I’m in the market for a new laptop, and I haven’t used any Microsoft software outside of work for over half a decade now. How do I avoid giving them money for something I will never use?
If I buy a laptop with Linux pre-installed, does that avoid the Microsoft tax? Or do they just buy Windows machines, install Linux on them, and then pass the cost of that unused Windows license on to me?
Anyway, where do I find this mythical pre-installed Linux computer at non-exorbitant prices these days? My current laptop originally came from Dell with Ubuntu, but I think Dell shut that program down a while ago.
With the new UEFI Secure Boot feature on all Windows 8 machines, pretty soon even Linux distros will have to pay Microsoft to sign their boot loaders. So I’d like to get a regular BIOS laptop before this travesty goes down. (I assume in the 5 years or so I expect this laptop to last, something will be worked out to where every non-Apple computer user in the world won’t have to pay tribute to MS.)
As an aside, if it is this difficult to avoid paying MS for things I don’t want or use – and it will get even more difficult before it gets easier – how does that get around antitrust laws?