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PC World

Linux users demand Windows refund


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Open-source supporters rally at Microsoft over unwanted bundling.

February 17, 1999
Web posted at: 10:19 a.m. EST (1519 GMT)

by Jeanette Borzo

(IDG) -- Users of Linux and other open-source operating systems gathered at Microsoft sales offices around the world Monday to seek refunds on the untouched Windows software that came with their PCs.

A clause in the Windows end-user license agreement entitles customers to their money back if they haven't used the software, open-source software users say. Momentum has gathered behind "Windows Refund Day" ever since an Australian apparently secured a $110 refund from Toshiba for Windows software that came with his Toshiba notebook PC.

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In open-source software, the underlying code is freely available and can be modified by users. Users of Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and other open-source operating systems participated in Monday's events.

The San Francisco Bay Area had the largest turnout of the several places involved, including New York and Tokyo, even though Monday was a national holiday in the United States, according to various media reports. Linux users rallied at Microsoft's Foster City, California, office, which was open and displaying a banner that read, "Microsoft Welcomes the Linux Community."

Events were also planned in Southern California, New Zealand, France, Japan, and the Netherlands, organizers said. A French Web site encouraged users to fax a letter asking for a refund on unused Windows software.

While no protests were planned in Germany, a user group called Team 0S/2 Deutschland explained on its Web site that users have the right to return their Windows license to Microsoft. It's unclear how users will get a refund, the group acknowledged.

Mary Lisbeth D'Amico in Munich contributed to this report.

Maybe Linux should be your next desktop OS
February 4, 1999
Why Linux isn't just another Unix
February 2, 1999
Windows license opens door for Linux refund
January 25, 1999
Group seeks refunds for bundled versions of Windows
January 22, 1999
The future of Linux
January 18, 1999

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Open Source Initiative
Microsoft Windows Refund for the Bay Area
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