It comes a decade too late, but it is finally here – the ridiculous “Microsoft tax” is finally gone – at least if you are lucky enough to live in Italy:
“The Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) issued a judgment1 that bans the ‘Microsoft tax’, a commercial practice that discourages users from converting their PCs to GNU/Linux or other free operating systems by forcing them to pay for a Windows license with their PCs. PC producers in Italy now cannot refuse to refund the price of the license to purchasers that will not run Windows. The ruling definitively concludes the case filed in 2005 against a hardware producer by Marco Pieraccioli,2 with the support of the Consumer Association ADUC,3 and affirms Marco Pieraccioli’s right to a refund for the price of the Microsoft Windows license.”
Of course, it’s hardly surprising that it took more than a decade to grant a consumer the right to choose his/her operating system. Nevertheless, it’s a victory, albeit a small one – maybe some Italian readers can tell us if anything has really changed in their local computer shops. Still, it’s great to see that some countries do understand our frustrations. (Editor’s comment: in all my years of travelling around the globe, I’ve only ever seen ONE instance where a computer shop offered the same hardware with different operating systems (Linux and Windows) side by side. It was in a small computer shop in Brunei. Given the hardware prices today, the Linux system was, surprise, surprise, substantially cheaper. Never mind the “freedom” part of the deal….)
Vaya. Por lo visto ahora en Italia puedes reclamar que te devuelvan el dinero de la licencia de Windows, que es algo así como 40 €. Espero que eso se ponga de moda en el resto de los países de la Unión Europea y nos llegue a España.