Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

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The French say: if it is not Windows, it must have been pirated

The French government intends to slap a tax of 12 euros on any tablet unless it runs with Windows. One might wonder why France wants to pander Microsoft, but the logic is apparently that anything that is not Windows must be pirated, and that includes Android, Linux and even MacOS. The most bizarre is that a French company, Archos, would be hurt to the benefit of an American company.

Hat-tip: Numerama via TechEYE.net.


Didn't all of Frances Government and Law enforcement just got with Linux as their main OS?
From what I have read elsewhere the story is exaggerated. The levy applies to tablets with a non-desktop OS, so a tablet with a desktop Linux distro would not need to pay either.

The translation does not make it clear whether the tax apples to Windows CE (or whatever its called these days) or to tablets that come with no OS pre-installed (rare), or a Linux distro with a tablet UI but otherwise a desktop distro.

this piece of news seems so strange because, as far as I know, French was forcing is PA to use Linux instead of Microsoft OS. Could be that there is a misunderstanding?
That's a misunderstanding. It is about copyright and copyright collection societies and has (normally) nothing to with the OS used.
The French leadership is a big supporter of copyright, I believe.

In addition, Microsoft gains from users moving up to Windows 7, so they could have struck any of numerous deals with the government that might lead the government to prefer its citizens to use Windows 7. There are many possibilities. The point being that what is best for those making the deals in not necessarily in the best interest of (smaller) French firms or the French population.

It would be interesting to see how Google and others respond.

PS: Wikileaks is open to anonymous French whistle-blowers... though if you use Windows 7, perhaps you won't be that anonymous (we'd need to ask Microsoft).

Hello, antitrust? I thought the EU had strict rules about that sort of collusion, particularly between business and member states' governments.

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