The Windows Rebate: Fantasy or Reality?

I've received a lot of email about a movement on the Internet for users of alternative operating systems (Linux, for the most part) to receive a refund for Windows if they purchased a machine (that invariably comes with Windows) but never used the OS, and instead installed the OS of their choice. This movement came about when an intrepid Linux user named Geoffrey Bennett successfully lobbied Toshiba to refund him the cost of Windows when he bought a laptop and installed Linux instead. Bennett says that it's nearly impossible to buy a PC without Windows these days (and who can argue with that?) but that, more importantly, there is a clause in the Microsoft End User License Agreement (EULA) that allows users to return Windows for a refund as long as it is never used.

Well, it's real. And it's completely uninteresting to most readers of this list, so I'll just summarize it this way: We're living in a day and age when attacking Microsoft is not only easy, it's in vogue. With the rise in popularity of alternative OSes--especially Linux--this sort of thing is becoming more and more common, but I suspect the number of people who actually qualify for a refund is extremely small. However, if you'd like to explore this seedy underbelly of the Linux movement, here are a few pointers:

Windows Refund Center
"Geoffrey Bennett's Toshiba/Microsoft Saga"

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