I was on Lenovo.com yesterday, looking for PCs with GNU/Linux. Searching every which way, I found nothing. Finally, I took advantage of an agressive/in your face popup offering to chat with a human being. I told the human being what I was seeking and was told that I could just buy any of their PCs and install GNU/Linux on it. When I replied that I didn’t want to pay for something I wasn’t going to use, M$’s OS, she responded with (paraphrasing) “that’s what everybody does”.
Lenovo may not see anything wrong with getting paid extra for selling a PC by splitting a fee for the OS with M$ but I do. It’s just wrong to demand payment for something of no value unless you’re a charity or such fundraiser. Businesses don’t get to charge me for a paint-job when I take my car in for an oil-change. Hiding the price of the OS in with the price of the hardware is wrong too. When I have the option of Engine A or Engine B buying a car, the auto-maker will tell me the difference in price. Lenovo should certainly supply no-OS PCs for people like me and let the world know what M$ is costing them. No business should get a free ride being able to charge an arbitrary amount without even disclosing the cost to the consumer. It’s not like an OS is not a user-serviceable part. Users can and do change OS. They should not be forced to pay for an OS they don’t use. I told Lenovo that. I hope they’re listening.