Buying a new laptop is not easy ( admin posted on July 28th, 2008 )

It should be, what with high street sales struggling, credit crunch etc. But PCWorld doesn’t want to sell one to me. I want a simple laptop and they have a model that looks perfect – EI 1201. Except I want to run my own operating system (Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Open SuSE/Open Solaris). Shop price £280 including the windows tax (vista). How much without vista ? Lets see :-

email to customer services.


I called into my local store recently (Huddersfield) and was impressed
with the EI Systems 1201. I would like to buy one without Microsoft Windows
installed, but the people in the store were a bit vague as to whether
this was possible. Could you clarify this please – can I get one with the
software removed already, or do I have to buy one, then return the
disks/stickers for a refund at the store? (Assuming I am not going to use
the software and refuse the license agreement). Could you also please
advise the amount of discount/refund I could expect?

Many thanks,


2008/7/21 PC World :

Dear ,

Thank you for your email dated 17th July 2008.

The Ei System 1201 only comes pre-installed with Windows Vista as a
manufacturing standard, therefore we would be unable to remove this
software. Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor Radford
PC World Customer Services


Thanks for your reply.

What would be your position if I bought one, then refused the software
licensing agreement?

Would I then be able to claim a refund on the software as per the standard
microsoft license terms ?

I understand this is to be recovered direct from the retailer (yourselves,
not from microsoft because of the bundling) according to the terms.
Obviously I haven’t read the actual terms that go with this machine yet, I
am assuming they are similar to others I have seen in the past. Perhaps you
could send me a copy or point me to the correct link prior to purchase?

Your comments appreciated.

Best Regards,

2008/7/24 PC World

Dear Mr ,

Thank you for your email dated 21st July 2008.

We would consider a refund of the whole unit if you did not agree with the
license agreement, but there is no responsibility on the retailer to refund
the cost of the operating system. The point of contact for this would be
the original equipment manufacturer.

I trust the above serves to answer your query and thank you for taking the
time to contact us.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Jones
PC World Customer Services


I am very disappointed. Ideally I would prefer to buy an EI Systems 1201
without any software, my second choice was to purchase the unit and then
apply for a refund covering the microsoft software bundled with the product,
thus ensuring no disruption to your supply chain.

You are now saying I can’t do this. This seems to be against all common
sense. If I was buying a car from you would I be forced to use microsoft
maps rather than the collins ones I already have? I use microsoft software
every day, but I would also like a choice in spending my money where it is
best used. Buying a computer, with the cost of the operating system and
other software included, and then wiping the hard disk immediately seems
just wasteful.

Can I contact EI systems direct ? Will they sell me one direct ? I thought
that this machine was made exclusively for DSG and therefore you are the OEM
not just the retailer?

This would not be such a big issue if the cost of the bundled software were
comparable to the car/map scenario (car £15,000, map £5), but in this case
it is probably of the order of 10 to 20% of the final cost of the unit from
yourselves. Thats a heck of a tax!

Your comments appreciated.


Dear ,

Thank you for your email dated 25th July 2008.

I am unable to assist from here at Customer Services, as we do not hold the technical knowledge required. I suggest you contact our technical team direct on 0844 800 6020 or visit for further support.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Yours sincerely,

Tracy Keady
PC World Customer Services


So there we have it. My questions are too technical. Or maybe they don’t want to answer.

I am very tempted to push this further, but quite frankly I can’t be bothered. I have ordered a dell with ubuntu pre-installed instead (£55 cheaper than the windows model, but not as cheap as the EI 1201).

I have also requested an online petition to unbundle hardware from software, or at least make it transparent.

If approved for voting I would appreciate some support. Breathes in and holds . . . . . .

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