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The aim of this website
is to help you avoid paying for software you don't want
when you buy a computer.

For the Free Libre and Open Source Community

Version française
Any help for improving the English version below will be warmly welcome!

Windows ®

Dear GNU-Linux user, dear BSD user,

We, free software community, need a healthy economic competition on operating systems.

That is why we, the Racketware/Racketiciel Team, fight against the current situation where the hardware sale is conditioned by the sale of the preinstalled software license.

Today, we are launching a worldwide campaign that should mark another step along this fight, and we need help from you all.


In France, on the judiciary ground, more than 30 decisions forced manufacturers to reimburse people who did not use software, partly thanks to the Reimbursement Guide and to our acompanying team. Still on the judiciary ground, a few decisions, initiated by French Consumer Association UFC Que Choisir and by the State forced manufacturers to display the price of preinstalled Windows ®. On the political ground, several questions to the Governement were presented by deputies thanks to the valuable explanations by a few membres of the free software community. On the administrative ground, contacts are frequent with the French administration for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression.


Recently, in France, new labels have appeared in the hardware department of some stores. They advertise a possibility to obtain a refund for Windows ® from the manufacturer. That is probably mainly due to all these actions.

However, it is still substantially unsufficient: the licence price is not displayed alongside the machine.

Neverheless, this refund possibility, today for only some manufacturers, is irreversible: any step back on their side would shed too much light on bundled sale issues. We intend to take advantage of this irreversible evolution to exert a new type of pressure on the manufacturers.

It is time for economic fight

We are launching a worldwide campaign

My University offers me my Microsoft Windows ® license

Engineering schools and universities often make Windows ® licences available for their students, including for use on their own computers. However, when purchasing a computer from a store, students nevertheless need to pay for the licence.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage the largest number of students worldwide to get refund for the (OEM) licence of the preinstalled Windows ® since they beneficiate from the licence obtained through their institution.

Why this type of campaign?

For students using Windows ® (i.e., for most students), that will be a few dozen bucks saved. For us, free software community, who suffer most from bundled sales, we are interested in the scale effect when calling on students using Windows ®. The economic pressure will be stronger on the manufacturers, and the political pressure on the administration will yield compulsory simplifications of the refund procedures or even the optionality we request.

Later, prohibition of bundled sales will leave an economic place for commercial offers around GNU-Linux and other free systems. And hopefully, they will diffuse more broadly.

Are we not promoting Windows ® through this campaign?

This campaign is aimed at those students who intended to use Windows ® anyway. We usually do not reach them very easily. Through this campaign, they will discover: (i) that they usually pay for Windows ®, (ii) that they can get a refund for it, (iii) that they can even install an additional operating system.

What can be your role?

We are looking for students willing to relay information about this campaign in your universities and engineering schools, using public notices, emails or any other mean that you should deem appropriate.

We count on your help, without which the present campaign will be impossible! Thank you for getting in touch at msdnaa@racketiciel.info with the following email Subject:

[LUG_name] Country/Region/City/University or School

Within your message, please indicate the complete address of your institution where you intend to relay the information (or several institutions if you can). Please also indicate your contact email (if different from the one used to contact us).

Many thanks!

The Racketiciel/Racketware team

Any help for improving the English version above will be warmly welcome!
Version française