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321 comments

Vapor-deal! (1)

Money__ (87045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394885)

the 400 free was just the Beta?!?!
_________________________

Hear is spelled with an "a" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394886)

Just letting ya know...

See what anti-trust does? (1)

bildstorm (129924) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394887)

Apparently Microsoft's lawyers were a little too busy with other matters and managed to overlook this one.

And people say that big government is useless.. Hah!

*Grins* (1)

Jestrzcap (46989) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394888)

I laugh in microsoft's general direction. Silly goats.
~Jester

indeed (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394889)

haha.. it's true.. i went to 4 bestbuys today around the so cal area and there were lines of 20 plus people.. it was hilarious... everything was literally looted, especially DVD players and TV's.. well i got my geeforce and a new soundblaster live! so it's all good.. thank you uncle gates!

Cell phones. (3)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394890)

So if MSN cannot illegally bundle products with a loan why can the cell phone comanies still do it? They build a repayment schedule into the cost of the service for the phones. Why do you think most of them have early termination clauses in the contract?

Why hasn't anyone complained about them?

And, in later news... (5)

jd (1658) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394891)

A Microsoft spokesman said today that Microsoft regretted pulling the deal. "We just didn't realise that waving $400 in people's faces might result in them taking it."

It was later confirmed that they had planned to step up in $400 increments, until they rivalled some of the State lotteries in America, in an attempt to prove that all MSN subscribers were winners.

Rumours that Microsoft had sent three agents to destroy Slashdot, who's posting of the article on the deal is believed to have caused the massive take-up, were denied. In an issued statement, it was claimed that no such action was even possible, on account of there being no "Start" button.

maaaaann (1)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394892)

this is the funniest move i've seen them pull yet!
what were they thinking?!
did anyone here get in on it? what was the procedure like?

Is this right? (4)

Amphigory (2375) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394893)

As much as I dislike Microsoft, is it really right to take their money in this fashion? I mean, it's kind of like stealing candy from a baby. And the clear intent of the agreement was that you have MSN service for three years -- some lawyer at MSN's corporate offices made a mistake -- which was compounded by some flunky believing in the good will of the citizens of California.

And everyone took advantage of their vulnerability and kicked them while they were down. Granted, Microsoft is not exactly the nicest company on the planet. But should we really stoop to their level?

Balancing the scales? (5)

Sargent1 (124354) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394894)

The Silicon Valley News article touched on the debatable morality of taking advantage of a loophole like this. Personally, as much as Microsoft irritates me, and as much as I'd like to see Microsoft in a less dominant position in the marketplace, screwing them out of money this way ain't gonna make things right.

Yeah, I know, the company's worth gazillions, they can afford this mistake, and it is their own mistake. But I don't see how exploiting this loophole does anything other than steal money from them. One of the things I like about the open-source movement and Linux as an alternative to Microsoft's products is that, in the open source world, things take place in the light of day. This, though -- this is the kind of act I'd be embarassed to tell people about.

Imagine that, instead of a discount loophole, this was a security hole in an open-source program. Morally, I'd want to report it rather than exploit it.

Sargent

Re:indeed (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394895)

> everything was literally looted, especially DVD players and TV's

Wonder if this is big enough to influence the index of orders for durable goods this quarter?

--
It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?

Re:Cell phones. (3)

kramer (19951) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394896)

So if MSN cannot illegally bundle products with a loan why can the cell phone comanies still do it? They build a repayment schedule into the cost of the service for the phones. Why do you think most of them have early termination clauses in the contract

Because if you'd read the new article, you'd know Microsoft CAN do it. Microsoft misinterperted the law, and is actually offering a rebate and not a loan. As such they are not subject to the "no purchase with a loan" rule. They probably should have known this, but it appears their lawyers are a bunch of fuck-ups. The termination of the program in CA and OR is proabbaly just temporary while the work out a deal that doesn't require them to give everyone $400.

You may pick up your refund check.... (3)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394897)

at any location authorised to refund unused bundled new PC software OS & Application license fees per the EULA.

Boojum

Re:Monopoly power (2)

Money__ (87045) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394898)

As worded in the famous finding of fact writen by judge Jckson, "Microsoft enjoys monopoly power". Once a company is deemed to have monopoly power over it's relivant market, the rules change to help the market open to compitition.

The key differance between the OS market and the cell phone market, is that nobody has the cell phone market locked up tight.
_________________________

What would you do? (2)

EricWright (16803) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394899)

If Bill Gates was walking down the street handing out $400 bills (ok, 4 $100 bills), would you let him pass on by, or would you stick your hand out with the rest of us. I know what I'd do! and it ain't the moral high ground... ;)

On a more on-topic note: it seems as though this whole thing got started when Microsoft "assumed" it understood the law in question. I'm sure they have enough high-paid lawyers in their organization that they could have checked it out ahead of time. They didn't. They assumed, and we all know what that means...

Eric

Re:And, in later news... (2)

dattaway (3088) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394900)

And if they don't honor the contract, don't be passive, complain in every way, escalate the incident to the top.

I say this is that pretty soon, if you want to buy a computer at any store at the advertised price, you will have to buy it with a free "marketing research" rebate certificate with some long term strings attatched. How long will it take for that rebate check to be mailed? Not to mention basic internet service is going to be very competitive and cheap in a year. What if you buy two computers? Two internet rebates. Oh, goody!

Fight this gimmick. Its evil.

Morality or not.... (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394901)

Obviously, more people than myself would take Microsoft up on their "offer"; If I had lived in CA or OR, I definitely would have made it to my local Best Buy. People can spout morality of it all to the ends of the earth, but I would bet that 1/2 to 3/4 of the world's population just wouldn't care....

gimme gimme gimme!

Re:What would you do? (2)

Amphigory (2375) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394902)

But Bill Gates wasn't walking down the street passing out $400. There was a clear quid pro quo implied -- even if it wasn't in the contract.

And I would not have taken advantage of it. I happen to believe that taking advantage of this would be fraudulent at best. Since when did all of America turn into a bunch of latrine lawyers?

to microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394903)

I kiss you!

Once again, it's lawyerly incompetence (1)

MattMann (102516) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394904)

Microsoft misunderstood and thought they were required to do this by law? Shouldn't that be, Microsoft's lawyer's misunderstood... and probably because a poorly worded law, written by other lawyers, was ambiguous. And out of that pool of lawyers come politicians who select, from that pool of lawyers, judges and patent clerks...

I don't want to engage in totally mindless lawyer bashing. We need a legal system, ours is pretty good, but it is also important to remind us and them from time to time that lawyers are fallible people and they should keep that in the front of their minds when they do stuff like crush eToy.

In this case, for a change, a rapacious and immoral monopolist accidently gave back a crumb of the wedding cake it has stolen over the past decade and a half. Best cake I've had in a while!

a mass hack? a mass crack? (1)

DonFreenut (130669) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394905)


You could probably consider "half the state flocking to Best Buy to get their free toys" a mass hack - a bunch of people exploit a rebate loophole defraud Microsoft of $400 each.

Has anyone looked around on the 'net for a Perl script that will get the rebate automatically? Some Oregon skr1pt k1dd13s can't figure how to do it manually.

Do unto others.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394906)

yep...clear quid pro quo... from the same company that I have several (SEVERAL) copies of their software paid for that I don't use nor want. (exteme sarcasm) furthermore, there's a clear quid pro quo in the EULA...and no one's using that to take advantage of customers...nyah...(/extreme sarcasm)

Re:Monopoly power (2)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394907)

This has nothing to do with Microsoft being a monopoly.

Please reread the article.

Re:Is this right? (2)

348 (124012) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394908)

I don't know if this was "kicking them while they are down". If I lived in CA I sure would have taken their rebate. I'm currently an MSN customer, (no flames please, old e-mail acct. and my wife uses it) and although their service generally sucks, free stuff is free stuff.

I really dont beleive this was a "some lawyer"(Singular) mistake. There had to have been many marketing, co-branding and sr. management types involved with this. This was a full blown project in my view and unfortunately for the, a pretty poor one.

Re:Balancing the scales? (1)

Ralph Bearpark (2819) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394909)

But I don't see how exploiting this loophole does anything other than steal money from them.

True, but probably irrelevant. If people were guanteed immunitity for jimmying a window at Gates Mansion, stepping through, opening the safe behind the protrait of Melinda, removing 400 bucks and leaving quietly the same way then there would almost certainly be a queue to do that too.

Plain fact is: Gates ain't much loved by a lot of people.

Regards, Ralph.

Re:Hear is spelled with an "a" (2)

Psiren (6145) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394910)

It falls on deaf ears. Half the people submitting badly spelled comments is bad enough, but the terrible grammar and spelling on the main page really makes the site look bad. Still, since most people seem to ignore it, either they're too stupid to notice, or are just less fussy than me... ;)

"Some smegger's filled in this 'Have You Got A Good Memory?' quiz!"

Re: Cell phones. (1)

InitZero (14837) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394911)

They probably should have known this, but it appears their lawyers are a bunch of fuck-ups.

That ain't nice. Give 'em a break.

All of Microsoft's good lawyers are busy playing with Judge Jackson. Bill probably saw a television commercial featuring one of Seattle's finest, talked him out of chasing ambulances and hired him to write the contract. It was an honest mistake.

(I just wish I was in CA or OR instead of FL.)

I love for one of the Slashdot crew to call Best Buy and see how their sales figures yesterday. I wouldn't be surprised if they did better yesterday than in the pre-Christmas rush.

InitZero

Re:What would you do? (2)

EricWright (16803) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394912)

Yah, and time and again, courts have ruled that implicit agreements don't have the same importance as explicity one's. Blah Blah...

Calling 'taking advantage of the "offer"' fraudulent makes it sound illegal. It's not. It's exploiting a loophole in an agreement. Note, that in my original post, I stated that accepting the "offer" clearly isn't taking the moral high ground...

As to taking candy from a baby... try taking candy from a RICH baby, who routinely exploits computer users with their EULA-babble and who has ample legal resources at hand but didn't bother utilizing them.

And no, I'm not trying to be a lawyer... I'm merely using what usually passes for common sense.

Eric

i think it's great (1)

g0deatr (127966) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394913)

everybody hates those "free stuff for internet contract" deals anyway. maybe this will help people and businesses realize they are trash.

You what? (1)

viper21 (16860) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394914)

Cmdr Taco. I doubt you did there, because you're in Michigan... *grammar check* complete ;-)

For those of you who missed it

"I did here"

-S
Scott Ruttencutter

Re:Balancing the scales? (1)

Cetyle (127815) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394915)

Imagine that, instead of a discount loophole, this was a security hole in an open-source program. Morally, I'd want to report it rather than exploit it.
It was reported, but then Microsoft saying "Ha! Well no one is going to cancel MSN" is the equivalent of saying "No one's going to exploit this security flaw so I'm not going to fix it" instead of fixing it, people will take advantage of it if they can. When they have finally done so, Microsoft is now forced to correct the loophole by first pulling the deal and then amending the agreement.

It fits your model perfectly! :)

jim

Re:Balancing the scales? (1)

Field Marshall Stack (58180) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394916)

Yeah, I know, the company's worth gazillions, they can afford this mistake, and it is their own mistake. But I don't see how exploiting this loophole does anything other than steal money from them.

As several other people have pointed out earlier, it's not as if Microsoft didn't know that this was possible when they drafted the CA and OR contracts. This isn't some small loophole that they overlooked, this is Microsoft deliberately handing out money. They were betting that far fewer people would notice this than otherwise, and unfortunately they lost. I mean, say Bill Gates walks up to you and draws up a contract stating that he will give you one hundred thousand dollars if a coin flip comes up heads, would you refuse to accept the money if it did?
--
"HORSE."

Cancellation Legal??? (3)

Robert Wilde (78174) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394917)

Best Buy and the others have advertisements in displaying this deal all over California. There are laws that specifically forbid companies from advertising products or services that they don't have in stock.

I don't see how Best Buy can not honor your request for the $400 rebate if you show up between now and whatever date is printed on one of their newspaper advertisements. Taking advantage of the MS loophole may be unethical, but a retailer not honoring an advertisement is akin to breaking a contract and well established legal terrain.

Re:What would you do? (1)

Gid1 (23642) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394918)

Yah, and time and again, courts have ruled that implicit agreements don't have the same importance as explicity one's. Blah Blah...

... often in Microsoft's favor. How many times has Microsoft used the small print to screw their collaborators? I think it was someone at 3Com who heard something to the effect of "You were wrong to trust us" from a Microsoft employee.

Okay, maybe people shouldn't stoop to their level, but if a company (any company) is stupid enough to allow such a big loophole through, they deserve all they get.

Re:indeed (1)

aqua.net (134475) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394919)

Sure was.. I hit every Best Buy within driving distance, and their shelves were -bare-. No goodies for me. Oh well, I'll actually have to -pay- for a new DVD player. The outrage!

Re:And, in later news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394920)

Rumours that Microsoft had sent three agents to destroy Slashdot,
who's posting of the article on the deal is believed to have caused the massive take-up, were denied.
The Grammar Police would like to call your attention to the complete lack of interchangeability between who's and whose. Doesn't anyone actually write English anymore? Or do you just speak it--poorly?

Re: "stooping to their level" (3)

TheDullBlade (28998) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394921)

Of all the ideals of our modern culture, I think these are the dumbest:
"don't stoop to their level"
"if you respond in kind, you're no better than them"
"even if you know, from the evidence of your own senses, that someone is guilty of a crime, and you are in a bad situation far from your society's enforced law and order, they must be given a 'fair trial' by some authority who doesn't have first-hand knowledge"
etc.

What these have in common is that they seem to be about justice, but they're really about reserving the right to punish wrongdoers exclusively for the state. Direct action is no less moral, it just takes back power for the individual.

If someone legally, through consentual agreements, yet still against your will (for example, you neither wanted nor had any use for Windows or MS-DOS, but it's cost was unavoidably included in a computer you bought), takes your money, then you shouldn't feel bad about doing the same back to them.

It is just the same as if someone steals your car, and there are no police around to take it back (or car theft isn't illegal...); you would be fully morally justified in sneaking up and taking the car back, or in stealing other goods of equal value, or, for that matter, in beating the hell out of the prick and taking your car, and maybe whatever else he's got lying around, with a warning that next time you'll kill him (punishment has to be greater than the profit from the crime to be an effective deterrent).

However, going out and stealing someone else's car would really be stooping to their level...

Wait a mo... (1)

Geek Tragedy (134539) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394922)

Hey, this will sound totally crazy :) but what if it ***wasn't a mistake***... As in, people (wider community) get to vent some steam towards MS, community opinion changes somewhat... There's a thought. Or is MS not that smart. Yeh, probabley latter. Hmm, on second thoughts, maybe it is just crazy...

Re:Once again, it's lawyerly incompetence (1)

great om (18682) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394923)

actually, it wasn't legal incompetance. The deal's fine print clearly (well, clearly in legalese) stated that CA and Oregon residents were not required to comit to the deal --indeed it says they are not required to pay back the $400. It seems to me more either an acounting screw-up (to get the losses incurred noted in accounts as a loan --therefore equaling capital, rather than an expediture) or a marketing mistake.

Re:Is this right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394924)

I said it yesterday and I will say it again today. Ask the windows refund people. They got the run around when it says plain and simple in the EULA to return the software and get a refund. They used the law to swindle out of paying back money when it clearly states you can get a refund. Now people found a way to "legaly" swindle them out of paying back a loan. I say tit for tat.

Joe

Re:Is this right? (1)

clark9mm (126219) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394925)

YES it's really right. M$ and their lawyers are in charge of looking after their money, and we are in charge of looking out for ourselves. If they lay down on their "fiduciary duty" to make money it's up to us to take advantage of that. It's not a friendly game of tennis, it's *business.* They have plenty of resources to take care of themselves and to step all over anyone they want to. If they offer a deal that's not as advantageous to them as they might prefer they'll figure that out soon enough--looks like they already have. In the meantime, however, I'm glad that the deal proved advantageous to others.

is this right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394926)

well, if you have Windows, read the "contract" that comes with the program -- it is outrageously biased in favor of Microsoft. So if they, for whatever reason, write a contract that is biased in favor of the consumer, what's wrong with taking advantage of it? Believe me, they will try to take advantage of any aspect of the contract that favors them, and they wrote it in the first place.

Re:Grammer Police.... (0)

Johan Veenstra (61679) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394927)

English is not my first language. I had to read that sentence a couple of times before it started to make sense to me.

Reading a foreign language can be difficult at times, especially when the english used is plain incorrect.

Re:Cancellation Legal??? (1)

ctlcatfish (62226) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394928)

This is easy "sorry sir we are currently out of the rebate forms, we should have more in appx one week if you would like to stop back." And this is legal

Re:What would you do? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394929)

Yah, and time and again, courts have ruled that implicit agreements don't have the same importance as explicity
one's.
The Grammar Police wish to notify you of violating the Law of the Plurals. One does not form one's plurals by the addition of an apostrophe and an s, but rather one's possessives or contractions. I think you'll find that one's got enough problems of one's own not to be compounding them with improper plurals. The plural of four is fours; the plural of ten is tens; and the plural of one is simply ones.

Then there's the strange issue of explicity. Looks like I'm going to have to write you two tickets today, mister. This is your punishment from cutting English class for 15 years in a row.

Dow Jones says it's true (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394930)

Microsoft Reportedly Cancels $400 Merchandise Rebate Tied To Web Access

Dow Jones Online News, Friday, January 07, 2000 at 09:33

LOS ANGELES -(Dow Jones)- Software giant Microsoft Corp. reportedly has canceled an Internet-access rebate that allowed hundreds of people to sign up for its online service, spend the $400 rebate on electronic equipment and then cancel the Internet service the next day.

"Unfortunately, a few people are abusing a program designed to help people access the Internet," company spokesman Tom Pilla said in Friday's Los Angeles Times, confirming that the Redmond, Wash.-based company had canceled the program in California effective Friday, according to the Associated Press.

People lined up for as long as four hours Thursday at some Southern California stores to order Microsoft-provided Internet service and use their rebates to purchase merchandise. Many said they planned to cancel the service the next day.

The rebate agreement was supposed to commit consumers to paying for several years of Internet service, but those who have signed up for the rebate in California and Oregon apparently can cancel Microsoft Network access immediately without penalty, the L.A. Times reported.

In California and Oregon, Microsoft had to change the terms of its rebate because of the way it interpreted an obscure law regulating consumer lenders, the L.A. Times said. In those states, a consumer could walk in, spend $8 on $408 worth of electronics, agree to the Internet deal and cancel the next day without having to return the rebate money.

Microsoft offered the rebate all over the country with the condition in most states that people must return the $400 rebate if they cancel the Internet service early. But the company said loopholes in state laws prevented them from putting that provision into effect in California and Oregon.

Oh well. It's a gutless promotion that preys on bottom-feeders anyway. What ever happened to value?

"But, Lord Bill, you said release Microsoft's wallet!" "You Fool! I said Microsoft Wallet!"

Re:What would you do? (1)

knick (19201) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394931)

From what I've read, the contract clearle stated that Cali and Or residents could cancel without repayment. This wasn't a 'loophole', this was a clearly stated, written out, clause.

You can only blame MS for thinking that people would want to stay with MSN. Let's face it people. $400 is $400, and only a fool would give pass up on a chance for $400 for free.

Remember that Hitachi monitor at BUY.COM? (5)

Leigh13 (96452) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394932)

I'm sure plenty of /. readers remember the Hitachi Superscan monitor fiasco at buy.com. A weekend error on the retailer's web site listed a near-$600 19" monitor for something like $154.

Hundreds of excited shoppers and capitalists flooded buy.com with orders in an attempt to cash in on the store's mistake. A few days went by and the price was fixed, but the damage had already been done to the tune of several thousand orders.

After much confusion, buy.com announced they would fulfill the orders for the 150-some monitors they had in stock, and cancel the rest. Message boards, newsgroups, and web sites all over lit up with complaints about being "ripped off" or being caught as the victim of a bait and switch. More honest and understanding consumers (like me, of course) realized that we would be lucky to get such a great bargain, but if it fell through, we had no right to complain.

I personally placed an order for a monitor, but when I finally got a cancellation notice two weeks later, I shook it off and went on with my life. What about the people who ordered a dozen monitors and set up auctions on eBay before they even had them in their possession? Those were the guys screaming class action suit, crying that they got ripped off, and demanding justice at the hands (and pocketbook) of buy.com.

Well folks, no one got ripped off in that case. I admit in trying to get a bargain because of the error of someone else. When it fell through, I moved on with my life and kept my eyes peeled for the next poor fool to accidentally list something at one-fourth of the expected price. Best Buy and their phantom $400 rebate from Microsoft--it's the same situation.

A few lucky people took advantage early and walked out with DVD players and stereos for $400 cheaper then they should have. And thousands more were turned away before they could take advantage of a slip-up by the legal department at MS. Yeah, it would have been nice to get away with a nice bonus, however morally questionable--but when you get headed off before you can take advantage, there is no right to complain.

Microsoft and Best Buy responded in the only way we could really expect them to. If you didn't get your free money, let it go and move on. Given the continuing trend for slashed prices and instant rebates, we can expect something like this to happen again soon enough. Just be sure to take the deal before the unfortunate victim catches on!

They took their chance, and they lost. (3)

delevant (133773) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394933)

Well, one way to look at it (as mentioned by another poster in this thread, above) would be to say that "It is my fiduciary duty to my shareholders to take advantage of this financial windfall". See, if you treat yourself like a corporate entity, these things are easier to justify.

Perhaps the most persuasive argument (to me) however, is this:

  1. Microsoft has zillions of lawyers and accountants.
  2. Microsoft has zillions of executives.
  3. The lawyers, accountants, and executives all decided that this scam of theirs was a good idea.
  4. They collectively decided that this was a gamble worth taking, and they went for it.
  5. As so often happens in gambling, the other side (us citizens) won.
Microsoft took a shot, and they lost. Big deal. I feel no guilt in taking the money of someone that bet, and lost -- especially if they can afford it.

In fact, I feel pretty good about it . . .

Re:And, in later news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394934)

i think people writ real good ;)

Re:And, in later news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394935)

Granma Police is a fine old lady, but prefers tea and aftrernoon naps, these days. Let's leave her to enjoy her peace.

This discusssion sickens me. (5)

Benjamin Shniper (24107) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394936)

Let's face it; if Red Hat or Corel or Caldera offered a service deal in a loan, as Microsoft did it's MSN deal, then suddenly morality changes?

Well it doesn't. There is NO MORAL DIFFERENCE between murderring a bad man and murderring a good one. And there is no moral difference between legalized theft from a good company or a bad one.

Just because the law can't punish you doesn't mean it's somehow a correct action! If you were *allowed* to shoot Bill Gates, would you? If your answer is "no, I wouldn't do that" then consider how much it really matterred to you whether you were allowed to do something by the government!

-Ben

Re:Is this right? (1)

Zac Price (61093) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394937)

yeah, but is it right for them to charge the amount that they do for windows and office and many other product?

just think of it as microsoft giving people a fair market value for their software.

Just like with the IRS (0)

fr0g (63626) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394938)

I hax0r th3m j3ws every year.

Re:Grammer Police.... (1)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394939)

1) Grammar 2) Spelling is not grammar, whatever anal retentive school marms will tell you.

Microsoft Translator (1)

BadBlood (134525) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394940)

I love how when the story broke, Microsoft officials claimed they weren't worried since they've had so few people cancel their ISP service. Talk about clueless.

Microsoft Translation: "I have no idea what you're talking about. You are quoting legal mumbo-jumbo to me and all I hear is cracks and buzzes. Our legal team is working on something else right now, so rather than issue an inteligent comment, I'll just spout off some company rhetoric and everything will be peachy just like it always is."

Re:learn to spell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394941)

It's a shame how you're wasting my time and yours with this drivel -- get on with your life, get over it,

I'm over it.

Re:Grammer Police.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394942)

And it's spelled gramm*a*r, not gramm*e*r. Who can we trust to watch the watchers?

The duty of civil disobedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394943)

If anyone has ever deserved to be screwed, it's Microsoft.

The stores were empty. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394944)

I went to the California San Carlos store. The line was about 5 hours long. There were no more DVD players, Dreamcasts, Speaker systems, Bookshelf system, portable CD players, and anything with the word Sony on it over $200.00. It was really funny. I have never seen anything like it before, the store was almost empty. The scam was that they only had one register open. But one of the sales associates wised up and selling the extended rebate to the people in line. But hey most people went to the Best Buy, got their stuff, while on the phone cancelling their account, went across the parking lot over to Office depot and got more stuff. The line was only a couple minutes long there it would have been shorter if the guy would have learned to type.

But then the natural question is . . . (1)

delevant (133773) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394945)

. . . why are you still here, and why should anybody care what you think?

Ohhh, how foolish of me, I forgot -- you don't actually want to make constructive criticism, you'd rather rant and throw your little toys around.

Here's a tip that you clearly need:

Take a deep breath, and count to ten before you say anything.
The next time you feel like ranting, follow the advice above, and then try to come up with something constructive you could do to help the situation!

After all, simply screaming about a "morass of half-assed-ness" doesn't really do anybody any good, and it makes you look about as appealing as the gum I just scraped off my shoe.

Re:Balancing the scales? (1)

VWswing (74185) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394946)

In a more guerilla tactic, what if this had
been the same law nation wide? Could you imagine,
100 million people flocking to stores, looting
microsoft of $40billion. They could afford it,
but stockholders wouldn't be happy. They'd lose
all trust & respect with their huge retail partners like best buy, office max, staples, circuit city, fryes, j&r, etc, etc.. Bringing them
back down to human status..

We don't want microsoft dead (really :), we need
microsoft and their products as an example of what
not to do. Microsoft is a prime example of how products shouldn't be.

Proving the rule... (2)

chrisvr (41985) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394947)

"Grammer Police..."

tsk, tsk, tsk...

It's an inescapable rule that those who complain about others' mistakes make one themselves in correcting them.

Now someone gets to find mine...

Chris

Re:This discusssion sickens me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394948)

I we were allowed to shoot Bill Gates, there would be such a huge number of volunteers that they'd have to hand out tickets to determine who gets a shot.

Re:Grammer Police.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394949)

English isn't a foreign language. what you speak, is.

Re:Cell phones. (1)

beagle (99378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394950)

Why don't you just vote with your dollars? That's what we always do anyway. For example, I'll never again sign up for 1) analog cellular service, and 2) mobile phone service that requires a contract. NEVER. I've purchased a GSM phone (BellSouth Mobility DCS) and CDMA phone (Sprint PCS). Both because I refuse to sign a contract requiring a year of service - it's ridiculous! (As an aside, I hate CDMA - I wish Sprint used GSM! It's such a superior technology.)

When I was in college, I voted for SCSI, OS/2, and NeXT (still have a Cube - way cool machine). Unfortunately only SCSI won.

This is similar to the Star Wars: Episode I on DVD issue from the other day. You guys are wanting to vote with your dollars. Unfortunately you can't vote for a non-existant product (e.g. SW:TPM on DVD).

Re:Balancing the scales? (1)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394951)

Considering that this is the company that has used it's enormous size to require most new pc buyers to get purchase their software whether they wanted to or not for years, a practice legally considered anti-competetive, there is absolutely nothing morally objectionable about those users taking advantage of the inability of such an elephantine organization to know what is going on among it's parts, and recoup a little money. I say, fuck them. They left themselves open to being fucked, and it's time they got fucked.

Re: Cell phones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394952)

They probably should have known this, but it appears their lawyers are a bunch of fuck-ups. Aren't they all?

Re:Grammer Police.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394953)

Dang. I can't find a moderation option to mark something "Hypocritical". Complaining of orthographical fiaschetti whilst committing them oneself surely merits come kind of mark-down.

Re: Get a pack from Nevada or Washington (1)

Hermelin (15608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394954)

If you are willing to drive there and back for $400 dollars, that is.

Then they are obligated to, unless the form is have the Nevada legalese only.

Re:Grammer Police.... (0)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394955)

and you suck a fat pile of shit

Re:is this right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394956)

"Believe me, they will try to take advantage of any aspect of the contract that favors them, and they wrote it in the first place."

AND

"So if they, for whatever reason, write a contract that is biased in favor of the consumer, what's wrong with taking advantage of it?"

Because, two wrongs do not a right make. M$ Scr3w$ us so we scr3w them back. That is consentual s3x between adults. Do we really want to be in bed with M$?

Re:This discusssion sickens me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394957)

There is NO MORAL DIFFERENCE between murderring a bad man and murderring a good one.
I think you're inferring, or at least preferring, the wrong spelling of murdering. :-)

However, you're completely correct in your stance. We don't rape rapists; their own culpability does nothing to exonerate us from the same sin should we return the very same wickedness unto them.

Re:Is this right? (1)

Kithran (24643) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394958)

Yes Microsoft have made a mistake that has effectively led to them giving away money. However my feeling is until Microsoft start paying compensation for bugs in their programs (which after all are in theory due to a programmer making a mistake) they should just swallow the loss. If they were to provide refunds or free upgrades to (for example) people running MS Exchange Server 5.0 (which cannot be configured to prevent spmmaers abusing it to send junk e-mail without paying to upgrade to 5.5) people will have a lot more sympathy for their current plight.

Kithran

Re:Grammer Police.... (1)

Chip Stillmore (16985) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394959)

Grammer, eh?

heh heh ... Sorry buddy, but even though you most likely didn't mean to, you gave me something to laugh at. Thanks.

For what it's worth, I believe CmdrTaco would do well to be a little more careful in the future, when it comes to adding comments. I realize that we all should be careful too ... I am not saying that us "readers" are perfect, but there should be a higher expectation and/or standard placed on the people that actually run the site. After all, it speaks volumes for not only them personally, but for the professionalism of the site as well.

Re:Balancing the scales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394960)

In a more guerilla tactic... Bzzt. You mean guerrilla. Unless you're speaking of cute little blonde girls, I suppose. But I doubt that's the tactic you're referring to. "Guerra" has two R's.

Re:Balancing the scales? (1)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394961)

and cocksucker has one R

moral for the state means moral for the individual (3)

TheDullBlade (28998) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394962)

"There is NO MORAL DIFFERENCE between murderring a bad man and murderring a good one."

What if he is executed? Do you really think it's moral for the state and not for the individual? Of course not, trials and government authority and other formalities have nothing to do with morality, they are just a practical system for everyone to agree on one course of action (and hopefully the moral one).

Since you seem to be using it as a narrow example to illustrate a broad point, I'll assume you mean that for every crime, not just murder.

How about imprisoning an evil man? Taking back stolen goods?

It is not immoral to punish the guilty. However, this is not about that.

If I could legally take any amount of money (from a dollar to a billion dollars) from Bill Gates I would. Did he earn the money? Of course not, no single individual can earn such a vast fortune, and it's debatable whether he's ever done a useful and productive thing for society (as opposed to hurting society for his own profit) in his work at Microsoft. His only claim to it over mine (or anyone else's claim) is legal; he has no moral claim to this unearned fortune. Therefor, taking his money would be, at worst, a morally neutral act. Morally neutral and personally beneficial, hmm... I wouldn't have to think about it for very long.

I wouldn't shoot Bill Gates, much as I dislike him. It's not like he's a real dictator who orders his enemies tortured and murdered. It would be morally wrong to shoot him for no reason.

Re:Hear is spelled with an "a" (1)

Troll_Hunter (127940) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394963)

These problems come from our educational system in the USA. I spent one year in an English school (Perse school for boys in Cambridge). 3 years later, I saw the same math taught again sophmore year at MIT.

Literature and the arts were never presented at the same level, or were not presented at all. Hell, the school orchestra was playing Wagner or something, whereas my high school band though "When the saints come marching in" was the ultimate in difficulty.

I think several factors contribute to the superiority of the school I was in.

First, Discipline. People who cut up were sent to the Headmaster, a tough old bird who was able to inspire terror by looking at you. People who cut up twice had their ass beaten with a cricket bat. Harsh? I guess, but the example made of a few meant that class was a place to study, not be disruptive.

Second, the material was tough, and you had to pay close attention and work hard to keep up. The result was you did not get bored.

Third, the teachers knew their material, and I did not see any teachers who were slack.

Here in the US, we have teachers who get attacked by parents if the kid gets a bad grade, and a teachers union which makes it impossible to get rid of bad teachers. The result is predictable- let kids coast thru class, and do what they want. Who cares if they learn little or nothing.

We all should, but we do not. The focus now seems to be on sports, not academics, with sports stars seen as heros.

Listen up (1)

#include (130485) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394964)

I'll you what... this isn't anything but the old bait - n - switch. That's right, ol Franky has seen it more than once... THIS IS THE FUCKING BAIT AND SWITCH. Those fucking bastards from Redmond think that they can just willey nilley make offers then rescind them.. WELL I'M NOT GONNA FUCKING STAND FOR IT.

I'm gonna get on the blower and tell my fucking congressman about this happy horeshit. I'm gonna fire up the old email program and start a fucking grassroots groundswell effort to put an end to this atrocity. YOU CAN'T FUCK WITH FRANK RIZZO CAUSE I'LL TRACK YOU DOWN TO THE FUCKING END OF THE EARTH AND I'LL RIP YOUR FUCKING HEART OUT.

La guerra entre gŁerillas y guerrillas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394965)

Actually, if güero is a blond, and güera is a blonde, then you mean güerilla for a cute blonde girl--with mandatory diæresis. But this still isn't guerrilla.

Re:This discusssion sickens me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394966)

1) You aren't qualified to talk about morality in a general sense

2) There is no legalized theft. Theft is a crime. Crimes are illegal.

3) Recouping money from a company because they fucked up is not criminal. Nor is it immoral.

And there is a difference between murdering a good person and a bad person. In the second case, the motherfucker deserved it.

Re:Grammer Police.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394967)

Two things:
  1. What the fuck are "orthographical fiaschetti"?
  2. "Whilst" isn't a word.

Re:Cancellation Legal??? (1)

jesser (77961) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394968)

I remember seeing something to the effect of "MSN may retract this offer at any time" on the MSN "loan" form. I wonder if this means I can return that computer I bought last night? (if it matters, I did sign up for MSN last night also)

--

Re:And, in later news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394969)

Peepol Haf no problems spelling or with grammer and stuff. Why dont you just mind you're own business. What a're you? An elglish teacher or someone? ;)

Re:Listen up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394970)

uhhhh, relax buddy, you might have a heart attack or something.

Re:Balancing the scales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394971)

I bow to your greater experience in these matters.

*g*

Re:Balancing the scales? (3)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394972)

the debatable morality of taking advantage of a loophole like this

I question the debatable morality involved in advertising a computer for $399 when it actually costs $799. I question the morality of shrink-wrap licenses. I question the morality of lying, cheating, and stealing (harsh words, but I believe accurate) to make a profit. I question the morality of lobbying the government to cut the funding of the department that's trying to prosecute you. I don't think that MS has a leg to stand on if they complain about people taking advantage of them. (Aside - I'd love to know if the SV News article had its roots in Redmond.)

Many would argue "Two wrongs don't make a right." This presupposes that forcing Microsoft to obey the law is wrong, which is a laughable proposition. Some might suggest that this is taking advantage of Microsoft's ignorance of California and Oregon law. Given the size of their legal department, and given the fact that they've lobbied nearly every state government to change laws to favor shrink-wrap licenses, I'd have to laugh at this suggestion, too.

If someone was passing out $100 bills on the street, would it be taking advantage of them to accept the money? I don't see any difference.

Microsoft owes me more than $400 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394973)

If I ever charged them for the time I wasted fighting Windows, for the repeated loss of my work due to random crashes, and for the grief this product has caused me over the years, 400 dollars would only be a drop in the ocean of frustration and pain. Microsoft, I despise you with all my heart.

Re:Balancing the scales? (1)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394974)

I gleefully accept the kudos on my spelling experience. Cocksucker.

Re:Grammer Police.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394975)

Ahh, the voice of experience.

I think the worst part... (1)

Cygnus v1 (32061) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394976)

...is that the people that cancel the service and receive their rebates will probably not be allowed to join MSN in the future!

They're really going to be hurting when Microsoft buys the Internet!

Ironically, to many of the potential customers Microsoft was targeting with this promotion, Windows *is* the Internet.

cancel msn? (1)

jesser (77961) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394977)

i hope they at least let us cancel msn without paying for the first month..

anyone know what office depot, staples, and officemax are saying about returning purchased items? (from what i've read it sounds like best buy was an instant rebate, and the others were mailin. does that mean bestbuy got screwed?)

--

Wonderings... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394978)

Perhaps a coordinated effort could have dragged this out for months... as it was, hordes of impatient consumers got their money and got the deal stopped before giving me enough time to move to California. *sigh* Damn.

Re:learn to spell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394979)

"here" passes a spell check.

The word you are looking for is "syntax"

Re:Balancing the scales? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394980)

I gleefully accept the kudos on my spelling experience. Cocksucker.
You should be so lucky. I suggest you do the dirty need on yourself in a wondrous feat (and a nutritious feast) of autofellation instead of soliciting for said services on the Internet.

Re:Grammer Police.... (2)

TheCodeMaster (101307) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394981)

you know, that comment doesn't really make sense. I mean, you're trying to say that I'm the one that sucks a fat pile of shit, but the sentence you employed to do this doesn't really work. I mean, the experience from which I speak might be actually watching you suck the aforementioned shit pile. Or it might be with other shitsuckers like you. I realize you meant, takes one to know one, or something like that. But all you've proved is that you're a shitsucker.
Once again. Oh, and there's 1 R is shitsucker.

Re:What would you do? (2)

Jburkholder (28127) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394982)

I respectfully disagree. Just because they do it to others and they left themselves open should not be a good enough excuse, IMO.

Yeah, they are jerks. Yeah, they abuse contracts to their advantage when it suits 'em. Yeah, its funny as hell that they got caught with their pants down and thousands tried to take advantage.

I'm not saying those that did go for this were wrong, or unethical, I'm just saying that I wouldn't have, only because I want to continue to think that somehow I belong to a community that is above the dirty tricks that we acuse Microsoft of. (Boy, that was badly worded, but I don't hae the energy to fix it this morning!)

Put it another way:

Microsoft is stupid and not well-liked, they left themselves open to being taken advantage of by consumers who obviously have little or no respect for them. Microsoft pulls this while they continue the facade that this was intended to 'help people get affordably connected to the internet' and 'only a few people were trying to abuse the offer' while their apparent intent was to buy MSN subscribers and it blew up in their face.

Good enough for me. That's worth more than $400 dollars to me to have the smug satisfaction that they are slime and I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of even giving them my name and address and CC number in excahange for $400 regardless if I would get it back by exploiting a loophole in their own dumb agreement.

------------------------------------------
My, we like ourselves quite a lot, don't we. Just have to say a little prayer against you...
And then a little superior dance...
Who could have written that little agreement, Billy... hmmmm?? Could it have been...

SATAN??!!

Mwahahahah!



MODERATE THE BASTARDS INTO OBLIVION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1394983)

Ok, moderators. Do your job. This guy is a trolling flamebaiter.

Re:Hear is spelled with an "a" (1)

Psiren (6145) | more than 14 years ago | (#1394984)

Wierd... I drive past that school on my way to work. And yes, you're probably right about the lack of education. Still annoys the hell out of me though.

"Some smegger's filled in this 'Have You Got A Good Memory?' quiz!"
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