Friday, 25 July 2008

Linux on your Windows desktop or laptop - Dell move; and refund for unused Windows?

It's an interesting indication of the growing popularity of the open source Linux operating system that Dell are now offering Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) pre-installed on several of their systems to consumers in the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Canada, United Kingdom and many Latin American countries (like Mexico and Colombia) - initially on the XPS M1330N and Inspiron 1525N notebooks and the Inspiron 530N desktop computer, with XPS M1530n and Studio 15n to be added to the Linux lineup in August. (Via Heise Security.)

Heise noted that the Linux versions will be cheaper than the Windows version, if you compare like for like in terms of hardware spec.

But don't forget that even if you bought a computer, whether desktop or laptop, with Microsoft Windows preinstalled, if you installed Linux (of any flavour) and didn't use Windows, at least if you act quickly and return the Windows CDs you may be able to claim a refund from the retailer for the unused Windows software - at least, the courts in Italy and France have said so in relation to HP and Acer systems, and reportedly Dell in Germany had also agreed to give refunds. All, it seems, based on Microsoft's EULA (see my previous post). The same could be the case for other Microsoft software that's pre-provided.

I don't know if anyone has tried to get a refund in the UK, and whether they succeeded or not - it would be interesting to hear about it, if anyone knows? (This isn't legal advice etc, I've no idea if it would work in the UK, it just seems like it might be worth a try - obviously, take advice on your own position if you really need to!)

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