Update: Trying To Dodge The Microsoft Tax
I hope everyone had a great Christmas. 2008 is just around the corner, where did 2007 go? Anyway, bare with me this post is relevant to Linux and open source honest. I’ve been wanting to replace my clunky desktop tower for a while with a nice new laptop, running Linux of course. So I’m looking for a new laptop and I don’t want to buy one with Windows pre-installed because I will only be deleting it instantly. My original budget was around £500 but I’ve since upped that to £700ish, I may be living on Pot Noodles for most of January though 🙂 I want a nice portable machine yet powerful, a few people have said to me “get a Macbook” but I won’t repeat my reply to that in polite conversation.
As I’ve mentioned a few times I would dearly love a System76 Linux laptop but they won’t ship to Europe. I could get a friend in the US to buy one for me and ship it over but I’d have the hassle of import duties and if something happened to it I’d be pretty screwed sending it back. My next thought was to try one of the smaller sellers in the UK, I’ve looked at The Linux Emporium and Efficient PC but neither of them have a machine I want at a price I can afford which is a shame.
So then it was on to Dell and their Ubuntu laptops or should I say Ubuntu laptop (singular) as they only have one model for sale in the UK. I had a look at the 6400n and I can get a pretty decent spec for £500 but I found the coloured 1520 with Vista has more features, a better spec and only costs £499. This is annoying because I want to support Linux and try to show Dell that their is a market for it but I don’t like the 6400n. So what can I do?
Well, pay attention 007 here comes the plan…. the machine I really want is the very sexy XPS m1330 and I can get one with a better spec than my current desktop for £725 delivered. I’ve even done some research and found that the machine fully supports Linux, the model I’m looking at has Intel wireless and graphics so I can even use the open source drivers. I found a great article about running Ubuntu on the m1330 here.
This is all good but I have one problem, I’m forced to buy a copy of Vista that I will only throw in the bin and the thought of giving Microsoft money for nothing makes me physically sick. I’ve heard that if you contact Dell as a business customer they will ship you a machine with FreeDOS instead of Windows. I’m going to try contacting the company to see how receptive they are to this idea. I’ve heard both good and bad things about Dell in the past. My last resort will be to buy the machine with Vista and then document myself declining the license before sending all of that to Dell with a request for a refund. It’s not about the money for me, it’s about the principal. I know that may seem a bit extreme to some people but that’s really how I feel about this. I won’t back down and if they refuse me a refund they’ll be getting the laptop back, I’ll just have to save up until I can afford a machine from one of the smaller sellers I suppose. Not ideal.
So I just wanted to canvas your opinions a bit, have any of you dealt with Dell in the past? Any experiences you want to share? Has anyone out there succeeded in getting a refund on your Windows Tax? Maybe you know of another UK seller I should try? Any comments are gratefully received.
Hope you all have a good New Year and as the great Chuck D once said “Fight the power!!” “Yeah boyzzzzz” hehe 🙂