Thursday, March 4, 2010

Finding the kBook

My wife as well as my sister are looking for a small notebook or a netbook. I did a quick research to find a proper gadget to run KDE on it. I made good experiences with Lenovo, so I started there. One thing was clear to us all: We don't ever gonna pay for a Windows whatever version.

It seems that Lenovo has a "close relationship" with MS. No refund for MS operating systems possible. :-(

Same situation with some bigger vendors and reseller. Lenovo UK wrote in their mail about an agreement with MS only to ship windows with their machines.I have to admit: I'm shocked. Windows only systems where ever you look.

I didn't knew if I should laugh or cry as I read the Lenovo slogan "New World. New Thinking."

Hey European Commission! Wake up! After your success against Microsoft in the browser war here is your next goal: Every computer (esp. notebooks) should be available WITHOUT operating system. The price should be reduced by the cost of the OS.

11 comments:

Bruno said...

http://racketware.info/

Mark said...

I know that in Australia at least you are pretty much out of luck. Even Dell won't seem to sell their netbooks without windows here. I ended up getting a HP mini 311 and just wiping the windows 7 install because there were no machines available without an OS.

annma said...

At the netbook wave start they were sold with Linux. At some point, I saw some of them at my local "Carrefour" with Ubuntu. Then Microsoft money ended this. Even Ubuntu was not able (or maybe not even aware) of this. I have been like you: one day I realised there are no Linux netbooks anymore. One can find in Europe some Windows-free laprops probably but it's not the specs you want and if it's some small company, be aware that support might not be the best (from a personal experience some 10 years ago...)
The European Union forbids Windows to have Internet Explorer installed and the rare occasion I watched TV yesterday with one of my kid I saw an advert for IE7 being the safer or something....

Fri13 said...

Every PC should come without a system software or even without a basic OS (freedos). Every harddrive should be empty.

Mac's are different thing because Apple manufacturers the computer itself and it is not a PC manufacturer so it can sell how it likes their own personal computer.

If MS would manufacture own PC, without support of OEM's. Then it could do what ever they want for that model but they would still be ruled to not push OEM's away from market.

It would be great if every PC would be without system software. You could more easier way to choose what you install there. Think about how people would go to stores and choose PC or Mac and then if they choose PC. They would go to other shelf and choose first OS for it (Linux. NT. one of the BSD) and then possible edition or distro from it.

Then MS could not pay every possible local store to only support Windows on their PC's. Every store could have own agreements with different parties to offer software systems on their shelfs. Like windows + ubuntu, opensuse, fedora, mandriva, debian and so on.

That just would be so awesome!!

@Annma: "The European Union forbids Windows to have Internet Explorer installed and the rare occasion I watched TV yesterday with one of my kid I saw an advert for IE7 being the safer or something...."

That was the plan but MS turned it around for its favor.
The first idea was the IE is not preinstalled in the windows. Well, thats why MS did the function you could 'disable' the IE from the windows. So called "remove the IE". IE is still tied to the NT operating system in the windows 7 and you can not actually remove the IE.
The EU's idea was that every windows sold in retail, is without browser. OEM's could make deals with others to add a browser if wanted. (MS had of course change there to tie IE back!!!).

But EU demanded MS to offer a ballot window for browsers. That MS did but of course it did it with IE. So MS proofed to EU that IE needs to be pre-installed on Windows to get the ballot window for other browsers.

So even that customer selects opera, safari or any other smaller share browser, the IE is preinstalled on Windows. It does not be removed from there. Only hided the icons from the menus.

The best judgement would be that IE is on same position as every other browser in windows. It is not preinstalled and the ballot window is done by .NET technologies what then would download IE installer if user chose it from the ballot. Just like it does for Opera, Firefox and others.

Does people remember the case EU versus windows mediaplayer and the result of Windows edition N? Well. It did not work out at all because EU did not demand that those editions are the only ones what MS can sell in EU. MS did push such editions to retailers but did not suggest to marketing them or preinstall them. So MS could get EU to suck its thumb there.

Alexander van Loon said...

Please read this article – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_refund – on Wikipedia, and my own experiences here – http://alexandervanloon.nl/english/?p=292 – on my weblog. You can find many more testimonies if you run a search with Google on ‘windows refund’.

I think Lenovo’s representatives are probably incorrect if they say there is no possibility to give a refund for Windows. As you can read in my blog post, I had to insist that it was possible to receive a refund for Windows before the Acer customer service representative finally was convinced (after consulting his supervisor or colleagues?) that there was indeed a policy for refunds. Probably the representative was ignorant, or he was lying.

I think you should do the following: just buy the notebook or netbook you like, do NOT accept the Windows EULA (End User License Agreement), and then contact the customer service. If they keep maintaining that it’s not possible to get a refund, try to convince them that it IS possible, referring to the evidence of refund testimonies on the Internet, the Wikipedia article, and mention the Windows EULA which states that it is possible.

If they still refuse you a refund, sue them. I didn’t have to sue Acer, but it took a lot of my time. Suing Lenovo will certainly take even more time and money, but remember this is about principles. If I were you I’d gladly do it to frustrate Microsoft’s evil empire, don’t let them have their way with you.

Alexander van Loon said...

By the way, I wonder if you have searched thoroughly enough for netbooks or notebooks with Linux:

Dell sells a netbook:
http://www.dell.co.uk/home/laptops?~ck=mn#subcats=&navla=65235~0~399477&navidc=LT:%20Operating%20System&navValc=Ubuntu%20Linux&a=65235~0~399477

system76 has a whole assortment of netbooks and notebooks which ship only with Ubuntu: http://www.system76.com/

In fact I think that if either Dell’s netbook or one of system76’s offerings suit you enough, you should buy one of those instead of wasting your time on the manufacturers who are Microsoft’s lackeys. Vote with your wallet.

Thomas Thym said...

Thanks for your comments and the links!

I'll keep an searching an NON-Windows solution and I'm sure I'll find one.

The the main point still frightens me: The way and success how MS binds the world. I'm not a fan of legal bureaucracy but for free competition, I'm in favor for a new law.

Thomas Thym said...

Dell only offers a view products with ubuntu. After my quick search: Dell switzerland offered non of the selected (light, energy efficent notebook) models with linux and dell germany only ONE. There is an option to choose the os. When you are lucky (that means you choose an old model) you can choose between Win XP or Win 7. New models are only with Win 7 Starter edition.

I want the same choice of hardware like any windows user, too!

Yves Glodt said...

Instead of forbidding to sell an OS with hardware, better go this way:

When buying a PC, the price of the supplied hard- and software has to be detailed, as e.g.:

total: 799€
hardware: 599€
windows: 99€
works: 20€
adobe somehting: 20€
etc.

Then the sellers will quite soon offer any pc with the "ubuntu"-OS (or fedora or suse, it's their choice actually), and the market will decide.

Thomas Thym said...

@Yves Glodt: Another good idea. I like it. That would bring much more transparency to that bundle software with hardware business.

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