An anonymous reader writes "In previous years, if you were spending US$1500 and up on a laptop, the Microsoft tax you were paying didn't seem like such a big deal. XP or Vista was preinstalled, fairly convenient and face it you didn't really have any choice. But as the price of hardware for small basic machines comes down, (think under US$250 by the end of next year) then software price starts to become a big issue. Why would you pay the price of your new laptop again just for the software, when all you want to do is really basic things?"
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