case, the US$100 this guy received was probably worth it for him to spend a few hours going through this process, but is it worth US$100 for most people?

Maybe he was just trying to prove a point? I'd say that he shouldn't have got the refund since the laptop was sold as a turnkey package. I mean, if you buy a car but never use the back seat, can you just give the seat back to the dealer and get a refund for the cost of the part?

I think, instead, the large manufacturers should not be prohibited from selling "empty" computers. IE, OS installation should be purely optional from the factory. Unfortunately, whenever this is tried, MS comes out of the woodwork and makes noises about suing for encouraging software piracy. Maybe if they threw Ubuntu on there it would appease MS and cost basically nothing for them.

-b.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768281)

Not quite nothing.
If they start selling computers with Linux, they have to made damned sure they can support it - even if that support is a checklist leading upto a full system rebuild.

How would you feel if you bought a computer to find problems with it and being told to RTFM?

Currently at least dell support will attempt to help you get the machine you bought from them running.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768349)

If they start selling computers with Linux, they have to made damned sure they can support it - even if that support is a checklist leading upto a full system rebuild.

No, those systems would be treated as "blank" systems by Dell. The install of Ubuntu or whatever would just be to placate Microsoft so that they couldn't accuse Dell of encouraging software piracy.

-b.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768701)

But there's nothing to stop you from selling your rear seats to a third party, whereas trying to sell OEM bundled software will cause you a lot of hassle.
You can also buy cars which have no rear seats to start with.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768153)

Most large companies have a site license for Windows anyway. Buying a computer with Windows already installed usually means paying for Windows twice. But this isn't about the big corporates buying $10k+ software licenses, is it? For a home user, knocking $100 off the price of a laptop is worth having. The more people do it, the easier it gets. If Dell could find a way to consistently make their laptops cheaper, they'd be laughing. Dell Linux anybody?

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768421)

Microsoft volume licenses are upgrade only . I.e. you must already have an upgradeable (or downgradeable; downgrade "rights" are not universal [google.com] ) version of Windows installed to be able to use the license. source [microsoft.com]

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768471)

Microsoft have pointed out in the past that a site license for a given windows version is not a set of licenses for all the machines on the site. It's a universal upgrade/downgrade of all the existing licenses (one per machine) to the site license version.

I.e. A site license is not valid on machines lacking an OEM windows install.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768159)

``For me, if I did run *nix, the 3-4 hours it would cost me to get a $100 refund would exceed the refund's return''

All that says to me is that the refund procedure is too much of a hassle. Obviously, companies can use this to make it unattractive for you to get your refund, which means they get to keep the money. If we accept that you are entitled to your refund, the refund procedure should be less involved, or you should be compensated for the effort it takes; otherwise, the refund is a lose-lose preposition.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768355)

``For me, if I did run *nix, the 3-4 hours it would cost me to get a $100 refund would exceed the refund's return''

All that says to me is that the refund procedure is too much of a hassle. Obviously, companies can use this to make it unattractive for you to get your refund, which means they get to keep the money. If we accept that you are entitled to your refund, the refund procedure should be less involved, or you should be compensated for the effort it takes; otherwise, the refund is a lose-lose preposition.

Sounds to me like at $100 they found the "sweet spot".

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

Sierpinski (266120) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768193)

I'm never shocked when a non-idiot complains about the Microsoft licensing scheme, even though I agree that more choice is better.

I fixed it for you. Anyone who doesn't complain when they're forced to spend money on something they won't use is an idiot.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768367)

It's kinda like social security, isn't it. If you don't use it and you complain about it, you are considered a smart indiv... oh wait.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768263)

AutoCAD, RIP print drivers (don't even try these under anything but Windows),

funny, I know of many that do both of those under Solaris easily.

Re:Return on Investment? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768273)

I'm never shocked when a geek complains about the Microsoft licensing scheme, even though I agree that more choice is better. When I break down the cost of a workstation for an average business client for a year, the US$210 or whatever Microsoft "tax" is barely 1% versus the costs of the applications and maintenance they need to run that workstation for a year. That's right, 1% -- many of my business clients spend upwards of US$10,000+ a year per user on software licenses, maintenance, and hardware.

I'm shocked that owning and operating each workstations costs your clients at least $20000 a year. Cause that what it would have to cost for your $210 to be barely 1% of the yearly TCO of the workstation. I'm not doubting your numbers, but it sounds like your clients must be doing some pretty specialized work on these workstations to justify that expense before even putting the idiot between the keyboard and chair, roof over it, heat and cooling, etc. Assuming that they're not idiots and they're really getting a return that justifies that cost implies that their work is not really typical of the average office PC.

Where will it end? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16767845)

What if all Windows users started demanding their money back?

Re:Where will it end? (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768277)

How can they? The whole point is that he's not a Windows user, and was claiming a refund as he had no intention of using it.

Technically.. (3, Informative)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768297)

'Windows users' couldn't request their money back if they were using Windows already. The jist of the article is that by refusing to agree to the EULA they're saying they don't want to use Windows, or at least one that came with their PC. But there has indeed been many instances of this before - there was a mass march of some kind a few years ago, the end result being that most EULAs were modified to make the computer and operating system one package. A lot of the old Windows Refund stories involved conversations with managers who couldn't seem to comprehend that the EULA gave the user the right to reject windows, as a separate component from the machine. God knows what Dell's Indian call centre made of this guy.

Re:Technically.. (1)

Scratched (912253) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768783)

You're right about there being a mass march to refund windows. It happened quite a few years ago, back in 1999. It was on Slashdot.

Windows Refund Day [slashdot.org] , February 15th.

Re:Where will it end? (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768375)

If they are Windows users they won't be able to get their money back. This guy obviously was not a Windows user which is why he requested/received his money back. If you are going to actually use windows, you can't get a refund.

Let the trend begin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16767885)

I don't use the bonus discs from DVDs either, can I get a refund on that too?

Re:Let the trend begin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16767997)

>I don't use the bonus discs from DVDs either, can I get a refund on that too?

Only if you don't agree to any special licensing terms the DVD requires you to agree to past standard copyright. Of course, up to now, I haven't found any like this yet... YMMV.

Re:Let the trend begin... (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768203)

Then rent from Netflix or Blockbuster. They usually don't offer any bonus discs for rent (via mail, anyway), and because of their pricing structure you're paying for the service, not the discs themselves, and you don't own anything that they send to you.

Next time, try to use an example that's not no ridiculous. Then again, you're AC. I shouldn't have such high expectations of you.

Re:Let the trend begin... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768455)

actualy, they offer alot of bonus discs, however you order them just like a standard disc!

Re:Let the trend begin... (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768545)

Ah, but then he has to voluntarily select them. If he doesn't want them, he doesn't have to select them. :)

Or I would think that another option would be to sell the bonus disc on eBay. (The one that he bought, of course. NetFlix wouldn't appreciate it otherwise.) I'm sure that there are plenty of people out there would love to replace specific, damaged discs instead of having to buy the whole thing again.

47 pounds (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16767893)

47 Pounds??? Those are heavy bits!

Common Knowlage (2, Informative)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16767903)

I thought most linux geeks did this already, shoot with my 1999 IBM laptop i got a 130$ refund for windows ME same thing for my Compaq Desktop, since i did not need windows, i had linux and a bought copy of windows i told them ship it without a OS and ill do the rest

Re:Common Knowlage (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16767975)

About four years ago, companies started selling notebooks wrapped in plastic with a label stating that wrapping meant agreeing to the terms of the EULA and accepting Windows with no possibility of refund. Before that, it was fairly typical for dedicated users to insist on getting their money back.

Re:Common Knowlage (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768083)

who still does this? I just bought the same laptop as in the article (640m) and didn't have anything like that, nor did my roommate who just bought a compaq laptop. On both the EULA roughly appeared when first booting.

Re:Common Knowlage (1)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768181)

maybe 4 min of talking on the phone (minus holding time) to get a refund, maybe a 3 month wait for the check tho

Re:Common Knowlage (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768517)

The last two Toshiba notebooks I've bought had such wrapping.

Re:Common Knowlage (2, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768363)

For example, I do not do it despite getting laptops and PCs via business channels which means that they come with proper CDs and licenses.

The reason for this is quite simple. If you return the license you are no longer entitled to use any of the Microsoft TrueType fonts. While the choice of free (as in speech and in beer) fonts has vastly improved lately, the set which comes with Windows remains essential for business use. Everything else aside, it is essential that your documents look the same as the documents of people who are still stuck with Windows.

So returning the CDs does not make business sense until the Microsoft TrueType fonts appear with a valid license from a valid retail source for less then the cost of an OEM license refund. This applies to everything but the very few 100% linux shops which never have to share a document in a DOC or PPT format with someone outside.

Re:Common Knowlage (1)

UnxMully (805504) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768683)

$130 for Windows ME? It's just as well they didn't pay what it was worth isn't it.

Re:Common Knowlage (1)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768819)

my bad $130.46 from IBM and $130.54 from Compaq

Good for him.... (3, Insightful)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16767933)

And good for Dell for taking care of him with a minimum of fuss.

The floodgates have opened! (1)

dublinclontarf (777338) | more than 7 years ago | (#16767951)

Quick, everyone else get a refund before Dell goes broke!

Re:The floodgates have opened! (2, Funny)

jvchamary (845612) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768797)

Quick, everyone else get a refund before Dell goes broke!
Quick, everyone else get a refund so that Dell goes broke!
/. fixed it for you :p

Buying a Dell (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 7 years ago | (#16767967)

I would consider buying a Dell laptop if I can get my $$$ back for Windows

tagged: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16767989)

pigsflying

hm... (4, Interesting)

mlc (16290) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768003)

I tried getting a Windows refund out of Dell a few months ago for my then-new laptop. I never succeeded really, but they did give me a $30 refund basically just to go away, and told me to keep the Windows software. Not sure what I'm supposed to do with it.

Re:hm... (5, Funny)

rbochan (827946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768311)

...Not sure what I'm supposed to do with it.

Slide the CD gently underneath the $TASTYBEVERAGE that's sitting next to you.

Re:hm... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768395)

I tried getting a Windows refund out of Dell a few months ago for my then-new laptop. I never succeeded really, but they did give me a $30 refund basically just to go away, and told me to keep the Windows software. Not sure what I'm supposed to do with it.

If by "it", you mean the $30, just send it to me and I'll take care of it.

Why not sell them "clean" (4, Interesting)

JayAndSilentBob (517888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768011)

I just recently bought a laptop for my wife and I had to go through hell getting all the pre-installed crap out of it. It had adware and spyware preloaded by the factory. It even had a 10GB hard drive partition with backup copies of everything that should have been on the restore cds / dvds that should have come with the laptop. I would have much rather paid less for the laptop, added windows onto the price and arrived in mostly the same place. We didn't want a laptop that we hadn't tried out in person before buying it, which around here limited us to Best Buy, Circuit City, and Office Max / Depot. Nobody had "clean" systems.... grumble....

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (1)

planetmn (724378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768171)

On my HP (I don't know if all HP's are like this) laptop, when I reinstalled the OS (hard drive replacement), there was an option for installing without all of the crap. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that this is a widespread procedure or not.

-dave

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (1)

Zarel (900479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768239)

I just recently bought a laptop for my wife and I had to go through hell getting all the pre-installed crap out of it. It had adware and spyware preloaded by the factory. [...] I would have much rather paid less for the laptop, added windows onto the price and arrived in mostly the same place.


See, the adware and spyware companies PAY to get their stuff on the computer, so, in the end, it'd probably be cheaper (or at least not significantly more expensive) to buy a laptop with Windows and all that stuff preloaded than to buy a laptop with nothing loaded on it.

So the question becomes, would you rather have paid MORE for the laptop, added Windows onto the price, and arrived in mostly the same place?

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768447)

If they start selling computers with Linux, they have to made damned sure they can support it - even if that support is a checklist leading upto a full system rebuild.

Depends. If my time is worth $50/hr and I spend three hours reinstalling Windows and/or removing the unneeded scheisse that Dell chose to throw on, I'd much rather pay $150 or even $200 more. After all, I could actually be doing something fun instead of sitting at my laptop reinstalling software.

-b.

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (2, Insightful)

ksalter (1009029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768609)

Your time is only worth $50/hour if it prevented you from earning $50/hour. I suspect that most people work on their home computers during non-working hours, and that a lot of the time they are waiting for the computer and/or install program to finish doing some task. So instead of staring blankly into the install screen progress bar with a small amount of droll on their lips, they do something else.

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768741)

So instead of staring blankly into the install screen progress bar with a small amount of droll on their lips, they do something else.

Well, except that getting all the drivers, etc, reinstalled for the average person who doesn't know to save the system/system32 directory contents may well take 2-3 hours. Endless screens of clickthroughs, periodic reboots, even freezes if they're installed in the wrong order will keep you sitting in front of the computer with your toes curled. And doing the completely automated install isn't an option since it'll install the same garbage that came from the factory. BTDT on a laptop whose HDD had crashed and it wasn't fun.

-b.

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768243)

Selling them clean means they would lose all the money they make from bundling all that crap. Dell makes a lot of money per computer because of all that preinstalled crap. Google pay them to set the homepage to www.google.com and not the Microsoft default one, etc.

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (4, Interesting)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768309)

I just recently bought a laptop for my wife and I had to go through hell getting all the pre-installed crap out of it. It had adware and spyware preloaded by the factory.

Dell seems to have gotten better about this, though, at least with their higher-end desktop systems. When we bought a Precision 380, it came with *just* XP Pro and some drivers preloaded. No MS Office (by our option) no Norton Antivirus, no adware, spyware, or unnecessary apps. Shame that we're going to install Linux on it pretty soon because the thing actually runs pretty well. It even came with OS and driver reinstall CDs. I think a lot of the problems that people see with "Windows" can be traced to stupid manufacturers pre-installing everything but the kitchen sink.

As far as Dell, I wonder, if you ask nicely upon purchasing, can you specify exactly what should/shouldn't be installed on their lower-end systems? -b.

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768745)

No, because they make money off that extra "crap". That's what people on this site don't seem to understand, the reason dell ships all the shit on the "low end" PC's is because it allows them to make profit on the extra shit they dump on it. I say bring on the spyware of the default install, I'm just going to reload it as soon as I get it anyways. I'll gladly save 60$ to have a copy of windows pre-installed that I'll never use.

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768803)

I say bring on the spyware of the default install, I'm just going to reload it as soon as I get it anyways. I'll gladly save 60$ to have a copy of windows pre-installed that I'll never use.

It'll take at least an hour (of actual time, not just sitting watching progress bars) to get everything working right again. My time's worth as much. Besides, I could be doing something fun or interesting, not sitting in front of a screen fixing something that shouldn't have been broken in the first place.

-b.

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (2, Informative)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768533)

They don't sell them clean because they make money packaging all that crap on the system. They also test the system's performance by installing windows and benchmarking against what they expect...

Duh...

Re:Why not sell them "clean" (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768813)

Unfortunately as a company that wants to make money they have to target the biggest part of their audience. People who just want it to work so they can play solitare will be fine. However, for those of us who want maximum efficiency, well we have to trod a different path.

17.5% tax = outrageous (3, Insightful)

Heian-794 (834234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768045)

Considering that the consumption tax on Windows is a ludicrous 17.5% (8.23 / 47.00), I wouldn't be surprised to see the government stepping in and forcing people to pay for Windows just to keep that revenue stream flowing!

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (4, Informative)

oggiejnr (999258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768135)

VAT is 17.5% in this country and applied to everything except food, books, children's clothes and a couple of other things. It has been around for so long that people don't really think about it - all prices except wholesale prices are quoted with VAT already added so most people don't think about it.

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (2, Insightful)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768703)

all prices except wholesale prices are quoted with VAT already added so most people don't think about it.

Which is exactly what the government wants you to do.

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (1)

abscissa (136568) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768237)

Howdy from Ontario, Canada where we pay 14% tax on every single transaction unless it is for the "necessities of life"

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (1)

imdx80 (842737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768337)

Uk sales tax is 17.5% and is called Value Added Tax, unsure what value it brings, maybe i'm at a genuine advantage for paying it

on most things its rolled into the ticket price, i think by law because some garages tried to make a point by listing petrol (gas) at price + ~300% tax (or whatever it was at the time) +17.5% VAT

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (1)

eht (8912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768629)

It is called Value Added Tax due to it being applied whenever the value of a product is increased.

In the US for example if a product is taxable it is taxed once, at the end to the consumer, everyone else in the chain gets a tax certificate which enables them to buy the raw goods without tax.

In places where a VAT is applied everytime the product increases in value it is applied. Shoes for example, once on the raw leather, once again when it gets assembled, and once more at the retailer, so that 17.5% is even more misleading depending on how many peoples hands it went through.

Good examples [wikipedia.org] shown at Wikipedia.

What I am unsure of is how you have never learned of this, but me as someone who grew up and lived his whole life in the US has.

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (1)

eht (8912) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768715)

Sorry to reply to myself.

What I said when I said misleading may be misleading, what I meant is that if for example a good is sold outside the country since the earlier VATs were already figured in, it isn't usually possible to remove them and you can end up being taxed for the product more if it goes through multiple countries, this is of course a problem being a member of the EU is supposed to solve, and of course instead of taxes if the product is sold outside the country you have tarrifs, so in theory is all works out, but with the VAT being at 17.5% compared to the highest sales taxes I've seen in the US at 10% that theory doesn't hold up well.

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768667)

Bah. In Sweden we pay 25% VAT, you insensitive clods.

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (2, Insightful)

TheBogBrushZone (975846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768681)

Uk sales tax is 17.5% and is called Value Added Tax, unsure what value it brings, maybe i'm at a genuine advantage for paying it

It is called Value Added Tax because it is a tax on the monetary value added to goods each time they are sold on to the next party in the producer-consumer chain. Companies claim back the VAT on their business purchases and pay the VAT from their sales so in the end only the difference (the added value) is taxed at each stage.

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768815)

The "value addeed" part refers to the fact that it is a tax on the value added by the seller, since the seller can offset any VAT they pay on products they buy. In Europe, VAT is a more important source of revenues for the government than income tax in many (most?) countries.

And you are right - in most European countries it is a legal requirement to at least show the VAT inclusive price in any advertisement or price display targeted at consumers (nothing stops you from also displaying the price without VAT, though). Trade publications and ads targetted at companies can generally use the VAT exclusive prices only if they prefer. The rationale is that since consumers can't reclaim the VAT, not showing the VAT inclusive price is misleading advertising.

No real Value Added? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768509)

Well, maybe there should be an argument that Microsoft Windows doesn't really add any value to the product, so should be exempt from the Value Added Tax.

Worse than you think (1)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768623)

Only individuals and tiny companes pay it. Companies buy assets without having to pay tax, because large corporations would kick up too much stink. As a result if you are self-employed you have to register and do the paperwork to avoid paying sales tax on your business assets.

Re:17.5% tax = outrageous (2, Interesting)

vidarh (309115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768679)

17.5% VAT is actually one of the lowest rates anywhere in Europe. Most countries are at around 20% or above (up to at least 25%). But consumer prices in most European countries are always quoted inclusive of VAT, so at here I don't constantly get surprised (I keep forgetting sales tax whenever I visit the US and look at prices).

Its still a Dell. (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768055)

Now, if there was only someway they would refund the money for the Dell. Ha, just kidding, dell is great, really.

Refund amount (3, Funny)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768063)

Problem is, you don't know what the refund amounts to before you press 'NO' at the EULA agree prompt. For $20, I'd like a nice Windows XP copy. For $50, I might not. It depends. But there's no way of knowing!

Is this a UK Only thing? (1)

viper21 (16860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768069)

I wonder if this is a policy adopted by Dell and other american companies operating in the UK to avoid legal trouble.

From what I have seen this isn't a general Dell policy to refund OEM MS Windows license costs on a pc.

Re:Is this a UK Only thing? (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768285)

The last lappie I bought (a Packard Bell, from Dixons, in either 2003 or 2004; and very probably the last machine ever to have been fitted with an audio Line In port) came with XP Home preinstalled. I was told by Dixons that I could not get a refund for the Windows, as I had paid £0 for the software anyway.

This is good news, though. Dell have even started using AMD processors (just before Intel brought out the AMD-beating Core 2 Duo; coincidence? I think not). I might actually consider buying a Dell.

Re:Is this a UK Only thing? (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768639)

I was told by Dixons that I could not get a refund for the Windows, as I had paid £0 for the software anyway.

They can say that all they want - it doesn't make it true, and if someone tries that claim you should ask to get it in writing and take them to magistrates court for illegally bundling the products (they can sell them together, but they can't deny you the ability to buy them separately, and there's no way the court would accept their claim that you bought the software for 0,- unless Dixons could show they got it for free too) - costs you next to nothing and just having a lawyer prepare and show up would cost them more than the machine.

Re:Is this a UK Only thing? (1)

kevlarcowboy (996973) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768347)

They probably don't want to, the profit gained with all the bloatware means that Windows doesn't cost Dell anything. We saw this when they sold naked and Linux machines.

Bust MS bubble (4, Interesting)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768081)

This will suck for MS. I already have my own personal copy of XP Professional I'd like to install on a fresh lappy, and I wish they were sold without added software and an OS. This will kill most of MS's profits, since people will just say "I already own XP, why can't I just put it on another computer?" THEN people will start to see how convoluted the MS EULA really is. They won't switch to Unix like some people would hope, but there will be more "pirates" that install the same OS on different computer's they own. Of course I don't read the EULA like most people and it probably allows you to install a copy of XP on computers that you own.

Uh...obligatory "DOWN WITH MICRO$OFT!" comment.

Re:Bust MS bubble (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768221)

``Of course I don't read the EULA like most people and it probably allows you to install a copy of XP on computers that you own.''

The Windowses that come with new computers typically contain language to the effect that it is to be used with that computer only.

Re:Bust MS bubble (1)

Half a dent (952274) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768665)

That may be the case in the US but the 1991 Computer Software Directive (I think that's the title!) allows for re-sale or re-use in the European Union so long as it is only on one machine at a time.

I'm not sure if this has been challenged by MS or others recently but this was the case a couple of years ago.

640m laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768127)

640m laptop? No.

Any computer that is over 1/3 of a mile wide can hardly be considered a laptop.

No Fucking Way ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768229)

There is no fucking way. Oh UK? Nevermind. That's old news.

Payments for pirates! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768259)

Yarrrrg! Now all those scurvy seadogs who will, of course, be running pirates copies of Windows on their... cough cough "linux" haha cough cough... computers can get subsidized by the computer vendors!

Shiver me timbers! It's fun stealing other work, especially when you have an entire website dedicate to bashing them!

do77 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768333)

[klerck.org]? Fr3eBSD because

But they're not itemised... (2, Interesting)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768361)

Surely Dell are entitled to sell XP under whatever terms the customer agrees to. In this case, they sold a copy of XP and a PC for £800 (or whatever). No, Dell are entitled to sell the PC at £780, and make a £27 loss on the OS, or sell the PC at £700 and make a £53 profit on the OS, or even assume that the PC was given away for free, and the £753 profit was made on the OS. All of these are indistinguishable. Since they were sold as a bundle, surely Dell's only actual obligation is to offer a full refund on the OS and laptop.

Re:But they're not itemised... (4, Informative)

vidarh (309115) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768515)

Doesn't work that way in (most of) Europe. Consumer protection laws in most European countries require sellers to offer products unbundled when they are clearly distinct products. Since a computer can be used without Windows, and can be bought without from other vendors, and since Windows is available separately this is a pretty clear cut case. Trying to twist the pricing also wouldn't work all the time equivalent products are available unbundled to indicate the real values of the products.

Re:But they're not itemised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768735)

What incentive does any retailer/seller have to ever bundle something then? Isn't it therefore risky to offer a bundle deal to customers if they can come back and ask for a refund, making the seller possibly pay far more back to the consumer than he originally paid for the product from the manufacturer? I'm honestly curious how this works. It seems to me that any sort of bundle deal is based on the assumption that the individual products in the bundle are packaged at below normal price. Their actual value would be determined by the specific bundle package, not normal market value.

Re:But they're not itemised... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768671)

Since they were sold as a bundle, surely Dell's only actual obligation is to offer a full refund on the OS and laptop.

Since I'm not a lawyer in your jurisdiction or any other, I'll accept your argument that this is Dell's only legal obligation. However, as a business they might want to try to make reasonable accomodations to make the customer happy so can they compete for his and his friends and colleagues' future business. It's not really that tough to determine a fair market value for the bundled OS. Ya, ya, they don't have to. Ya, they can say "take it or leave it". I'm just saying that it's possbile that there is a better route.

Full refund? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768547)

Did they make him ship back the Windoze sticker?

This "shouldn't" be news (in an ideal world) (2, Insightful)

amigabill (146897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16768713)

I think it's sad we live in a world where one guy getting a refund for something he didn't want to pay for in the first place is such big news. Ideally this should be so common that no one cares.

colusion...a class action suit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16768765)

is in order here



This proves that it really is colusion between MS and the HW builders! I should get my money back for all the bundled windows licenses that I have purchased less the one I actually use...


I have paid for WinME only to blow it away with 2000, then I bought a copy of XP in 2002 and have subsequently bought two more copies of home just to whipe the drives and install Pro...many others are in the same situation...someone call the Attorney General!

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