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Windows Refund Madness

Jan 21, 1999, 00:18 (9 Talkback[s])

(Recently, an Australian laptop purchaser successfully received a refund for the un-used Windows operating system that came with his computer. Here's a run-down of the chain of events that have occurred since. -- lt eds.)

by Dave Whitinger

Geoffrey D. Bennett recently learned that it is possible to:

Purchase a computer, immediately remove the Windows OS, and receive a refund for the portion of the cost of the computer that went to pay for the software. As it turns out, a loop-hole in Microsoft's End User License Agreement allows the user to return the un-used software if they do not agree to the terms of the license.

This has led to the start of a new initiative, appropriately titled The Windows Refund Center. It's goal: "We're aiming at making February 15th 'Windows Refund Day', getting as many people as possible to request their refunds on the same day (to make it a press event)."

If it was press attention they desired, they have it.

So far:

Some have reservations, however. Don Marti, of the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group, fears this may be an opportunity for "a bunch of warez d00ds" to get a free ride and assist them with illegal activities.

Don and friends have set up an alternative 'Windows Refund Day' initiative, this one in Silicon Valley. Their intent: "On Windows Refund Day (February 15, 1999), users of non-Microsoft operating systems will bring their Microsoft Windows original disks, manuals, and Certificates of Authenticity to the Microsoft office in Foster City, California to ask for a refund."

They also attempt to repel potential criminals with this nasty warning: "If you try to use this event as an excuse to actually use Microsoft products in violation of applicable licenses, we will help Microsoft hunt you down and prosecute you to the full extent of the law."

Whatever happens, this is certain to be an interesting story to watch unfold!