An Italian judge ruled in favour of a Hewlett Packard (HP) customer who asked for a refund because the Compaq notebook he had bought came pre-loaded with Microsoft's Windows XP and Works 8. The customer complained to HP that he had no choice but to buy the laptop with the software giant's omnipresent operating system and …
An Italian judge "gets it!"
HP could have saved themselves some trouble (and money) if they simply offered their hardware with no software pre-installed whatsoever. Of course, then they'd lose out on the kickbacks they get from the inferior software publishers, who pay PC OEMs to pre-install crapware.
This is good news, although why HP resisted in the first place is a bit of a mystery. Don't they know their own EULA? Once the average punter finally latches on to the notion that you don't have to have the factory-fitted OS, then perhaps the factories will stop fitting them. In an ideal world, that would be the other way round, but if this were an ideal world, Bill Gates would be a mere millionaire and Steve Ballmer would be on a permanent anger-management course...
A Run on an OS...... I wonder if Steve has his finger in the dyke.
A significant ruling ...to say the least.
And boy, does that title conjure up a crazy picture not at all unpleasant if you can appreciate the ladies.
Don't they know their own EULA?
They don't care about the EULA.
They care, as already pointed out, about their discount agreement with Billco that requires them to bundle Windows with every (consumer?) PC. If they don't do that, their price per licence goes up *very* significantly, and as Windows is typically the single most expensive item on a low/mid PC these days, they really don't want to pay any more for Windows than they have to. How to address that? Suggestions welcome.
Where else has this approach been tried and succeeded?
Does the Italian ruling set a preceedent for elsewhere in the EU?
(those are questions it would have been nice to have answered in the article, but answers here are also welcome)
So how exactly did HP not live up to its EULA? Refuse to take the machine back?
very good arguments from the lxer-people here :
very good arguments from the lxer-people here :
The EULA is for each piece of software, you have to agree to each EULA separately (I.E. they you can agree to one and not the other) and it sounds like they refused to refund for users returning some software in accordance with its EULA. It seems simple enough to me and apparently the judge agrees.
Good to see a judge making a sensible decision, even if they are Italian!
I want my money back!
The car I bought came preloaded with goodyear tyres!
I wanted to put yokohamas on!
I demand my rights!
What a farce!
If a manufacturer decides that they wish to sell something as a bundle only then why should they be forced to break that into its components? You wouldn't buy a car and then demand a refund on the stereo because you were going to put your own stereo in!
Its not like HP have a monopoly on computers and I cannot believe that the customer did not know in advance that the computer would come with Windows and Works. This clearly shows that the court has no idea what they are doing when it comes to IT related issues.
It may not be to everyone's taste to have Microsoft on their system but if you don't want a computer with Microsoft software then don't buy a bundle which includes Microsoft Software, build it yourself if you have to - its not brain surgery! And if you are going to tell me that its more expensive that way then you've gotten a good deal going through a company bundling Microsoft Software - just take the software off
Why did he buy it then if he didn't want windows?
I don't but an elise and then sue lotus for not giving me an option for having four seats. it's a bloody two seater car, just as it's a laptop with windows installed. if you don't want a two seater car, don't buy an elise, if you don't want windows, don't buy that HP!
@ Alex Barlow
"If a manufacturer decides that they wish to sell something as a bundle only then why should they be forced to break that into its components?"
If the bundle that they sell comes with a message that part of it can be returned if it's not wanted, then who are they to refuse? They're breaking the very terms that they're selling the bundle under.
Kaz: "Why did he buy it then if he didn't want windows?"
Alex: "If a manufacturer decides that they wish to sell something as a bundle only then why should they be forced to break that into its components? You wouldn't buy a car and then demand a refund on the stereo because you were going to put your own stereo in!"
So why should I be forced to choose either to have to pay for software which I don't want when I buy a computer or to buy computers from a limited selection which don't have this software bundled ?
Microsoft have been found by the European court to have illegally abused unfair monopoly advantages relating to the bundling of products and was fined. In order to make it possible for hardware vendors legally to bundle Microsoft OEM products the hardware vendors are therefore legally obliged to offer customers refunds if unwanted software is returned. If I or someone else chooses to sue such a vendor for failure to keep to the letter of the contract they offer their customers, then why should your inability to understand the reasons for my legal rights to do so prevent me ?
Exactly! The point of law has nothing to do with bundles
The point of law the judge ruled on was that the License agreement specifically states the user can return the software for a full refund if he/she doesn't agree to the EULA. Period.
The rest of the arugments people are bringing up about why did he buy it are completely beside the point, and have no merit in this case. Period.
If the EULA stated as verbosely that the only recourse is to shut the F**k up and deal with it, then the judges decision would have to incorporate other aspects into consideration. However it doesn't.
Seeing as in exchange for sweet OEM pricing HP assumes liabilities for certain things, HP is responsible for refunding said monies as it sold the software, HP is obligated to follow the EULA, HP did not, HP mandated by court to make good on its agreement. Nuff said, case closed, damn it!
(should we all smile at Bill and Steve, and ask for a refund on every bundled piece of crud with that sort of EULA? Well that sup to you, but it'd sure be funny. Until a class action forms, and the lawyers get it all... )