Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The Taxes of the Tech World - Linux, Microsoft, and More

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

Recently Dell began denying purchasers of their Linux desktop machines the ability to get a refund on their "Windows Tax", the carefully hidden cost of Windows included in the price of the machine they just purchased. So why are they doing this? Well, they claim that Windows doesn't cost them anything. In some ways that's actually true, but not in the same way Linux is free.

If your set two machines side by side at Dell, you'll notice in some cases that both machines, although equal in hardware specs and feature, are different in price, with the Linux machine actually being more expensive than the equivalent Windows machine. So what gives? Why does a machine with Windows cost less than one with Linux on it? One simple word: Malware.

You likely haven't heard of that word, save when it comes to viruses. This is because big OEM's like Dell, HP and others don't call it that. Their term is "trialware" or "bonus applications" or whatever weird spin term their marketing department thought up one fun afternoon during a game of "spin the product". So why is this malware, or whatever they want to call it, important in the price of the final system? Because the companies who write these garbageware/malware programs pay for the privilege to have their apps installed as "standard features" on all machines shipped by a given OEM.

Yep, companies actually pay OEM's to get their software placed on all new machines going out of the factory.




More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming

  • Launching into Orbit
    We’re excited to announce today the release of a BioWare project that’s unlike anything we’ve done before. Over the past few months, the BioWare Online Services team has been working hard on the next-generation of our online technology platform: Orbit.
  • The Big SuperTuxKart Update Is Almost Ready
    Towards the end of last year a development version of a big new version of SuperTuxKart was released that brought a new OpenGL 3.1+ graphics engine and other improvements. The new SuperTuxKart game looks great (especially for being an open-source game) and is now closer to being officially released with now having an RC version out.
  • Humble Indie Bundle 14 Drops Torchlight 2, Outlast, and Other Awesome Games on Linux
    Following on the footsteps of the fantastic success of the previous Humble Indie Bundle initiatives, the awesome people behind Humble Bundle, Inc. have put together yet another amazing collection of cross-platform games entitled Humble Indie Bundle 14.
  • New Linux Gaming Survey For April
    The new GOL survey for April is now available, so please make sure to fill it in if you have the time.
  • Team Fortress 2 Update Brings Balancing Fixes
    Team Fortress 2 is an online multiplayer game developed by Valve and it's one of the most popular titles on Steam for Linux. A new update has been released for it, and it applies to the Linux version as well.
  • Grass Simulator Fully Released With Linux Support
    April Fools! Wait, this is real? Grass Simulator added Linux support recently, and today they have released the final version.