Microsoft: A [Very] Small Victory

I recently bought three laptops from Dell. They came with Windows XP Home edition. I'm a passionate Linux guy. Microsoft and Dell have a deal where Dell can only sell computers (perhaps it's just their consumer stuff?) with Windows on them. Furthermore, as part of this deal, Dell cannot reveal how much each copy costs. Dell refused to sell me the laptops with no software. After getting the laptops, I called up customer support to try to arrange a refund on Microsoft licenses I didn't want. I had to insist on talking with a supervisor. He called me back hours later. I pleaded my case. He argued strongly that the software didn't cost me anything, it was part of the package. I argued strongly that somehow Microsoft was getting my money, and I wanted no part in that. I wanted $100 back per laptop. He argued that since the cost of my laptops was so low (they were the cheapest models), he didn't feel that Dell could possibly be spending $50 a piece. After some haggling, I settled for $25 a piece. Other people have gotten more back. Dell paid me money to go away, and I'm sure this had no impact on Microsoft, but I'm at least somewhat content to have caused a stir. I am not happy with Dell's policy.

See also: here and here.


Looks like Dell still hasn't paid me. :(
Oops, looks like they did pay me, but on a different credit card (actually, my Dad's). Sorry for the confusion!