Zundert, The Netherlands, sept 27 2005 / nov 14 2005 / nov 29 2005


To: The Dutch divisions of Toshiba, Hewlett Packard/Compaq, Lenovo, Acer, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, NEC/Packard Bell, Medion, Targa and Sony.


Subject: Research among hardware-manufacturers concerning the return-policy of Microsoft Windows XP software




Dear Sir/ Madam,


I noticed some laptop / desktop-products your company is selling in The Netherlands, are accompanied with Microsoft Windows XP OEM products which are included in the purchase. Often also the Dutch version of the mentioned product is included in the purchase.


In the Dutch license of the concerning product, I found the following terms:


Deze Gebruiksrechtovereenkomst ("Overeenkomst") is een overeenkomst tussen u (een natuurlijke persoon of rechtspersoon) en de fabrikant ("Fabrikant") van het computersysteem of het computersysteemonderdeel ("HARDWARE") waarbij u het (de) hiervoor genoemde Microsoft-softwareproduct(en) ("SOFTWARE") hebt verkregen.


Translated: (but please look at the original, translation just for the convenience)

This User-agreement ("Agreement") is an agreement between you (the end-consumer / natural person or 'rechtspersoon') and the manufacturer ("Manufacturer") of the compytersustem or the computersystemparts ("HARDWARE") where you obtained the mentioned Microsoft-softwareproducts ("SOFTWARE").


And at point 1:

Indien u niet instemt met de bepalingen van deze Overeenkomst. mag u de SOFTWARE niet gebruiken of kopiƫren en dient u direct met de Fabrikant contact op te nemen omtrent instructies voor het volgens het retourneringsbeleid van de Fabrikant retourneren van het ongebruikte product.


Translated: (but please look at the original, translation just for the convenience)

If you do not agree with the provisions of this Agreement, you're not allowed to use the SOFTWARE, or copy it, and you should directly contact the Manufacturer for instructions concerning the returning of the unused product following the returnpolicy of the Manufacturer.


(In the English version are comparable terms)


The mentioned returning policy (bold above) raised some questions:


1a) Does your company know of the mentioned parts of the mentioned license?

1b) Does your company agree the mentioned license is an agreement between the end-consumer and your company?


2) Does your company have such a mentioned return policy? If not, then, if not yet answered, why not?

If it does, where can consumers find this policy?


3) Is it possible, by means of the mentioned policy, to get a refund for the purchase-price of Microsoft-Windows XP OEM products?


4) What are the prizes the consumer pays for Microsoft Windows XP OEM-products, if the consumer buys a desktop- or laptopproduct manufactured by your company, whith respectively the following products pre-installed, this in relation to possible refunds for the purchase price of the mentioned products:


Microsoft XP Home NL OEM

Microsoft XP Professional NL OEM

Microsoft XP Home EN OEM

Microsoft XP Professional EN OEM


Where can the consumer get this information?

If the consumer can't, then why not?


5) Do you consider accompanying your products with Microsoft Windows XP software standard (respectively) no

-Limitation of the choice of the consumer?

-Hindrance of whith 'Microsoft Windows XP OEM software' competing software?

-Tied sales? ("Koppelverkoop"~>coupled sales)


Remark: It's possible your response will be forwarded to consumer TV-programs, the consumer-union, the Dutch Competition Authority (NMa), hard- and softwarenewssites, and my personal webpage (the last being not up yet). Would you be so kind to send me, besides possible electronic mail, also a written respons via postal mail?


Thank you in advance for your time and efforts.


Trusting to receive a quick response I sign,





H Kwint

The Netherlands