@ John Gault...
The thing is John, that you can not easily buy a laptop with the OS of your choice, and the public at large has been manipulated into thinking that Windows comes with everything. I have had people tell me that Windows was 'free' because it came with their PC.
"If you don't like Microsoft's proposal of what they want to sell you, then don't buy it. It's called free will, and when you don't buy it, and others don't buy it, either Microsoft will be forced to hange their tune, or someone else will step in and fill their place (Linux, Apple etc.)"
As someone else pointed out, YOU are not Microsoft's customer, the hardware manufacturers are. With the exception of the MacIntosh you have no real choice at time of purchase. Well, some OEMs will preinstall Linux but first you have to play 'find the alternate O/S', and they don't make it easy.
"The government doesn't have the right to tell Microsoft what to sell you, just like the
government doesn't have the right to force you to buy Microsoft products. You do have the
choice to buy whatever you feel like buying with your own money (and not the government's), and Microsoft and everyone else has the right to offer you goods to buy based on whatever terms they want to offer them. (and you can refuse) "
Again, you DO NOT have a real choice, YOU are not the M$ Windows customer. The end-consumer is the M$ Office customer, the Quickbooks customer, the AutoCAD customer, etc.
"This is the hippocracy of socialism. You would be offended if the government told you you had to buy a Microsoft based netbook (like the Quebec government told its citizens this winter that they had to buy snow tires!), but you don't have a problem with the government forcing Microsoft to sell you something that they don't want to sell."
The government of Quebec said you need to have "snow-tires" (snow-tyres for those across the pond), ANY brand of snow-tire would do. Now if the tire/tyre stores only sold MICHELIN then that would be closer to what is happening in the OS world.
The second argument about forcing M$ to sell what it does not want to sell is also backwards. Remember the general public is not the Windows customer, the OEMs are the main customer of Windows. What the government is doing is trying to ensure that M$ is not the only choice. Does a web browser NEED to be a part of the operating system? No. Does a media player? Also no.
"Get real people. Exercise your choice. Speak up, express your opinion that it sucks, band together as individuals and refuse to buy their product, but stop using the government's guns
to force others to do what you want them to. The end result is Hitler. (and yes, a depression
and do-gooders wanting to impose their will on others while rational people who believed in
freedom sat back and did nothing, is exactly how we got Hitler in the first place.)"
People can't exercise a choice when choice (for all practical purposes) does not exist. People are speaking up... and they are being lambasted as M$ bashers when they do. Oh gawd you mentioned Hitler, there goes the discussion.