Today I got a reply to my letter to the Competition Authority about the Windows Tax. Reproduced below are key sections, along with my thoughts.
Computer manufacturers tend to bundle laptops with pre-installed Windows. This may lead to significant cost saving or efficiency gains. It is therefore less expensive for computer manufactures to acquire a license from Microsoft and offer the bundle to customers.
This may well be true, if bulk discounts are passed on. But here’s the thing: No matter how cheap it is, Linux is free. I am forced to pay for Windows.
A consumer may choose not to install the software and contact the manufacturer or installer to determine their return policy for a refund or credit.
What part of ‘pre-installed’ don’t they get?
Therefore, the bundled products are also available separately. It does not appear that there is a breach of the Competition Act.
So, because I can take a long and torturous trip to the small claims court, there is no breach?
The Authority also suggested an English website. I also could avoid the high prices charged by Irish dentists by travelling to Hungary, and that didn’t stop them acting.
This is not a solution.