Italian consumer group plans suit against Microsoft

An Italian consumer group is planning a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft over the pre-installation of Windows on computers. According to Reuters, the move comes after a new law was passed, allowing consumer associations to file suits for groups of consumers.

Filled by the Association for the Rights of Users and Consumers (ADUC) in Italy, the suit aims to obtain compensation for customers who bought PCs with Windows pre-installed who did not want to use the operating system. The new law permits the ADUC to obtain only compensation for the 2,000 customers – not punitive damages.

The ADUC has already won a pilot case in a Florence court, allowing many OEMs to give a refund. However, before customers can claim their compensation of €30-40, they must send their computers to the manufacturers headquarters to get the software removed. ADUC Chairman Vincenzo Donvito told Reuters that the system costs consumers money and they only do it to make a point. He also believes that the refund should be higher, as Windows costs between €150 and €250, despite OEMs typically paying $50 for each copy of Windows.

However, Microsoft do not seem worried. A Microsoft spokesperson told technology news site Ars Technica that "consumers are free to purchase PCs with a non-Microsoft operating system, or without any operating system. However, consumers benefit from the preinstallation of Windows on PCs. It provides the best user experience from the time a consumer first turns on the PC, and saves consumers the substantial effort and resources associated with having to install an operating system that functions properly."

The spokesperson added, "computer manufacturers are free to sell PCs pre-installed with another operating system or no operating system at all."

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19 Comments

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wow... how random.

also, if I don't like my computer with windows, i take one without it.
if I can't find one, that is plain rushing your shopping experience.

Maybe I should sue nintendo because my DS* came with a game?
"I didn#t want it!!1" *starts crying*

Well why buy in the first place then?

*Just an example, I don't own a DS

Ball players like to play ball, boxers like to box, & lawyers like to sue. Unfortunately lawyers can't practice their pastime without creating victims. Just like many (most?) cons rely on the mark's greed, so too lawyers never run out of clients. In the US there have long been calls for tort reforms, but as so many of our politicians are lawyers [who advanced to the big leagues], so far no luck.

Microsoft are reaping the fruits of their often dubious business policies. They say that the majority of computers run their O/S (which makes them a monopoly) they then insist charging (quite a high price) for an O/S with the hardware.

The only way around this is for manufacturers to remove the SLIC / activation codes / digital certificates codes from their BIOS's / installation media, so computers can be sold with Linux etc. Then when people install Microsoft, they would be forced purchase a full retail copy. The problem with this is that the Microsoft-less PC's would be more expensive because of added support cost. There is a delicious irony here!

It could easily be done, but Microsoft are very happy with the current arrangement, so leave themselves open to a class action. Personally I think this action has no good guy's, both parties are in the wrong (most wanting Windows for free)

How does being the most popular make someone a monopoly? There are viable and equally available alternatives. Buy a Mac. Build a computer and put whatever build of Linux you desire on it. It's not that hard. Nothing says you have buy a Dell (or any other manufacturer) with Windows pre-installed. I am no Microsoft fanboi, but calling them a monopoly is absurd.

Dubious business policies? I purchased a legal copy of Windows 7 Professional directly from Microsoft for $29.99US, simply by having a student e-mail address from my local community college. I also picked up the the full Office 2007 suite for $19.99US directly from Microsoft thanks to my military e-mail address. That is beyond fair and far from unreasonable. Microsoft offers plenty of pricing alternatives, you just have to have the initiative to seek them out. I would call that respectable business policies, not dubious.

See,
It's not always the U.S. that is making and executing such stupid laws!!

This suit and even the thought of it, is about as brain dead as can be!!

cork1958 said,
See,
It's not always the U.S. that is making and executing such stupid laws!!

This suit and even the thought of it, is about as brain dead as can be!!


The law isn't stupid. I don't see whats wrong with a consumer group being able to sue for compensation for something on behalf of consumers, but suing a company that has nothing to do with it is indeed, stupid.

This is the most ludicrous thing I think I have ever heard...

And why in the world would they be due more money than the OEM paid for Windows... That is insane...

I'm confused. Were these computers not advertised as coming with Windows preinstalled? If you order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, do you sue because it came with jelly pre-applied?

Joshie said,
I'm confused. Were these computers not advertised as coming with Windows preinstalled? If you order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, do you sue because it came with jelly pre-applied?

Exactly. This is just ridiculous.

Sure, you sue the jelly company because they probably have more money than the local sandwich shop :D

This is extremely stupid.

It comes with the PC. How can this be Microsoft? It should be against the computer manufacturer. It's not Microsoft who chooses what goes on the PC's. It's up to the manufacturers of the PC's to choose what OS is going on it. Microsoft just has the best and most popular solution.

maybe microsoft gives OEMs a rebate in exchange for pre-installed systems. didnt intel just get fined by some rediculous amount for doing sth similar?

ESP said,
Wow, this is stupid.

Yes, it's incredibly stupid indeed that you're forced to buy Windows because it comes pre-installed on all PCs and laptops.

Lord Ba'al said,
Yes, it's incredibly stupid indeed that you're forced to buy Windows because it comes pre-installed on all PCs and laptops.

Oh come on.
Stop lying asap.