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Italian Judge Tells HP To Refund Pre-Installed XP

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the fair's-fair dept.

HP 225

Paolo DF writes "An Italian user asked for a refund after buying a Compaq computer that came with Windows XP and Works 8 pre-installed. HP tried to avoid the EULA agreement which states, approximately: '[I]f the end user is not willing to abide by this EULA... he shall immediately contact the producer to get info for giving back the product and obtaining refunds.' The court ruled in favor of the user (Google translation from the Italian), who received back €90 for XP and €50 for Works. Here is the ruling (PDF, Italian)."

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Progress. (5, Interesting)

nozzo (851371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144751)

This is progress, the more this happens the better the choice for the consumer. It shows the vendors that users prefer OS choices a la Dell.
True, this is but 1 user but every little helps as we say in the UK.

Re:Progress. (1)

rtyhurst (460717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144771)

"REIMBURSEMENT - Repayment thin, but has great symbolic value: 90 euros for Windows XP and 50 euros for Works 8 which is obviously accodano legal costs."

Hey if I got even *semi*-accodano legal costs, I'd be celebrating on the Via Dolorosa with pizza in my Ferrari!

Re:Progress. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21144825)

you mean pizze

Re:Progress. (4, Funny)

chromatic (9471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144913)

The Via Dolorosa's pretty narrow. Also, it's in Jerusalem.

Re:Progress. (1)

rtyhurst (460717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146065)

Escalope!

Jerusalem is part of Italia Irridenta!

And so is XP!

pwned!!!

Re:Progress. (2, Interesting)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146581)

Nevertheless reading the full article you can see that the guy who sued works for a Consumer Association and on his side there were not legal expenses. This is a win/win situation. If he wins he gets the money and attorneys get paid + pubblicity for the association - If he loses noone gets hurt.

Enrico

Re:Progress. (1)

nozzo (851371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144779)

also, wow! first post. After all these years, blimey o'reilly.

Re:Progress. (1)

kryten250 (1177211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144839)

I guess microsoft will no longer be supplying italy with copies of their OS...

Re:Progress. (5, Insightful)

AusIV (950840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145085)

True, this is but 1 user but every little helps as we say in the UK.

It's not just one user. It's a legal precedent. Now Italian Linux users may be more likely to request refunds for Windows licenses that come with computers, and since there's a legal precedent, the vendors may be more likely to comply.

Re:Progress. (3, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146465)

And do not forget people and companies who still have already bought XP legaly previously.

This is good news for the consumer. The ad news is that this will not harm Microsoft in the least, even if EVERYBODY would do this. It will be the computercompanies who will need to caugh this one up.

They will not be able to get their money back from Microsoft. So either they will start loosing money (because they do not make that much on a PC) in Italy, or stop selling PC's altogether.

Most likely the latter will be happening with other companies, like Dell. The result will be that larger companies will not be selling computers in Italy. Tghis will result in lower quality and people who want Windows paying more. So if the consumer wants the same product, he will end up paying more then he does now.

The solution? Have this implemented in the rest of Europe. The European market is big enough to force a change and balsy enough to force Microsoft to pay back the companies in full.

After that South America will follow and then Asia. Africa, Austriala, Canada and Mexico will follow after that. The USofA? They will follow the moment the consumers have some rights, except the right to shut up and spend money. Sorry.

Re:Progress. (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146599)

So either they will start loosing money (because they do not make that much on a PC) in Italy, or stop selling PC's altogether.

Or start selling PCs with linux, and have Windows as an add-on with a price tag.

Re:Progress. (4, Informative)

lbbros (900904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146623)

Although it is a legal precedent, it must be noted that Italian law is not based on precedents, like UK or USA. Even the rulings of our "Corte di Cassazione" (akin to the Supreme Court) are not completely binding (i.e. they show the "correct" interpretation of the law but judges can decide differently).

Yeah well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145167)

He should not have had to go to court to get his money.

HP are schmucks for not honoring the refund from the get go.

Don't buy from HP. Just buy components and assemble them yourself. It isn't that hard.

Re:Progress. (1)

genaldar (1118197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145861)

I thought the EULA just meant that you could return the computer. It doesn't entitle you to a refund. In the case of the pre-built machine its a package, don't like the bundled software. Fine, remove it. But don't expect your money back. Time to break out the classic analogy. I want a Ford with a Chevy engine, should Ford take back the engine and give me back a portion of my money? No, thats stupid. How about I buy a mac, should Apple refund me the cost of the OS since I want windows? They'd just smile and send me a link to boot camp (or whatever they're calling it now).

Re:Progress. (3, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146545)

> I thought the EULA just meant that you could return the computer

I believe this is referring to the Windows EULA, which only discusses your non-rights w.r.t. Windows, and doesn't discuss the hardware at all. I don't have it handy, but when I read it [and when it's come up before in slashdot, for the odd person getting a refund in the US], the EULA explicitly states [at least for the US] that you have the right to return the software [specifically] for a full refund if you don't agree with the EULA.

And I don't think MS wants to revise the EULA to force the return of the computer as well, because then it explicitly goes back to that monopoly situation, where for the large vendors, you must then buy Windows to get a computer. Now, it's just a big hassle for both the consumer and the vendor to buy a computer without Windows [in general], but it's not legally forced by Microsoft [except perhaps in some non-pubic legal agreements between the vendors and Microsoft, where they pay for each computer shipped instead of each Windows license shipped - Windows licenses refunded].

Re:Progress. (2, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146563)

I thought the EULA just meant that you could return the computer
For that to apply you would have to sign an agreement when you bought the computer. You agree to the EULA after you have bought the hardware, so it cannot affect your ownership of the hardware. In any case, it is an MS EULA that only applies to the software.

Time to break out the classic analogy
Time to break out the classic flawed analogy.

Corrected that for you.

I want a Ford with a Chevy engine, should Ford take back the engine and give me back a portion of my money?
The first time you start the Ford does it flash up a notice saying: "before using this engine, you must agree to these terms, otherwise return the engine for a refund"? If it does then yes, otherwise no.

How about I buy a mac, should Apple refund me the cost of the OS since I want windows?
If they have a similar EULA, then yes.

MS Tax (5, Insightful)

indy_Muad'Dib (869913) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144799)

90 euros for XP, $130

50 Euros for Works, $70.

so why do we only get back around $10 for a XP turn in?

Re:MS Tax (5, Insightful)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144831)

Because Microsoft owns a significant chunk of the American political machine, but owns very little of the European one.

Re:MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21144877)

Mod parent: FSCKING-A! :)

Re:MS Tax (4, Insightful)

Sterling Christensen (694675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145221)

It's probably because US retailers think it should count that they bundled Windows with sponsored crapware bringing net cost down to $10, while the Italian Judge (quite reasonably) thought it shouldn't.

Re:MS Tax (1)

Teriblows (1138203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145799)

wrong, its because microsoft isn't a European company. its a bit of the old economic warfare.

Re:MS Tax (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144843)

90 euros for XP, $130
50 Euros for Works, $70.

Telling Microsoft to take their software to the dumpster: Priceless.

Re:MS Tax (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144961)

90 euros for XP, $130

50 Euros for Works, $70.
Canadian dollars, right? So in American that guy just got back $10k, right? Payday!

Re:MS Tax (-1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145105)

Canadian dollars, right? So in American that guy just got back $10k, right? Payday!
You must be stuck in the 60's. Right now the Canadian Dollar is much stronger than the US, and it will only get stronger considering the US economy is based on two kinds of jobs, McDonald's and The Iraqi War Machine. The US will became a "second world nation" (if it isn't already) within 10 years.

Re:MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145255)

Wow, communist revolution in the United States. I never would have expected that...

Re:MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145275)

I have no comment on the future of the US economy but your concept of the exchange rate is a little exaggerated. It was not until last month (September 2007) that the US dollar went below Canada's and your "much stronger" works out to be 0.3% at the closing yesterday.

If you were trying to prove some point, you did a very bad job.

Re:MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145315)

I know it's hard to admit that youe economy is going down the toilet, that most of your young people will soon be crooning the phrase "would you like fries with that", but denial will only speed the issue along.

Re:MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145377)

Weak currency is good for the economy currency, see the World Bank and the riot against China's artificially low currency peg. Fucking idiot.

Re:MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145519)

There was no denial. It was a statement of pure facts, unlike the parent that was full of exaggeration and speculation. I am not commenting with agreement or disagreement with the speculation in any way.

It's all relative and this is why your half assed speculation needs to have more actual depth to make sense because the drop in the US dollar is not quite as big or doom and gloom as you think.
Not that this matters since you are not interested in actual facts but the CDN dollar has made gains with almost every currency in the world in the last six months, more then the US dollar value has lowered with those same currencies. So is the change between the US and CDN dollar due to the US dollar dropping or and CDN dollar gaining? The answer is both as the CDN dollar is going up more then the US dollar is falling which gives the US-->CDN comparison the large change. Yes the US dollar is falling across the board but the major factor when just comparing the ratio of these two specific currencies is the CDN dollar is rising faster world wide.

Again just to be clear, there is no denial or opinions here, just facts. You can interpret them and assume a final outcome if you'd like.

Re:MS Tax (1)

Teriblows (1138203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145853)

canada is being propped up by oil in the west. i don't think you realize certain industries won't like the strong canadian dollar. all those film/tv productions from the us that go to canada for the "savings" will now have no reason to stay for one. which is honestly a good thing since bland canadian cities/locations trying to pass as us ones is getting a bit tiresome.

Re:MS Tax (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145419)

That's what the GP is saying, genius. He knows the number for euro to candian will be smaller than euro to dollar, becuase now the loonie is worth more than the USD. That's the whole point of the joke - $10K US dollars for 70 euro. :)

Re:MS Tax (1)

Asmor (775910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145425)

Someone failed reading comprehension...

He implied ~$100 CDN was ~$10k American. Hence, he implied that the American dollar was around a hundredth what a canadian dollar is.

Re:MS Tax (1)

Morkano (786068) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145433)

You must be stuck in the 60's. Right now the Canadian Dollar is much stronger than the US, and it will only get stronger considering the US economy is based on two kinds of jobs, McDonald's and The Iraqi War Machine. The US will became a "second world nation" (if it isn't already) within 10 years.
That was the joke the GP was making. If the Canadian dollar is worth more than the American, a small number of CAD would be equal to a greater number of USD. Thus, the joke.

Re:MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145783)

uh, no....

the economy is quite strong, here.. thank you... everyone i know has very nice paying jobs - what is messed up is the stock market(s), unemployment is quite low

Re:MS Tax (2, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145115)

90 euros for XP, $130

50 Euros for Works, $70.

Canadian dollars, right? So in American that guy just got back $10k, right? Payday!

According to the X-Rates [x-rates.com] currency calculator 140 euros is 201.46 US dollars and 193.784 Canadian dollars.

Falcon

Re:MS Tax (1)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145177)

I feel a disturbance in the force...

as if many thousands of pounds [wikipedia.org] cried out in a screaming arc over your head.

Re:MS Tax (1)

kuzb (724081) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145427)

-5 ignorant

Re:MS Tax (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145469)

how was the parent ignorant dipshit? he even provided a source.

Re:MS Tax (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145603)

Come on everyone knows http://www.xe.com/ [xe.com] is the place to go for currency info, it even has top pagerank on Google.

Google pagerank != good source (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146017)

it even has top pagerank on Google.
I can detect your sarcasm, but everyone knows that Google's pagerank is levered towards advertising revenue [smh.com.au] rather than good sources of info.

Re:MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145959)

hmmm ..... well that exchange rate is at least 6 months out of date.

Re:MS Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21146423)

I think the GP was attempting what we here on Earth call "hew-more" through "hi-per-bowl".

Canadian dollar is not *that* strong (-1, Redundant)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146699)

> Canadian dollars, right? So in American that guy just got back $10k, right? Payday!

The Canadian dollar is strong, but not strong enough that CAD 200 is equal to USD 10000 (or as you wrote it, $10k).

What's that in real money, Canadian Dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21144963)

Dollars? Haven't seen anyone discussing prices in dollars for a long time. Not since the great devaluing by Bush II.

Any other attempts at this? (3, Insightful)

cygtoad (619016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144837)

Assuming the EULA is the same in the US and elsewhere, I wonder why this has not been tried before, and if it has, does anyone know the outcome? This has far reaching implications beyond HP. Any computer manufacturer would be affected, but the EULA seems to point heavily to the refunding procedure, not of Microsoft, but of the reseller. It should be interesting to see how HP responds.

Plenty of other (successful) attempts at this... (5, Informative)

Aehgts (972561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145015)

As a quick google search's [google.com] first few results show: this has been done in the US and Australia in the past with at least Dell and Toshiba and has been followed on slashdot [slashdot.org] before.

Re:Any other attempts at this? (4, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145021)

Assuming the EULA is the same in the US and elsewhere, I wonder why this has not been tried before, and if it has, does anyone know the outcome?

It may be a hassle but people in the US have been getting refunds for years. Here's an article, "Windows license opens door for Linux refund" [cnn.com] on how people in the late '90s were requesting refunds. It mentions /. and how /.ers got involved.

Falcon

Re:Any other attempts at this? (2, Informative)

complete loony (663508) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145187)

One of the first refunds I ever heard about was in 1998, by a friend of mine in Adelaide, Australia [netcraft.com.au] .

Re:Any other attempts at this? (2, Insightful)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145087)

Assuming the EULA is the same in the US and elsewhere, I wonder why this has not been tried before, and if it has, does anyone know the outcome? This has far reaching implications beyond HP. Any computer manufacturer would be affected, but the EULA seems to point heavily to the refunding procedure, not of Microsoft, but of the reseller. It should be interesting to see how HP responds.
It is and it has. There was a case recently in I think a French court where one of the big names was being awkward, and the court awarded the customer the full retail cost of all the software they rejected instead of just the OEM price. This was obviously a penalty for the company being difficult about obeying the EULA. And there have been a few others where people have demanded a refund as specified in the EULA, and reported their adventures in getting satisfaction.

Its a case of "don't like it.. Don't buy it", so he didn't. This could be something that will get more popular as time goes by. If someone wants to install their own copy of Windows to get rid of all the crapplets, then they should be given a refund of the unused license, If they choose to use another OS, then that is also a perfectly legitimate reason to reject the EULA and have the price of Windows and any other software refunded. The conditions of the EULA are enforced when it goes against the user, so there is no real justification to not enforce the other bits.

Re:Any other attempts at this? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145353)

. This could be something that will get more popular as time goes by.


While I hope and pray that you're right, I'm afraid that probably won't ever be the case. There are a lot of people who don't even know what Windows is never mind that there is something else you can use. And most people wouldn't dream of installing their own copy of Windows, even if they knew what it was. Why do that? It comes with the machine, it's already there.

The unfortunate fact is that while there are those of us who know what we're doing, we are very much in the minority. Most people don't even think about the computer works, what software is on it, etc. They just know they have to click on the little "W" to get to Microsoft Word, which is what they use to write letters, or click on the blue 'E' to get to the Internet.

WTF?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21144857)

This guy bought a computer with XP installed and he's griping about it? Perhaps he would have preferred a computer with no OS? That would have been really useful. Why did he buy it in the first place? Un-frelling-believable.
Now, had it come with Vista installed, I could see his point...

Re:WTF?! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21144889)


This guy bought a computer with XP installed and he's griping about it? Perhaps he would have preferred a computer with no OS?

We buy machines with no OS all the time (actually Dell ships FreeDOS but it's not installed). Perhaps the user in question was wanting to install a free OS on it?

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145685)

This guy bought a computer with XP installed and he's griping about it? Perhaps he would have preferred a computer with no OS? That would have been really useful. Why did he buy it in the first place? Un-frelling-believable.

Perhaps you've never heard of AROS? I'm sure the poor guy was just trying to replace his old Amiga.

Re:WTF?! (2, Funny)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146635)

I'm sure the poor guy was just trying to replace his old Amiga.

Why on earth would anyone want to do such a thing?!

Approximately? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144873)

EULA agreement which states, approximately: '[I]f the end user is not willing to abide by this EULA... he shall immediately contact the producer to get info for giving back the product and obtaining refunds.'

States approximately? I'd prefer to know exactly before I made any conclusions.

Re:Approximately? (2, Informative)

joerisamson (824408) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144903)

Well, this is probably a translation, so most of us are helped more with the translation, even if a translation has no binding value and is therefore only approximately correct.

Re:Approximately? (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145041)

EULA agreement which states, approximately: '[I]f the end user is not willing to abide by this EULA... he shall immediately contact the producer to get info for giving back the product and obtaining refunds.'

States approximately? I'd prefer to know exactly before I made any conclusions.

If you're in the US you want the version of the EULA for the US, the Italian version is only good in Italy. It's been years but when I had to agree after getting a new PC, in the US, it basically said if I didn't agree I had to contact the OEM to get a refund.

Falcon

Re:Approximately? (3, Informative)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145341)

After a few seconds to get to the Google page, the EULA states exactly in the first paragraph.. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sp2/proeula.mspx [microsoft.com]

"IMPORTANT--READ CAREFULLY: This End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single entity) and Microsoft Corporation or one of its affiliates ("Microsoft") for the Microsoft software that accompanies this EULA, which includes computer software and may include associated media, printed materials, "online" or electronic documentation, and Internet-based services ("Software"). An amendment or addendum to this EULA may accompany the Software. YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS EULA BY INSTALLING, COPYING, OR OTHERWISE USING THE SOFTWARE. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE, DO NOT INSTALL, COPY, OR USE THE SOFTWARE; YOU MAY RETURN IT TO YOUR PLACE OF PURCHASE FOR A FULL REFUND, IF APPLICABLE."

Rejecting the contract at this stage means you have no need to read the rest of the EULA,and states explicitly that you are entitled to a refund, who you are entitled to a refund from, and as the court cases have shown, the refund is in fact applicable. So basically, if they don't give a refund, you are entitled to take them to court and enter a case where you as the end user will win.

Italian Day at /.? (3, Funny)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21144955)


Well, kudos to Italy for making the front page of slashdot 3 times in one day, finally constructing a mechanical device that didn't break down immediately, and ending up with a score in the green.

Ciao!

Re:Italian Day at /.? (1)

eaman (710548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145357)

Hey mate, Italy has never got into censoring: it was a proposal and not a law.
I've seen a lot of cars made in my town (Modena) working quite well, check the farm 'round here in Maranello or those bikes made ~50km on the way to Bologna (Ducati).

BTW: we also have open standards and open software as a priority for any public/government work.

Cheers !

Re:Italian Day at /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21146005)

I bet Mussolini may have censored a few people.

Re:Italian Day at /.? (1)

Nadir (805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146217)

Yes, and McCarthy too.

slashdot effect to hit Italy? (1)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145493)

3 Italian stories on slashdot frontpage at short intervals... Who bets that Italian Internet will slow down to sub-28.8 speeds as Italy feels the slashdot effect?

It would be fun (maybe not for the sysadmins though) to have organised country TLDs slashdottings, eg agree for one day to surf only pages ending in a particular country's TLD.

It would then become more apparent that the modern Internet does not share the intended reliability and high-availability of arpanet. There are too many SPOFs in modern Internet.

Re:Italian Day at /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145499)

Well, kudos to Italy for making the front page of slashdot 3 times in one day, finally constructing a mechanical device that didn't break down immediately, and ending up with a score in the green.

That's not a fair statement, given that both auto and moto 2007 prototype world champions (Ferrari in F1 and Ducati in MotoGP) are Italian machines that shined for reliability.

Re:Italian Day at /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21146589)

what about italian cars????

please look at www.ferrari.it.

we are Formula 1 world champion, dear...

Work still has to be done (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145001)

It appears work still has to be done in getting the word out that in some cases, a Windows refund is still possible. I remember reading right here on Slashdot that a refund was possible. In fact there is s a website having info in this very topic. It went off-line long ago! It was www.wondowsrefund.net.

Re:Work still has to be done (5, Funny)

udippel (562132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145183)

It went off-line long ago! It was www.wondowsrefund.net

No winder it went off-line !

Don't get it (2, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145065)

I think the EULA was clearly refering to the entire computer not to this software. My guess is that the reason this never happened before is because the entire computer is normally returned not just the software. My guess is that that HP ran afoul of some EU or Italian law governing bundled products. If that is indeed true, I will probably characterize such a law as "lame".

Re:Don't get it (1)

cygtoad (619016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145237)

"My guess is that the reason this never happened before is because the entire computer is normally returned not just the software."

Yeah, I thought this too. The only trouble with this is how can a third party software vendor dictate any agreement between a hardware manufacturer and a buyer. You wouldn't return an entire car if you did not agree to enter into a legal agreement about the use of the installed stereo.

Microsoft has been very good at getting people to think the OS and the computer are inseparable. It has been able to do this because for a long time, there was no other viable mainstream alternative. That is changing, and so are consumer's thoughts about the computers they purchase.

Re:Don't get it (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145439)

The only trouble with this is how can a third party software vendor dictate any agreement between a hardware manufacturer and a buyer.

Actually this is pretty easy in practice. Microsoft makes a deal with the hardware vendor to bundle their software on the machine. Part of the agreement involves conditions on the agreement bewteen manufacturer and buyer. Even most open source involves minor constraints: a manufacturer cannot provide most open source software without including copies of the agreement and sometimes other constraints (like a guarantee that the software will not be used for military purposes to name an extreme licensing condition that occasionally shows up).

Re:Don't get it (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146593)

What you say about OSS is true but entirely irrelevant. It's one thing to restrict the way in which your product may be used, but entirely another to say that if your product is to be used to fulfil one contract with a third party then it must be used to fulfil all such contracts. That's abuse of a dominant market position, and it's astonishing that anyone should get away with it.

Re:Don't get it (1)

eaman (710548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145449)

Well in Italy a manufacturer can't dictate the buyer how he is supposed to use the item, as long as the use is not against the law or dangerous to someone else.
So they Dell can't tell me: "This is made for windoze, if you don't want the software give me the hardware back as well". Yes, this goes for DRM (user has the right to make a personal backup copy) and reverse engineering: no DMCA here (you can buy a modded console or mod chip in a shop).

But actually main point is that Microsoft is just a foreign company in Europe, so we don't fell the urge to sustain their monopolistic strategies (as forcing the user to use a OS looks to me).

But don't think it's all sun and nice, we got our problems of course ;) .

Re:Don't get it (2, Informative)

Dr. Donuts (232269) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145821)

Read the article. The judge made the decision not based off bundling laws, but contractual.

As far as the EULA clearly referring to the entire computer, I'd disagree. The EULA in question is Microsoft's EULA, not the manufacturers. If you go and buy XP off the shelf, you get the same EULA. You wouldn't go and return your computer just because you tried to install XP on it, now would you?

"If you do not accept the conditions of this contract, you may not use or copy the software and should promptly contact the manufacturer for information on returning the product or products and the conditions for reimbursement in accordance with the provisions established by the producer himself."

The judge basically ruled the Microsoft EULA was a separate contract apart from the purchase of the computer. As Microsoft is the manufacturer of that product and HP merely a reseller, HP was obligated to refund that portion of the purchase according the instructions within the EULA itself.

Re:Don't get it (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145891)

If I couldnt build a cheaper computer myself, I'd buy a HP computer and if I couldnt get a XP refund I'd return the whole computer for the fun of it.

It would seriously screw with their minds. :D

Re:Don't get it (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146579)

>I think the EULA was clearly refering to the entire computer not to this software.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't see how your interpretation can be applied. The EULA explicitly states [in part]: "computer software and may include associated media, printed materials, "online" or electronic documentation, and Internet-based services ("Software")." I don't see where in this list of items you could interpret to include computer hardware. MS or the vendor might be able to slip it into an addendum, but I don't think they regularly include one.

From another post:

"IMPORTANT--READ CAREFULLY: This End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single entity) and Microsoft Corporation or one of its affiliates ("Microsoft") for the Microsoft software that accompanies this EULA, which includes computer software and may include associated media, printed materials, "online" or electronic documentation, and Internet-based services ("Software"). An amendment or addendum to this EULA may accompany the Software. YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS EULA BY INSTALLING, COPYING, OR OTHERWISE USING THE SOFTWARE. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE, DO NOT INSTALL, COPY, OR USE THE SOFTWARE; YOU MAY RETURN IT TO YOUR PLACE OF PURCHASE FOR A FULL REFUND, IF APPLICABLE."

Re:Don't get it (1)

koma77 (930091) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146653)

I tried this with Dell. Didn't work. I tried to return XP Home (OEM), but they refused and said that I would have to send back the whole computer. That's fair I guess, since it was an OEM version of XP. But they refused to refund Works because they claimed I got it for free, at no extra cost! WTF?

He got costs, too (4, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145095)

Not only was the buyer reimbursed 140 euros for the unwanted software, he was awarded 2,300 euros in legal costs. Refusing to abide by the EULA could get expensive for vendors.

Re:He got costs, too (4, Insightful)

Gertlex (722812) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145349)

Oh no, a bit of legal costs!

What I love about this case is that the reimbursement was completely in line with damages. None of that hundreds of thousands of dollars (euros) crap.

Re:He got costs, too (2, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146663)

That's usually how it works in Europe. Suing some company isn't like playing the lottery. If a company cause you damages, they will usually be forced to pay for the damages, legal costs, and possibly some small bonus on top of that, to compensate for the "discomfort" (can't find a good word here, I'm sure you get my point).

Soon have to sign an agreement to get the product (2, Insightful)

SuurMyy (1003853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145139)

I wouldn't be surprised if this issue ending up being so that nobody would sell you a computer before you have signed an agreement stating that you agree w/having Windows etc. in there. Then, if someone took this to court, it would probably end up so that you could get some other OS pre-installed, but w/extra cost, and they could justify this by saying that it causes them extra costs to serve a small group of users having e.g. Linux in there. So, you'd still end up paying the M$ tax in one form or the other. Of course they could sell the computers w/o any OS, but I don't think this is the way it's gonna be, because M$ will use a lot of money and will put a lot of pressure on the hw companies to make it otherwise.

Re:Soon have to sign an agreement to get the (2, Interesting)

citizenr (871508) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145559)

>I wouldn't be surprised if this issue ending up being so that nobody would sell you a computer before you have signed an agreement
>stating that you agree w/having Windows etc. in there.

illegal in EU

Re:Soon have to sign an agreement to get the (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146639)

illegal in EU

I find it exceptionally difficult to believe signing a contract to say you're happy to buy product X with feature Y is illegal in the EU.

facts wrong in parent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21146749)

>I wouldn't be surprised if this issue ending up being so that nobody would sell you a computer before you have signed an agreement >stating that you agree w/having Windows etc. in there.

illegal in EU


Actually that is the only way in which an EULA could be entered legally in the EU - click through after purchase is completely invalid. However, the terms in such an agreement can only give a consumer more rights than they already have by law and since EULAs usually restrict those, they are invalid - i.e. as a consumer I can certainly sign an agreement that forbids me from reverse-engineering Windows but it will have zero consequences for me if I break it.

Re:Soon have to sign an agreement to get the produ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145749)

More likely you would see "buy a computer, get the Windowx OS free"
  type deals. That way, you always be paying the Microsoft tax, and you couldn't expect any price break for refusing the "free" OS installation.

i've tried it in Japan a couple of times, (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145295)

but so far all I got is an offer to get a refund for the whole unit, not just the OS. i suppose the reasoning goes that the PC is not a product by itself without the OS or something. since i buy notebooks, and there is practically no choice of cool notebooks without Windows, in the end i had to swallow it.

has anyone got any other experience in Japan?

Re:i've tried it in Japan a couple of times, (1)

Mukunda_NZ (1078231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145619)

Please push your rights, check the Windows EULA. In order for any computer company to be able to sell computers that come with Windows, they have to sign a whole lot of legal agreements with Microsoft, and one of those things they have to sign says that if you reject the software licence, you should return it for a refund on the software. Push it!!

Re:i've tried it in Japan a couple of times, (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146009)

They don't sell Macbooks or Macbook Pros in Japan?

Re:i've tried it in Japan a couple of times, (2, Informative)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146651)

Not without the OS, I suppose. Besides, I am not sure why I would want one -- they are vastly inferior to many of the Windows models available in Japan.

This is what I've been saying!! (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145659)

Regardless of how you feel about Microsoft, it is inarguable that consumers have little actual choice in the market place. Go to a store in the U.S.A. to buy a P.C. it will have Windows on it. You have go out of your way to get a computer WITHOUT windows, don't even talk to me about laptops.

EVERYONE who has issues with having the only choice being Vista or mail-order bare bones should buy their computer at a store and return it because you don't agree with the EULA or that you think Windows is unusable, or that Windows is defective thus the computer is defective.

This is the ONLY way we will get real choice and real competition, when not having he choice costs those denying us choice money.

Re:This is what I've been saying!! (1)

dnahelix1 (1060308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146041)

So, besides having to pay for it the first time, we should have to pay the restocking fee for it, too?

Pc Ok in the Netherlands (2, Informative)

slashbart (316113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146765)

I recently went to this local store [pc-oke.nl] to get a new pc. I don't use Windows, and was expecting to have to haggle about not paying for it, but ... We configured my pc, tallied up the components, and then the guy says: "that price is without Windows, which Windows do you want on it?" Awesome!! So I tell him it's fine like it is. I'm very happy with the pc, and the price is great too.

I think people should go to those stores that sell bare pc's, instead of just complaining about the companies that won't give you a pc without Windoze.

the obvious reason (2, Insightful)

soldoutactivist (1137475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145773)

I can't believe no one commented on the fact he might already have a copy of XP and used the EULA policy to get a refund for the retail amount of the OS he paid for at a subsidized cost. Essentially, he got more back than he actually paid in for the OS and software. Brilliant.

time vs money (1)

meeya (1152133) | more than 6 years ago | (#21145879)

I wonder how much time he had to be online with HP customer care people in Bangalore.like i wasted more than 4 hours listening and giving my details to everybody who is connecting( and one of them openly mocked and laughed at me) about my laptop.

I seriously needed this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145881)

I spent approximately 12 hours over two days recently trying to get HP to refund Vista. At some point, a case manager (some guy named 'Kris') told me it was not possible. I asked to speak with his superior. He actually had the gall to tell me that he does not have one. 'So, you run HP?', I asked. Eventually he told me to fax him the photograph of the relevant wording in the license terms. He insisted that I use fax, rather than e-mail. After doing so, I called the personal number that he gave me, only to be redirected back to customer service. I tried again later, and I was redirected again. I then had to try all over again to go up the chain from standard customer service to supervisor to case manager, only to be told all case managers are busy. They said one would call back the next day. Obviously, I got no such call.

This was a week ago. I haven't had the energy to call and talk to those bastards yet again. Thankfully, when I do, I will have this precedent to wave in their faces. Of course, if anyone has any advice on how to better my odds, I'm listening.

What...? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21145899)

He asked for a refund... And they had to go to *court* to get it?

Why wasn't it automatic?!

Well, that's one down ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146061)

only another hundred million left to go.

So he can't use XP at all now? (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146101)

If he's saying he won't or can't abide by the EULAs, doesn't that mean he can't use any computers that have XP or MS Word installed?

Re:So he can't use XP at all now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21146181)

Nope, since it's licensed per machine you agree per machine. If the license stuck with him (licensing the user themself), he wouldn't need a second license anyway.

Contract of adhesion (3, Informative)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21146243)

It is looking more and more that the court systems of the world are looking to EULA click-through "agreements" as contracts of adhesion [law.com] .
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