There's a small little debate going on in a small little corner of SuperUser.com right now.
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair SuperUser, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the combative mouths of these two foes
A new question is born, meek like a doe;
The which if you with patient ears and good answers attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
Apple has long been accused of imposing the "Apple Tax" due to them being in control of both hardware and software, and charging a premium (arguably) for Macs - that premium is called the Apple Tax.
Microsoft has been accused too of having a "Windows Tax". From Wikipedia :
A common complaint comes from those who want to purchase a computer without a copy of Windows pre-installed because they intend to use another operating system such as Linux or BSD instead. More recently many other computer manufacturers have begun to offer specific product ranges with Linux pre-installed. These include Lenovo, Dell, Acer, MSI,Intel and others. Nonetheless, all large computer vendors continue to bundle Microsoft Windows with the majority of the personal computers in their ranges. The Findings of Fact in the United States Microsoft antitrust case established that "One of the ways Microsoft combats piracy is by advising OEMs that they will be charged a higher price for Windows unless they drastically limit the number of PCs that they sell without an operating system pre-installed. In 1998, all major OEMs agreed to this restriction." This has been called the "Windows tax" or "Microsoft tax".
Thus, the question posed: Can, and should, Microsoft be accused of a Windows Tax It's actually 2 questions, thus it'll be good if you have two parts to your answer. To simplify that one-line question, I state it more clearly :
- Is there even such thing as a Windows Tax?
- If yes, should Microsoft be blamed for having a Windows Tax?
- If no, should Microsoft be blamed for the perception that there is a Windows Tax"?
I will be offering up 500 bounty points for this question. However, the last time I had a 500 bounty answer, the quality of the answers were... slightly lacking. Hopefully the answers will be more polished this time round.
Also, this time, the answer is not chosen by popular votes like my previous question. This time, I will choose the answer that is most convincing, well-composed, and rational. Weightage will be given to votes as well in deference of the majority's opinion. Feel free to edit your answer as many times as you want.