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against PCs with alternative operating systems, but PCs with NO operating
systems. The idea being that a PC without a pre-loaded operating system has
the potential for being a platform for a pirated operating system (namely XP
or the like). I suspect that this will not affect other vendors such as HP
that pre-load (RH7.1 in HPs case) Linux. It appears to only apply to selling
machines without an OS, like Wal-Mart does, which will likely stop soon if
the MS license thing carries over to whomever their vendor is.

What would be nice, would be for someone like RedHat to get an injunction
over the terms of the license, as the restrictions could very well affect
the sales of all Open Source OSs, as Linux does not restrict their OS to one
piece of hardware as Microsoft does (maybe not directly, but at least
indirectly through the new XP licensure). It is most definitely
anti-competitive behavior.

As far as the issue itself goes, I wonder how much of it is Dell overstating
the terms of the contract in order to drop Linux support without looking
like the bad guys. It seems to me if it was truly the case, then the next
step be to not allow vendors to sell hardrives without selling an operating
system with that too? Potentially, you could require a license for every
single component in the whole machine - just to be safe, mind you.

Grant M.

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