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Updated: Dell refunds Linux users who ditch XP

By Matt Whipp

Posted on 16 Nov 2006 at 16:28

According to the BBC, Dell is refunding the cost of a Windows XP licence to users that don't use the product but install Linux instead.

Dave Mitchell, freelance programmer and consultant, claimed the US company issued a £50 rebate after he refused to agree to the Windows licence agreement on a new Dell laptop he bought. He made the claim based on a clause in Microsoft's terms and conditions that state Dell, as manufacturer, will refund any unused products.

Although he photographed each stage of the process to prove that he had not installed the Windows platform, Dell did not make a fuss over the provenance of his claim, and issued a refund of £55.23 within days.

Additionally, Dell has not yet asked for the return of the installation discs, even though Mr Mitchell is no longer eligible to use them on his machine.

Finding a laptop with Linux pre-installed is tough in the UK. And where they are available, it is usually the case that the manufacturer has paid the Windows licence and simply not installed it.

Dell told us: 'Customers who do not want an operating system pre-loaded on their system should purchase an "n -Series " machine from Dell.

However, the company added the caveat that the the manner in which this refund was managed was specific to the case.

'Dell does not have an official programme that accommodates the return of the operating system,' we were told. 'In general a customer would return the system if unhappy with any pre-installed software end-user license agreement (EULA), including the operating system. Customers should consult the applicable terms and conditions of sale for more information on Dell's return policy.

'Ensuring an outstanding customer experience is a top priority for Dell. It appears this was a unique response for a customer based on the individual circumstances of the customer's experience and request.'

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