Does Microsoft Owe You Money?

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Ever feel like taking on Bill Gates and Microsoft single-handedly? You may be surprised to learn that you don’t have to be Janet Reno to do it, or even a state attorney general. On Monday a group of regular computer users found a clause in the EULA (End User License Agreement) that comes with Microsoft software and used it to strike a blow for alternative software -- and for frustrated consumers everywhere.

Monday, in case you missed it, was Windows Refund Day. Here’s the basic idea behind it: When you buy a computer that comes with the Windows operating system pre-installed -- and the majority of computers do -- the EULA explicitly states that if you decide not to use that operating system, you’re entitled to a refund equal to the value of the software you’re not using. (A copy of Windows 98 costs around $90.) The upshot is, if you use a different operating system, such as Linux, OS/2 or BeOS,) you’re owed money. When alert users of the free operating system Linux noticed this clause, they decided to put it to the test. MORE>>