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chin_wan
29-10-2005, 01:08 PM
I tried to buy a Dell PC last week and got a surprise of my life. When I called up their call centre to place an order, all was fine until I told them that I don't need an OS as I will be using Fedora Core (aka Red Hat Linux). The sales person on the other end told me that I cannot do that as MS Windows comes with it. In the end I did not order the PC from Dell but from Acer.

Anyone had this experience? Is there somewhere I can file a complain like an anti-trust law or something? Something like the Koreans are doing (see below):



Microsoft Threatens to Pull Windows From South Korea

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, threatened to pull its Windows operating system from South Korea if antitrust regulators order the company to remove programming for instant message and movie player services.

The comments come as Korea's Fair Trade Commission prepares to rule whether Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft's inclusion of its Media Player and MSN Messenger programs into Windows unfairly makes it difficult for rivals to compete. A ruling is due by this year, according to the antitrust watchdog.

If regulators order ``Microsoft to remove code or redesign Windows uniquely for the Korean market, it might be necessary to withdraw Windows from the Korean market or delay offering new versions,'' Microsoft said in its earnings report yesterday.

Microsoft may be seeking to prevent reprogramming costs and technical glitches that would arise from creating different versions of Windows for smaller markets such as South Korea, which accounts for less than 1 percent of global revenue. The company also wants to keep adding features to its operating system to compete against free software such as Linux.

The European Commission dealt a blow to Microsoft in March last year, when it fined the company 497 million euros ($603 million) and ordered it to offer consumers the choice of buying a Windows version without the media player. Microsoft is appealing the case.

Competitors

Kim Byung Bae, director general of the regulator's competition bureau, and Microsoft spokesman Oliver Roll weren't immediately available to comment.

RealNetworks Inc., which competes with Microsoft in developing media player software, and Korea's Daum Communications Corp., which has an instant messenger service that rivals Microsoft's, have lodged complaints to Korean regulators.

The Korean unit of Microsoft generated sales of 233 billion won ($224 million) and profit of 8.7 billion won in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2004, according to regulatory filings in Seoul. By comparison, the parent company has reported $37 billion in revenue and profit of $8.2 billion during that period.

Microsoft says removing the messenger code would disrupt other functions of Windows that aren't subject to investigation and threatens its ability to upgrade its products.

Microsoft earlier this month agreed to pay $761 million to RealNetworks as part of a settlement.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Young-Sam Cho in Seoul at ycho2@bloomberg.net

Source (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=a6IWQykU2_e0&refer=us)