Fighting the Microsoft Tax

beasty-vs-windowsFreeBSD developer Poul-Henning Kamp (phk) has sued Lenovo in Denmark (Google translation, original here) over their refusal to refund the Windows Vista Business license, even though he declined the EULA during installation. Lenovo argues that they sell the computer as a full product, and that they cannot refund it partially, such as the power supply or the OS even if people intend to use a different one. This seems to be contrary to previous rulings in the EU where Acer and HP has been forced to refund the ‘Microsoft tax.’

“It is clear from Lenovo’s website to your computer comes with Windows Vista Business installed and any reasonable customer should expect that the general license terms for Windows Vista applies, including the previous paragraph.
“Nowhere on the Lenovo website, I have been able to find any indication that Microsoft’s standard license was not valid for the copy of Windows Vista Business that came with your computer.

“Lenovo has certainly lots of Microsoft-paid “advertising” on their website where they write that “Lenovo recommends Windows Vista”, but a recommendation is not a requirement.

“My first contention is that Lenovo should live up to the wording of the agreement text explicitly makes them the one party that they themselves cause presented at the computer screen when you turn the first time and explicitly described the screen as only being an requirements for using Windows Vista Business and not the computer as a whole.”

Good for Poul.


  1. Alexander Leidinger says

    If I read this correctly, he wants to force Lenovo to pay-back either the marked/official price of Windows to everyone who do not want to use Windows, or to reveal how much Lenovo has to pay to Microsoft for a Windows license.

    From a business point of view Lenovo does not want to pay the marked/street price, and I think they are not allowed to reveal how much they pay to MS.

    That is a little bomb…

  2. Puppesurferen says

    IIRC Danish law also allows for a “Regret week” of 14 or so days for mail order purchases. During that time the purchaser can return the item *for any reason* So Poul should be able to pursue that route, too.

    Windows use is tied to the spread of malware and even organized crime, so distribution of Windows and M$ products could be seen as being an accessory or as inciting undesirables.


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