Windows license refund donated to Mint

Written by Clem on Friday, October 16th, 2009 @ 11:44 am | Main Topics

I was recently contacted by a person called Graeme Cobbett. In his email he told me he got his Windows license refunded and donated that money to Linux Mint. Of course, as you can imagine, he felt pretty happy about it and he wanted to let people know how he did it.

So here’s his article on the topic. Good reading everyone!

Hello, my name is Graeme Cobbett. Today, I donated $112 to Linux Mint. But I didn’t fund this myself: Microsoft gave me the money. Here’s how I did it.

This is the story of how I bought a new notebook PC, replaced Windows with Linux and got a refund for the operating system I didn’t want. Not many people do that last bit about getting a refund, but perhaps you can too, if you have a calm attitude and persevere then it can be straightforward.

1. Choose your new computer.

Take a look at the vast array of new PCs on the market. Does the one you like come without Microsoft Windows? Unless it’s a netbook, probably not. Even if you do strike lucky, chances are it costs the same (or even more in some cases) than the equivalent with Windows. So you are probably kinda fixed with buying a copy of Windows you don’t want.

2. Don’t switch on your new computer yet!

You can only reject your software license if you do not use it. You’ll need to use another computer to do step 2:

3. Download Linux.

This one’s pretty easy. First, you choose what kind of Linux you want. I got Linux Mint because, being based on Ubuntu, it has a huge support base so you can easily Google for help. But unlike Ubuntu, it comes ready to play DVDs, music files and Flash files with no tinkering. If you use Windows to download your replacement operating system, the only tricky bit is that you have to use a special utility like Isorecorder to burn the file. (http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm).

4. Test Linux to make sure it works

You can do this on your new computer without starting Windows: just put your newly-burned CD or USB stick into your computer before you switch on. Not everything might work perfectly first time. For example, on my Dell Studio 1555, the sound didn’t work. So I just googled “Dell Studio 1555 Ubuntu Sound” and found a step-by-step fix which fixed things straight away.

5. Reject your software license

Have you ever read the Microsoft Windows End User License Agreement? It’s pretty scary what you commit yourself to. If you buy Dell, then as soon as you start Windows then you agree to a second set of scary software terms. So reject them. Email is probably the best way: unlike support phone lines it’s free, you can make your case concisely, and if your vendor makes an offer you have proof right in your inbox, so they can’t go back on their word. Don’t delay – for example, Dell like you to do this within 7 days. Here’s what I wrote:

“I do not agree to the terms of the Dell Software Licensing Agreement or the Microsoft Windows End User License Agreement.

“I confirm that I have not used any of the software, have not opened or broken the seal on any software packet and have deleted all preloaded or embedded software from my Dell.

“1. How may I promptly return the disks and other software items to you?

“2. How will you refund the cost of the software? I note that Windows Vista Home Premium retails at £133.96, Microsoft Works at £39.99 and Cyberlink PowerDVD at £39.99 today, which means a total refund of £213.94 is due.

“best regards”

6. Argue the case
I was all fired up for this bit. The article at http://www.linux.com/archive/articles/59381 covers your bases really well: I recommend looking there if your vendor tries to reject your request the first few times.

So, I was all ready for a pitched battle with Dell when they replied within 48 hours offering this:

“The software Cd’s can be returned to Dell.

“However, the refund for Cyberlink PowerDVD cannot be arranged as this software is already preinstalled on the system.

“The amount that would be refunded for  Vista Home Premium is £57.82+vat
and for Microsoft Works is £3.86+vat”

Brilliant! With tax, that adds up to about £70 (US$110), enough for me to overlook their nonsense about the DVD software. I made sure never to say “I accept your offer”, instead preferring “thank you for your offer. You may collect the CDs on [date].” Then, if they screw me around later, I can take them to court for full retail.

7. Gently persevere

So then comes the interesting bit. Dell arranged to collect the software from me but their collection agent didn’t show. Why would they? That’s going to cost them £70 ($110). They had me over a barrel, asking me to wait at home for a whole extra day. So I upped the “firm” factor with a message:

“On 27th August 2009, I wrote to you rejecting your software license terms. You wrote back on 31st August saying I could have a refund if I returned the software CDs.

“You offered to collect the CDs on 11th September. I lost a day’s work waiting at home for you to collect the CDs but you did not collect them. You have acknowledged this but not offered me an explanation.

“You now say I may not have a refund unless we arrange for you to collect the software CDs another time. I cannot afford to take another day off work, so I offered to post them to you. You declined my offer.

“I would like to give you another chance to make amends. Please grant me a refund now. If you are unable to do this, please send me a copy of Dell’s formal complaints procedure so that I may raise my complaint at the appropriate level.”

Dell knows that if I refuse a reasonable request by them then a small claims court will throw out any legal claim I make. So I played nice until they realised they would have to let me use regular post to send the CDs.

So eventually I got my refund. It took me 12 email exchanges in total, and Dell probably didn’t get a refund from Microsoft for the license. But I suspect that every time someone secures a license refund, it has a more than proportionate effect on the PC manufacturers’ next round of negotiations with Microsoft, gently loosening their tight monopoly grip on the operating system market.

8. Donate your refund to Linux Mint

Because you’re one of the good guys. Or just because you get a nice squidgy feeling from the idea that your the money you got back from your unwanted Microsoft software is keeping free, open-source software ahead of the game. Pat yourself on the back!

88 Responses to “Windows license refund donated to Mint”

  1. differentieel Says:

    brilliant action!
    well done!

  2. AmblestonDack Says:

    Haha, nice one. I have never heared of anyone getting a refund in the UK until now. Well done. And, of course, a boon for Linux Mint too.

    I have always built my PCs from scratch and used a paid for retail copy of Windows XP until I started using Ubuntu full time on my PC. So for the last few years where I have built myself new PCs, I have never given Microsoft a penny. The down shot of this is, I can never claim a refund and donate it to a worthy cause, like Linux Mint :)

  3. tawan Says:

    Great :D

    Almost worth buying a PC for.

  4. MintUser Says:

    I am not trying to defend MS. But I would not refund you a single penny. You did not just buy a PC, you bought a particular configuration of it. With all the deals/discounts applied to the whole “configuration”. So my refund policy in this case would be all or nothing. The reason Win PC is cheaper is that Vendor/MS combine their discount offers. That’s why Linux PC is more expensive in some cases.

  5. GoustiFruit Says:

    Hum, it almost makes me want to buy a new PC :-D

  6. LinuxLover Says:

    Brilliant! I think everyone should get their ransom fee back if they don’t use Windows and donate that to there distro of choice. Your distro needs the funding, and we can help Linux spread.

  7. rhY Says:

    To “MintUser”:

    That is ridiculous. Microsoft has a monopoly. The only reason every PC ships with Windows is vendor lock-in. This is one of the very few and rare ways to fight it. I commend the OP.

  8. emorrp1 Says:

    MintUser: if you had to accept the EULAs at the shop then yes, I would agree with you, once you’ve gone that far, I wouldn’t give refund. However, it’s clear you’ve never actually read the M$ Windoze EULA, otherwise you would know that it says something to the effect of “if you do not accept this EULA, ask the reseller for a refund”. Oh, and rhY’s right about the monopoly, have you tried buying the PC you want without windows?

  9. Edmondo Says:

    Fine!! Very well done!!! and thanks for sharing the info!!!

    but, just speaking about monopoly, in this very moment, I can see at the top of the page an advert from google regarding a “software” to easily reinstall windows … maybe the webmaster should pay attention to this kind of “unwanted” advert … google can be worse than MS!!!!

    VIVA Linux and the OpenSource!!!

  10. Robert Pogson Says:

    I wonder what proportion of customers doing this would make Dell and others offer every machine with a choice of OS or no OS …

    Great article!

  11. jess Says:

    I think the average user shouldn’t even care what M$ does or says.I’ve used and tried several distros in the past 4 yrs, and all are better than M$.I have no reason to even bother with or listen about M$. I am happy with linux in all ways. It just keeps getting better. People can say or do what they want. It has no effect on me. I will not use M$ again. I only wish I had gotten Linux, but things have changed A LOT in the past few years. Keep up the good work guys. We don’t need to compete with others, just keep making things better for “US”. BTW I started out on a TRS 80,have built my own and several other thru the years. Just upgraded one of my systems to use the AMD Phenom II X3 720.
    Kubuntu of course.

  12. blahburger Says:

    Shutup emorrp…. preach somewhere else… in the end he did the right thing and did himself justice. kudos.

  13. Jon Says:

    MintUser – And your point on getting a discount on the software due to deals/discounts is why he was not offered the full retail price for the refund. Your point is already in the article, £133.96 vs £57.82+vat for the copy of Vista. The other bundled software is negligible as Dell doesn’t list EVERY piece of software that they pre-bundle so a person can make a complete list of the software that they are rejecting. Those smaller add on programs do contribute to lowering the price of a new PC but I doubt Dell will give a customer a full list of how it’s all accounted for in a PCs price.

  14. John and Dagny Galt Says:

    For our patrons desiring new equipment we recommend that they purchase it with Windows pre-installed. We do this for one reason and one reason only. Resale value and potential. The vast majority of used computer purchasers want Windows on the machine they buy, it’s as simple as that.

    Sincerely,
    John and Dagny Galt

    .

  15. Raj Says:

    I have tried buying a PC without Windows but faced many obstacles. Firstly it was not available in most places.
    Linux PC was only available through web purchase. So no hands on trial.
    Linux PC was usually the lowest configuration.
    Linux PC was usually more expensive than the other OS at the same config.
    Non-Linux PC would have special offers making it more attractive.
    Going this route is certainly giving the best deal for a Linux consumer.

  16. Frank Says:

    As great as this is I would still have bought a computer from a Linux OEM instead of Dell. System 76 or Zareason.

  17. Mauricio H Says:

    I don’t use LinuxMint (I use Fedora), but I stumbled upon this article through an RSS feed and must say Congratulations!!!
    I will try this with a new laptop I buy from HP and post this article in my forum. This is really good news. Awesome!

  18. Capheind Says:

    There needs to be some sort of law requireing Manufactuerers to not ship with an OS in the first place, at most just an install partition. Then if you want Windows you click yes from the menu when it boots and its there, and if you don’t you never have to pay for that junk.

  19. nixuser Says:

    To “rhY”
    having a monopoly is not illegal and should not be used to imply those who have a monopoly are acting illegally. But you are correct in that Microsoft has a monopoly and they have been found guilty of illegally using that monopoly to protect it. They had also been in court in the early 90s on these same charges and fortunate enough to have the case thrown out via a weak settlement. And yes, they are still locking out competitors by using those marketing and preload agreements with hardware vendors.

    To “MintUser”
    Those discounts are funded mostly by Microsoft deals which pay money back to the hardware vendor for things like putting labels on the computer and placing “Best with Windows” on their web pages and advertisements. We’ve seen that Microsoft is willing to lose money to block other products from gaining market share( XP on netbooks is a recent excample ). These are anti-competitive in nature but the real issue here is that the EULA for the copy of Windows you install on the computer gives your customers the right to reject that software you put on that computer. You can’t have it both ways.

  20. Dennis Nowotny Says:

    This is a fair first shot at bait and trap monopolists that pc builders should not be afraid to offer!!!

  21. Slated Says:

    Typo:

    “You’ll need to use another computer to do step 2:”

    That should be 3, not 2.

    Also, I’m not convinced Microsoft foots the bill for this refund, I’m 99% sure the OEM/retailer takes the hit.

    Read this:

    Gateway also faulted another provision of the new licensing agreement, which requires PC makers to pay a Windows royalty on every PC shipped, even if it didn’t include Windows. To top it off, to qualify for market development funds, PC makers have to put a Microsoft OS on every PC. As a result, trying to sell non-Windows PCs, or even PCs without software, is a financial loser for computer makers.

    Refunds only hurt the vendors. This is why they’re so reluctant to do it … they’re contractually obligated to pay Microsoft, regardless.

    Unless someone can produce hardcopy proof that vendors are actually receiving refunds from Microsoft, via itemised and signed invoices, I simply don’t believe it’s happening.

    Here are the only ways to absolutely ensure Microsoft don’t benefit financially from the computer you own:

    1. Assemble your own PC from components (not cheap, and impossible for laptops)
    2. Buy a Mac, or some other non-Wintel system (e.g. ARM Smartbook)
    3. Buy a second-hand system through a private sale (non-commercial)
    4. Don’t buy computers at all

    Although even step 3 benefits Microsoft at least once, the first time the PC is purchased, so basically that cuts the list down to just 3 methods, one of which is completely unacceptable (don’t buy computers), and another of which is mostly impossible (assemble a laptop from components). Macs are high quality hardware (I say nothing about OS X), but it’s questionable whether they’re really worth the extra money. So that just leaves “build your own desktop” and “buy a non-Intel architecture machine” (i.e. one completely incompatible with Windows).

    There is another “method”, of course: Campaign to shut down this monopoly. Government(s) need to intervene to stop this racketeering.

  22. zcat Says:

    For desktop PCs it’s not too hard to build one yourself, cheaper than prebuilt, and avoid getting windows at all. For laptops it’s almost impossible to get one without Windows installed, and building a laptop from parts isn’t really an option.

    I totally agree with this article though, if you don’t have the option of getting your preferred computer without Windows then you should absolutely ask for a refund for software you don’t want, never asked for, and are never going to use.

  23. rediflex Says:

    Fantastic work!

  24. simon Says:

    Excellent news!
    You managed to get more money for your refund, which apparently means there is an adhoc mechanism within Dell.

    Have a look at my story at
    http://simos.info/blog/archives/1000

  25. David Geary Says:

    Re Offer and Acceptance. From the facts presented in the article, I think that Dell did not make an offer because an offer contains the essence of the complete terms of the bargain, where here, the date has not been agreed upon. It looks like that what happened here is that a counter-offer was made that was never accepted. No wonder Dell didn’t show up. Be aware, also, that offers can be accepted by conduct alone.

    I agree with emorrp1. I actually think that the licence should be on the outside of the box at the shop so that a decision can be made at the time of ‘sale’ without any fussing around.

    I recommend to read the licence of any closed source commercial software sometime even if just for its educational value. The spirit of the licences used for that class of software are pretty much the same although the wording differs according to the company and product.

  26. Aris Says:

    I completely agree with MintUser, you have bought both, PC and Software, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it, simple..

  27. Will Daniels Says:

    @MintUser “The reason Win PC is cheaper is that Vendor/MS combine their discount offers. That’s why Linux PC is more expensive in some cases.”

    Unless you’re suggesting that MS subsidises the cost of the hardware this makes no sense. How exactly does discounted MS products coming bundled with a machine make it cheaper than coming with no software at all?

    Dell only offered refunds at their discounted OEM price, not the RRP, so if their agreement with MS does not allow for refunds to secure that discount, they just have to increase the cost of their machines to accommodate it, thus spreading the cost of refunds between users who do actually want the MS software, which is exactly correct, fair and representative of the real cost of that software for those users.

  28. Matěj Cepl Says:

    @MintUser It is strictly prohibited in any civilized country to condition buying of one product by buying another one (“I will sell you my tractor only when you buy a plough from me as well”, it is called “tying” in legalese, “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_%28commerce%29). It is especially forbidden in the situation when anit-copmetitive practice are suspected … it came originally really from tractor and plough business, where John Deere in US had almost 100% of the market in tractors and they tried to grab the market with ploughs as well.

    This is the basis (or at least one of the) of all discussion about including Internet Explorer being part of Windows (and therefore not being tyied to the purchase of it) or not. And therefore Dell just cannot refuse in the end to somehow accept back Windows (unless they can prove that you screwed yourself up by accepting the contract or anything else they can interpret as such). You have to be very careful.

    And of course, IANALAM, and this is not a legal advice. Consult your lawyer before doing any such tricks (or especially before writing threatening letters to anybody).

  29. apexwm Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I too have successfully obtained a refund from Dell, but only on new systems. When buying refurbished systems, Dell claims that the license came with the original PC and was not rejected when it was new, so on the refurbished system it’s tied to the system and cannot be refunded. It partially makes sense, but the whole point is that Dell should NOT force you to buy Windows when you don’t want it. This should be an option when purchasing a PC, new or used. The entire situation of the “Windows tax” is a scam and a setup, and with the decline with Microsoft and Windows, hopefully vendors like Dell will start to offer options for those purchasing hardware. They need to offer NO OS on new systems, or the option to choose Windows or a Linux distro with the PC.

  30. Robert Says:

    Haha nice!

    I’m absolutely gonna do this by the time I’m buying a new pc.. Could be a few years from now. My good old 5 year PC works just fine as long as I use linux :)

  31. kaddy Says:

    I got a custom computer built for some friends the other week without Windows on it :p :p :p

  32. knight4linux Says:

    To All: I smell a troll.

    To Mintuser: Can you honestly say to me that you have read the Windows EULA? If you’d be so gracious as replying to this, I truly would like to know. My guess though is that you haven’t. And I don’t want to agree to it, and thats all you should care about. Your completely wrong in saying “The reason Win PC is cheaper is that Vendor/MS combine their discount offers.” If that was the case, why would agree to the EULA only after receiving the computer that I purchased?! Oh yeah smarty-pants…because its doesn’t work like that. Hence why they don’t make you agree to the EULA immediately after buying it.

  33. knight4linux Says:

    To emorrp1:

    Haha, I somehow missed your post. *hand -> forehead* Nice job, I guess you got to that point before I. Cheers mate.

  34. Alex Says:

    Dell should be pressured to allow people to mail back these CDs. Forcing people to wait at home for pickup is ridiculous and seems outright vengeful. This process should be easier.

  35. kumar Says:

    @MintUser

    please check the link provided on point 6 “Argue the case”, the link provides an excellent reply to your “Bundle” or “Configuration” case.
    Here it is :

    “You bought the bundle.”

    They may tell your purchase was a bundle, that Windows came on the computer as a packaged set and you can’t return one without the other. What you have on your side to counter this is the license itself, which says that you may choose to not accept the license and return it to the vendor. No matter what they say regarding a bundle, the legal wording of the license is clear. I heard the B word several times, and each time I explained the terms of the license to them, with the license wording at hand in case I needed to quote it verbatim. If the customer representative tries to cut the conversation short saying it’s a bundle, stay polite, but explain that the license is quite clear and that you’re just going by the legal wording and exercising your right to return the operating system.

    Nice one !

  36. thatoneguy Says:

    Or you could not be a douchebag and buy your computers from a manufacturer that preloads linux like system76 and support the linux community far better than your donation to mint.

    Self righteous zealots are annoying.

    If you dont want to support microsofts stronghold give your money to companies that dont support linux.

  37. Hammad Says:

    Here in Pakistan, Windows is as free as Linux (free as in beer). Me and my friends just use Linux because we know its better. Just saying.

  38. kaddy Says:

    um…. Im guessing you mean there all pirated copies

  39. Apopas Says:

    How can Linux be pirated?

  40. Alex Says:

    I put up a two line comment saying Dell should make this process easier and people should be allowed to mail in these CDs and it got deleted by the moderators. Sigh.

  41. h2s Says:

    @12
    i have a friend he bought a laptop preloaded with VISTA,now and then he looks for a pirated copy of VISTA to reinstall. personally i have two unopened Genuine VISTA cds, only that am in a part of the world where looking for the refund will be like squeezing water out of a rock. some of us have no choice in rejecting the EULA, we just take it as ransom or extortion and promptly wipe Windows and install any flavor of GNU/LInux.
    congrats to Graeme.

  42. purencool Says:

    I need to get a laptop for my business and have not been able to find one that does not sell windows. This might be the way to do it.

    It shows how you can hide behind a license agreement.

    Thank you for this post it was clear and precise.

  43. hamburn Says:

    kaddy you don’t now that Somalia, there you find pirates, and Pakistan are different countries? sad, sad ;-)

  44. Bryce Says:

    This is an awesome story. And what a brilliant use of the money returned. I love it!

  45. 3535 Says:

    Did someone really write this, ” “Hello, my name is Graeme Cobbett. Today, I donated $112 to Linux Mint. But I didn�t fund this myself: Microsoft gave me the money.”
    Let’s see…
    (1) You bought the M$ Windows PC.
    (2) You asked for a M$ Windows refund.
    (3) M$ refunded the cost of M$ Windows.
    (4) You donated the refunded money to Mint.
    How in the world did you donate M$’s money? It was your money, dummy!

    This type of logic is brought to us by the government schools of the USA. And we wonder why M$ is winning!

  46. bilpirate Says:

    What kaddy guesses its pirated copies, turns out to be nothing more nothing less than a M$-long-term-stategy, to compete with??…. guess who………

    “”It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not,” Gates says” … “turns out to be Microsoft’s best long-term strategy…”

    These guys are not kids

  47. Priestley Says:

    win for linux loss for windows, but i do have to agree with mintuser, you bought the computer configuration, which includes microsoft windows software :( which you did agree to dell’s terms upon payment,reguardless of microsofts eula. but you did cheat the system! GO YOU!

    p.s. mint deserves your money more then microsoft anyway’s, so you did right by me!

  48. raindukelum Says:

    Funny I use linux coz it is free and I love it and I feel I’m playing the game when using linux rather spectator when using Windows.
    Here in Sri Lanka you find any Windows version(any commercial software) is free as beer sometimes most blue chips companies use Pirate software even government agencies.

    I’m ashamed of those people but I feel happy I’m not one of them.

  49. Xaero Says:

    I’m seeing this article all over the web. I’m sure vendors are about to lose a lot of money now. Besides they are all set to start selling computers with win7 on it. Hehe..

    Moo.

  50. kaddy Says:

    hamburn…. What the F#@ck are you talking about? Lol! is that a sarcastic sense of humour? or are you serious?
    lol

    I Was talking about illegal copies of Windows…… as it is NEVER free! lol…. please explain? :o :o

  51. Chris Says:

    brilliant my mate!Nice move,example for all of us..keep the market FREE :p

  52. Max Says:

    Hi I’ll be ordering a new laptop soon via a friend in the US…could anyone confirm if anything else needs to be sent back to Dell apart from the licensed software CDs in the package?
    Secondly, keeping ethics aside for a while, if I did click on Accept for the license just to check out if the laptop is functioning OK, could that affect my refund in any way?
    Thanks…

  53. Jraz Says:

    This is simply the coolest thing I have read today. Linux Mint is making the world a bit greener by getting some of Dell’s green. LOL

  54. Roberto Says:

    Ooops!

    Why i can’t see these 2 latest news on my Linux Mint 7 Gloria
    Firefox start page? To read them i have to move to
    the blog link!!! Is it correct?

    refund
    newsletters

  55. mesut Says:

    Haha:) We suck MORE;)

  56. Gerry Says:

    It might be helpful to discuss whether Dell had to collect the CDs because of distance selling issues?
    e.g.,
    http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/consumers/buying-selling/unsolicited/index.html

    Wouldn’t necessarily be the same procedure for PCWorld. I think you’d have to send them somewhere?

  57. Bob Says:

    You can buy an Enterprise-class machine for around $100 at OverStock.com
    IBM, HP, Compaq, and others can be had for a song. All are P4s, loaded, just install Mint! over the already installed Windows XP.

  58. pilosopong tasyo Says:

    i agree with the 52nd comment, albeit sans the insult. it’s mr. cobbett’s money (and not microsoft’s) that was donated to mint.

    technicalities aside — by getting a rebate, he ended up basically paying for the actual price of the computer without the accompanying software. hence, he donated his own money under the guise/belief that it’s from microsoft.

    it’s a fallacy in logic.

    p.s. i’m neither anti- nor pro-microsoft. i like both windows and linux mint, but more of the latter. let’s use more common sense.

  59. JP Says:

    Regardless of whose pocket the money came out of, I love this! I will definitely be reading over some EULA’s next time I buy a preloaded system. If more people were as cool as Graeme, then maybe OEMS would consider offering different OS’es as options more often. I also like how he didn’t throw a tantrum about it but was a gentleman about the whole thing.

  60. Linuxiac38 Says:

    though Dell has a web page for each of their 7 systems that are sold with Ubuntu Linux included, they are difficult to locate, and seem to be keyed to sales in America.

    System76 offers Linux computers. Better hardware than Dell, at a fair price, pre-loaded with Linux!

    Microsoft Win7 is a patched up Vista, and both require resources I am not going to sacrifice. Besides, Linux works in ways M$ is incapable of matching.

    Examples:
    Microsoft is a serial, consecutive processing, slow system. Linux is a parallel processing, multi-user, concurrent processing system, that scales up most efficiently.

    The million Microsoft Virus/malebots/exploits do not affect Linux. Another huge M$ resource hog is all the ‘protection racket’ of Microsoft and “partners” for AV, etc.

    I hand out, and convert users, with free Linux Mint CDroms, and have done so with all the Linux distros, since 1997, at the rate of 5+ per week.

    I like to think that others are also educating others about the ripoff by M$ and their “partners”. I know of about 50 folks doing as I do, in our local clubs.

    linuxmint.com has your FREE CD download!

  61. Jonah Says:

    You can buy a PC at NOVATECH without an O/S installed.

  62. Metroid_maniac Says:

    Nice one. Personally, I would have kept the money :-) .

  63. Jeff Hoogland Says:

    Be careful who you are buying the system from if you plan on doing something like this. A few retailers now are simply telling you to return the entire system instead of just getting a refund for the Windows license…

    ~Jeff

  64. CocoaBen Says:

    Bugger… I had convinced myself I could get an EeePC 1000HE and save a few RM on Win when I went out to get one a couple of months ago, but only after I settled for this contaminated edition did I find out that ASUS had gone back on it’s move for affordable netbooks distributed with Linux.
    I had no idea that once I had paid for this I could take such honorable action!!!!!!
    Well I dual boot Crunchbang and Windows now so atleast the alternative is always there… Does anyone know if it’s too late to go back on Windows, especially as ASUS did make such claims in the past?

  65. Vytautas Says:

    Good job!

    But…
    Can somebody answer the question – don’t you lose your warranties using OS not approved/tested by vendor?

  66. Coach Says:

    Brilliant, congratulations. Last two PC’s which I was bought came without OS (I insisted). I don’t want to use Windows, why should I pay for it?

  67. Arron Says:

    Has anyone done this in the USA or Canada? I agree pc’s with Windows is cheaper. Im sure this is just to keep Windows on top by everyone having it by default. Why should people have to buy windows, just to have the hardware they want?

  68. Rodolfo Ortega Paredes Says:

    Hello. First, newer replies should appear first.

    1. License terms are very tricky but when you buy a new PC, have you wondered who makes more money? Microsoft or the computer maker?

    2. An OEM Windows license is not expensive, really. If you buy some software, it even costs more that the OS itself which is ridiculous! It is like buying a new car audio would be more expensive than the car!

    3. If you buy clothing, specially from a know brand, I was not made in the US or UK or a “developped” country. It would surely be made in China, India, Singapour, Thailand, Mexico, Peru, etc. And people employed earns probably less than $10 a day for 10 o even 15 hours of hard and stressing work. The designer brand ears a lot by exploiting humans, in some cases they are under 18. Some other companies do the same.

    4. Do you think Microsoft is evil? Then, stop buying any product of any know brand because if you really knew what is behind the top brands, you will hate less Microsoft. There are some books out there of famous brands like Nike, Adidas, etc. whose end products hide a history of abuse. Check out “The era of the depredating brands” ISBN: 9701042328, something like “Black book of brands”, etc.

    5. It’s okay if you hate Microsoft, but if have bought a new car, I must say you certainly gave away some thousand dollars to the car maker, much more than what you pay for a home software license. Car makers sell their cars very expensive and you get few extras. How many decades has the MP3 format? Since when car makers began offering a mp3 player? And if you want full security, how many thousand dollars must you pay extra for something that’s not fancy, it’s for saving your life in case of an accident? I know only Volvo offers the same security for all versions of a car model, let’s say the S40, the cheaper and the most expensive all have the same security.

    6. Do you use Google? Do you like Chrome? Have you read their license terms? I don’t any of them, because I have read them and their worse than Microsoft’s. Did you know about Google desktop? Well, as I told you, their very abusive. I block many ads and I block ad sites, like googlesyndication that collects many data from you and your mail if that’s the case, and certainly sells your info without you knowing it.

    7. If you like Chrome, you would love Iron, a web browser based in Chrome but with privacy issued taken away. Yahoo it! (remember, I avoid using google 99.999% of the time). Take a look at: http://pgl.yoyo.org/adservers/

    As someone recently said, Google is the new Microsoft.

    Any actions taken are better than doing nothing.

  69. TatseL Says:

    @ Edmondo, October 17th:
    I agree, XP reinstall ads are total nonsense.
    *TatseL pokes the webmaster*: We have an “agressive” ad, here. *laughs*

    @ all : Hahaha if only I didn’t needed Win$ for so many things, i’d use Linux Mint all-time and get refunded. I need to buy a new PC (mine is dead), but i’ll install Linux Mint on it for sure (maybe Mint 9 will be out when i’ll buy mine )… And find a job, before that…. Wait… Custom PC’s doesn’t come with Windows, uh? *shiney smile* Linux mint forever !

  70. TatseL Says:

    Sorry for the double-post :-S

    Aaron: Custom-built PC doesn’t come with Windows, and you can choose the hardware you want for (way) cheaper. but it’s not really the subject here…

  71. TatseL Says:

    I meant Arron*

  72. Chuck Says:

    Imagine a day when everyone stops paying the Microsoft tax and supports their Linux distro of choice.

  73. Cliffystones Says:

    First, to “nixuser”

    I don’t know what country you are living in, but in the United States a monopoly is illegal. There is this little law called the Sherman-Clayton Anti-trust act for starters. “Google” it for your self.

    One thing not mentioned in the other comments. When I do break down and replace this 6 year old laptop I will probably keep W7 and set up dual booting with Mint. The reason simply is that I service PCs and I do need to be up to speed on “Micro-croc’, because that’s what the rest of the average PC users have (and manage to completely hose!).

    When possible, I recommend to friends and neighbors to replace MS with Ubuntu or Mint. But sometimes they are stuck due to the need for proprietary software, certain kids games etc.

  74. stereoplegic Says:

    Kudos to you. I’ll be looking for a new laptop soon, and could care less about WinBLOWS 7 (though I will give credit where credit is due: 7 and Server 2008 R2 are by far the best MS has offered). I probably won’t be buying a Dell, though I commend them for their (albeit limited) support of Ubuntu. Hopefully this will work for the OEM I decide to go with.

    I’ve loved Linux Mint 5, 6, and 7. Ubuntu 9.10 is freakin’ amazing! Can’t wait to see what Clem and crew bring to the table for Mint 8!

  75. kallback Says:

    folks
    as ya probably know
    ↑ → its possible to get computers without OS, just e free Dos-Version, NO eels in them \ on HDDs…

    ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

    check with LENOVO \ HP \ DELL \ FUJUTSU etc etc to see 4 ya self!
    .. and yes its cheaper without the regular bollox OS …

    \\ all the best! \\ love the NICE Mint[art]&Workz

  76. Carlo Verzeletti Says:

    Your fantastic and alot of patience.
    I am so happy you got the money back from these thieving bastards Dell and Microsoft.

    I always build my PC’s from scratch so I never need to worry about these thieving monopolizing companies. I purchased a laptop or 2 in the past before I knew about Linux and one was a Dell but I will never purchase one again. There is no need for one and there is no need to give you money to these corrupt companies. Your our Hero and thanks for your story.

  77. jimb Says:

    lations, very w

  78. jimb Says:

    Congratulations,very well done. The adverts placards and sealed
    computer boxes all have boldly printed the specifications and wonderous praises of the product. None says “However much you pay for this package the computer operating system and all the software programs will NEVER belong to you. You will never own them and can only use them with our permission. And if you use them on any other computer we will prosecute you. Even though you are buying them all the software belongs to us and never to you” That should be in bold print the same as “Smoking Kills on cigarettes, on the OUTSIDE of all boxes and in all placards and adverts. Make the vendors tell the customers the truth BEFORE they buy the product, not after they have opened it. Then see how many computers they sell. Fooled once,
    never again.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Wow, you can do that…? New Dell owner rejects Windows license, donates refund to Linux Mint. « Andrew Currie on WordPress Says:

    [...] best regards via linuxmint.com [...]

  2. bloovis.com » Getting a refund on the Windows Tax Says:

    [...] to buy a PC without Windows unless you build it yourself. But one persistent person managed to get a refund from Dell, after only twelve emails back and forth and a lost day of work. That was easy! Discuss [...]

  3. Roy Schestowitz (schestowitz) 's status on Friday, 16-Oct-09 22:30:03 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] Refunded and Passed to #GNU #Linux Developers http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=1073 [...]

  4. Links 16/10/2009: Asterisk Gets IBM Support, OpenOffice.org 3.2 Beta Released, Uruguay Students All to Use GNU/Linux | Boycott Novell Says:

    [...] Windows license refund donated to Mint I was recently contacted by a person called Graeme Cobbett. In his email he told me he got his Windows license refunded and donated that money to Linux Mint. Of course, as you can imagine, he felt pretty happy about it and he wanted to let people know how he did it. [...]

  5. How to evade the Microsoft tax and help out your favorite distro « RixBuntu Says:

    [...] 16, 2009 in Linux Mint, open source Check out this post on the Linux Mint Blog about a Mint user who bought a new PC from Dell, rejected the EULA, and… get this… got [...]

  6. amaeth's status on Sunday, 18-Oct-09 03:08:28 UTC - Identi.ca Says:

    [...] http://www.linuxmint.com/blog/?p=1073 a few seconds ago from Gwibber [...]

  7. Rob Searles » Getting a Windows Refund Says:

    [...] just read quite an interesting article on the Linux Mint blog courtesy of Linux Today. It describes how Clem, a Linux Mint user, managed to get a refund on [...]

  8. Anonymous Says:

    [...] [...]

  9. Get Microsoft to Fund Linux | Hitched Hiker Says:

    [...] This is the post on the Linux Mint blog with the text of the letter sent by Graeme Corrbett. [...]

  10. Destillat KW43-2009 | duetsch.info - GNU/Linux, Open Source, Softwareentwicklung, Selbstmanagement, Vim ... Says:

    [...] Windows license refund donated to Mint [...]