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Windows Refund Madness

(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!