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Dell refunds PC user for rejecting Windows

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An enterprising PC user has been refunded on his copy of Windows, after he rejected Microsoft's operating system and license

Reg Reader Graeme Cobbett was paid $115 (£70.34) by Dell after he bought a Studio 1555 notebook with Windows Vista already loaded and complete with a free upgrade to Windows 7.

Rather than accept the Windows 7 upgrade, though, Graeme installed Ubuntu-based Linux Mint instead.

Why reject Windows 7, an operating system Microsoft's been pushing ahead of Thursday's launch as making PC users happy again, after the misery of Windows Vista?

Graeme, who outlined his reasons - with his experiences - here, blogged: "Have you ever actually read the Microsoft Windows End User License Agreement? It's pretty scary what you commit yourself to. If you buy Dell, then as soon as you start Windows then you agree to a second set of scary software terms. So reject them."

Anybody can reject the End User Licensing Agreement, it just comes down to the level of confidence you have in your technical skills apparently. Graeme downloaded Linux Mint to a separate PC and burned to a CD using ISO Recorder, then booted the Dell machine from disc the first time he started it.

By not starting Windows, Graeme didn't have to accept the terms of Microsoft's EULA. That, in turn meant, he was entitled to a full refund on the price of Microsoft's operating system from his computer supplier - Dell.

This is the clause in Microsoft's EULA Graeme took advantage of:

"By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, return it to the retailer for a refund or credit. If you cannot obtain a refund there, contact Microsoft or the Microsoft affiliate serving your country for information about Microsoft's refund policies."

Turned out the installation and license part was relatively easy for Graeme and the refund was a little harder to get. It took Graeme two months and 14 email exchanges in total with Dell, plus one missed pick up by the computer manufacturer, before Graeme got his money. ®

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