First, if the EU started similar proceedings, that could mean the end of the Microsoft Tax, which is a good thing in itself. It can simply not be maintained that computer hardware is specifically designed for Windows. If it were, we wouldn't be able to run Linux and since we are, it isn't. If such a policy were adopted, we would get our money back for every piece of unused Microsoft software. No hassle!
But then again, Microsoft would still have an advantage, because it comes preinstalled, which is an unfair business practice. This is where the browser choice comes in. Isn't it much neater to let the customer choose which OS he wants to have by having two Operating Systems preinstalled? It can't be done? Of course it can! I once bought a laptop and could choose between Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. I ran a dual boot system for four years. Don't tell me it can't be done! It has been done.
Surely, hardware manufacturers don't like to do business with a bunch of hackers. From all the possible Linux contenders (Red Hat, Novell, Canonical, Google) I feel that Google has the best chances, simply because it obviously already has had contact with several OEMs following its Android adventure. And it is not afraid to attack Microsoft head on.
We're not there yet, though. The customer has to follow some procedure to get his money back, money for something he never bought. It's like you go to the supermarket, get a cart full of groceries and then have to fill in several forms in order to get back the stuff you never wanted. That's odd, don't you think so?
The easiest way is to let the customer decide when he buys the system. If he accepts Windows he gets a DVD, a license and he can activate it from the privacy of his own home. WGA should prevent any piracy - if it is any good. The licensing costs are added to the bill and that's it. If he takes Chrome - for example - it's free. It's as simple as that.
Be sure Microsoft will put up a fight, because it will:
- Make clear to the customer what he pays for and how much he pays for it;
- Make it virtually impossible to impose its terms to hardware manufacturers;
- Give customers a real alternative, backed by a major company;
- Expose the vulnerability of its business model in the 21st century to the shareholders in a way that cannot be misunderstood;
- Create a dangerous precedent - if here, why not in the US?
If you are living in the EU, please forward this link (http://thebeezspeaks.blogspot.com/2009/07/from-russia-with-linux.html) to your EU representative in the EU parliament. It might help to give 'em a few ideas.
It might also help to get several translations online. You can be assured that this blog is at your disposal!