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The Register: Nader slams MS pricing, licences, demands Office ports

Dec 22, 1999, 01:06 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Graham Lea)

"Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who brought General Motors to its knees over car safety failures ("Unsafe at any speed"), has been talking and writing about Microsoft's "poorly designed products" that were "prone to crash" at the Bazaar, an open source software event in New York. He drew attention to the narrowness of the DoJ case, which ignored "a plethora of issues" relating to the desktop monopoly, MS Office, and licensing issues. Nader has previously arranged two conferences on Microsoft which focussed public attention on the company. Nader is much admired by Microsoft president Steve Ballmer's mother, who was concerned that her son was doing something that was criticised by her hero."

"Nader's first concern was pricing, where Microsoft had increased OEM prices and charges more than three times the price of BeOS. He also brought up the restrictions in Microsoft's end user licence agreements (EULAs) which often don't allow Microsoft products to be sold or transferred to another PC."

"Those who prefer Linux often find they had to pay for Windows, even if they did not require it. It is worth noting that Nader's organisation does practice what it preaches in that it uses Linux in its offices. Jay Sulzberger of LXNY announced at the meeting that there would be a Windows Refund Day organised in New York, and since Microsoft had been unresponsive, they were going to court about Microsoft's failure to abide by the terms of its EULA, which state that "If you do not agree to the terms of the EULA..." the PC manufacturer (for OEM versions) or the dealer (for a retail version), would provide "a refund."

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