The Taxes of the Tech World - Linux, Microsoft, and More!
Apr 01, 2010, 12:32 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steve Lake)
"Recently Dell began denying purchasers of their Linux desktop
machines the ability to get a refund on their "Windows Tax", the
carefully hidden cost of Windows included in the price of the
machine they just purchased. So why are they doing this? Well, they
claim that Windows doesn't cost them anything. In some ways that's
actually true, but not in the same way Linux is free.
"If your set two machines side by side at Dell, you'll notice in
some cases that both machines, although equal in hardware specs and
feature, are different in price, with the Linux machine actually
being more expensive than the equivalent Windows machine. So what
gives? Why does a machine with Windows cost less than one with
Linux on it? One simple word: Malware.
"You likely haven't heard of that word, save when it comes to
viruses. This is because big OEM's like Dell, HP and others don't
call it that. Their term is "trialware" or "bonus applications" or
whatever weird spin term their marketing department thought up one
fun afternoon during a game of "spin the product". So why is this
malware, or whatever they want to call it, important in the price
of the final system? Because the companies who write these
garbageware/malware programs pay for the privilege to have their
apps installed as "standard features" on all machines shipped by a