No more Microsoft tax for Italy
Will this spread to other countries? I personally hope so. More than that, I think hardware vendors need to offer more choice from the start.
Originally shared by Eli Fennell
Italy Bans the “Microsoft Tax”
So you bought a Windows PC. But only to, say, install Linux. Unfortunately the cost of the PC includes the cost of a Windows license fee, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Right?
Not if you live in Italy now. The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that vendors must refund the cost of the license if you buy a Windows PC and don’t want Windows.
There’s more, though, although the article doesn’t mention or even allude to it: bloatware. In order to subsidize the license fee, the vendor or OEM may choose to preinstall apps, McAfee for example. They can do this because the bloatware developer has enjoyed a reasonable confidence you can’t or won’t switch OS’s from the preinstalled version. They may or may not pass these savings onto the consumer, but a fair wager says they usually don’t.
While limited to a single country, if this trend spreads, then Microsoft is in serious trouble. Their business model has in many ways depended on this “tax” and the secondary bloatware market built up around it.
One wonders how this ruling might ultimately affect Apple, as well. While Macs are vertically integrated, might one not argue that either way the cost of the OS is passed onto consumers?
Google meanwhile is sitting pretty here, as their OS’s are free of licensing fees save any patent fees the OEM is paying to Microsoft… licensing fees which might have to be refunded should the consumer want it.
What do you think of this ruling?
#Microsoft #MicrosoftTax #Italy