Jay Sulzberger jays at
Wed Jun 20 01:46:21 UTC 2012

On Tue, 19 Jun 2012, Gerald Henriksen <ghenriks at> wrote:

> On Tue, 19 Jun 2012 17:49:15 -0400 (EDT), you wrote:
>>  As you know, for over a decade Microsoft included in every EULA
>>  for its home computer OSes, a "Refund Clause".  The clause
>>  stated that if the buyer of the computer never booted the
>>  already installed Microsoft OS, that the buyer would get a
>>  refund for the unused Microsoft OS.  For all that time Microsoft
>>  refused to give a refund when the claim was made.  Indeed a few
>>  people got refunds, but in most cases, people who complied with
>>  the terms of the Refund Clause did not get a refund, due to
>>  Microsoft's direct refusal.
>>  Do you condone, or consider as negligible, this long continued
>>  abuse by Microsoft?
> As Adam Williams pointed out, this is entirely inappropriate for the
> Fedora list as it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic on hand.

Thanks, Gerald Henriksen, for your clear answer.

> As for your question, no, I do not know anything about a refund clause
> in a EULA for the simple reason that I do not read the EULA.
> While I acknowledge in a perfect world I should read those agreements,
> it is not a perfect world.  I am not a lawyer, and therefore reading
> legal wording takes time to try and figure out what they are saying,
> and I simply cannot be bothered, particularly when said agreements
> often seem to go on forever.
> Reality intrudes, and regardless of what the agreements say if you
> want to use the software you have no choice, not to mention the fact
> that it is often questionable as to exactly how much of those
> agreements may or may not be enforceable with the proviso that the
> average person certainly does not have the money to legally challenge
> it anyway.
> As for whether it is abuse by Microsoft or not, the simple answer is
> no it is not for the reason that Microsoft does not sell you Windows.
> Microsoft sells Windows to either the OEMs, or retailers in the case
> of retail copies.  As such, your issue is with them as they are the
> ones who actually sell, or try to sell, Windows to you the consumer.
> So if you buy a computer from Dell, then Dell has sold you that copy
> of Windows, and so you must get the refund from Dell.  This is no
> different than if you go to Amazon and order a book, decide you don't
> want it, you return it to Amazon and not the author or publisher
> because it is Amazon that sold it to you.
> To a large extent, while some appear to make a big deal about it, it
> is a non-issue once you get beyond the princple of the matter.  I
> think part of the problem is that people can be under a mistaken
> impression that when they buy a computer from an OEM that they are
> paying a large amount for Windows when they are not.  In the case of
> Dell they are only paying Microsoft maybe $20 for that copy of
> Windows, and it really isn't worth either the customers or Dell's time
> to worry about $20 on a multi-hundred dollar purchase.
> As to my opinion of Microsoft, it has changed as the times have
> changed.
> In the 90s the DOJ was correct to go after Microsoft, as they were
> abusing their monopoly position.  Worse in a way, the products they
> were releasing were sub-standard in quality.
> But time has changed that.
> I  won't say Microsoft is a model citizen, because they aren't.  But
> they certainly have improved immensley and while they are big enough
> that the message hasn't gotten to everyone my feeling is they have
> realized that Linux is not a threat to them.  Windows and Linux are
> happily co-existing in the server space, and Linux on the desktop is
> dead thanks to the inability of the Linux community to get its act
> together and create a viable alternative.

Thank you for making the ground of your opinions very clear.

The ground of my opinions and estimates here is different:

Microsoft's locking all other OSes on ARM, and impeding booting
of al other OSes on most x86 home devices, is a continuation of
the same policy which has for about twenty years kept free OSes
off of just about all low cost home computers.

Except now, instead of secret contracts with the major vendors,
and gross refusal to honor their own EULAs, and vicious lies
repeated and repeated again in media bought and paid for by
Microsoft, Microsoft now has a cryptographically strong system to
lock home computers to boot only Microsoft OSes.

(Side remark: I am in agreement with Matthew Garrett as to the
likely near future of UEFI, that is, I think there will be
cracks, and they will be patched, and pretty soon, as is the case
today fo the Xbox and the Sony devices, it will be difficult for
most "owners" of the hardware to get root on the devices.)

This is, in summary, my answer to all your remarkable claims.

> The threat to Microsoft, and Linux, is iOS/Android.

Apple is indeed one of the most effective Englobulators on the

Again, thank you for making clear your opinions and your estimate
of the situation.


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