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Re: [tdf-discuss] Competition in the EU regarding pre-installed Windows

2011/4/22 Simos Xenitellis <>

On Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 3:36 PM, M Henri Day <> wrote:
2011/4/22 Simos Xenitellis <>

On Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM, M Henri Day <>
2011/4/22 Simos Xenitellis <>

FFII and the AFUL (two free-software associations) have started a
crowd-sourcing effort
to provide information to the European Commission Competition agency
the lack of choice for the consumers when it comes to computers and
compulsory pre-installed Windows.

Original press-releases:

Here is my take to simplify the message,

How is this relevant to LibreOffice? The source of the problem is the
bundling of Microsoft
Windows to the new computers. The manufacturers get discounts for the
licenses if they support
only Windows, if they promote only Windows on their websites and ads,
so on.
If this relationship weakens, we may see a chance for LibreOffice on
new computers,
or Linux computers that obviously have LibreOffice.

tl;dr: Visit
to report cases where you could not buy a computer without Windows,
while you had not need for Windows.


«If this relationship weakens, we may see a chance for LibreOffice on
computers, or Linux computers that obviously have LibreOffice.»

'tis a consummation. Devoutly to be wished. But somehow I find it
to envisage either Joaquín Almunia eller Alexander Italianer going

I do not understand the comment.

What we do is report to the EU the cases we know, where we were forced
to buy a computer
with pre-installed Windows, although we did not need Windows (either
we use Linux
or we already had a Windows license).

It's up to the Competition agency of the European Commission to take
appropriate action.
That's their job.
Our job, and the initiative from the FFII and AFUL, is to report cases
to the EC Competition agency.


Just pointing out, Simos, that I don't share what seems to be your
confidence in the ability - or for that matter, the intention - of the
Competition Agency to do what we both agree is its job....

Well, you have to substantiate this claim, otherwise it appears that
you are trying (unintentionally) to derail this discussion.
We know that government agencies might be slow to react, but the way
you are phrasing your view is that the Competition agency will simply
not examine and discard any report.


«[D]erailing» strikes me as a bit harsh, Simos - and surely views as to the
possible success of a suggested measure are relevant to this discussion ?
Just what is that you suggest I substantiate - my lack of confidence in the
ability or intentions of the EC Competition Agency (especially now that
Neelie Kroes has been assigned other duties) ? Without personal knowledge of
the commissioner and the agency head concerned - which, presumably, you lack
as much as I - the only manner in which our differing views on the matter
can be tested is by waiting to see whether, in fact, the Competition Agency
does move to address the problem of the quasi monopoly held by Windows in
desktop OSs. I very much hope that you are right and that I am wrong, but my
experience with the EU Commission and the agencies it governs is that
pessimism is usually warranted. In any event, just so that you know where I
stand on this matter, I reproduce here a comment I published in the Reg on
20100106 :
Here in Sweden, computer users who are not unusually computer savvy have no
effective choice of operating system - in the event they haven't heard of
Mac - none of the major electronic outlets selling computers to the general
public ever mention that there are, in fact, alternatives to Windows OS.
Smaller shops devoted to a more technically literate clientèle where one can
purchase computers without an OS or have one installed according to one's
needs do indeed exist, but generally speaking, users in this country are
faced with a monopoly and are forced to pay the inevitable monopoly tax that
accompanies one. It was heartening to see the European Commission take on
Microsoft over the issue of bundling Internet Explorer with Windows OS, but
it must be admitted that by the time the agreement with Microsoft forcing
the company to make users aware that a choice of browser was indeed possible
was reached, Firefox had already broken open the bundle. I'd very much like
to see the European Commission require purveyors of computers in Europe to
inform customers that a plethora of operating systems exist and to offer to
install the one chosen by the purchaser from a list of, say, five or six
alternatives at a price equal for all. Doing so would constitute a necessary
strengthening of the consumers' position vis-à-vis software manufacturers,
OEMs, and retailers....

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