Someone is thinking of decoupling the operating system from the hardware when it is being sold.
Computers in the European Union should be sold without a bundled OS, according to this submission to the European Commission. It says that the bundling of Microsoft Windows with computers is not in the public interest, and prevents meaningful competition in the operating system market.
It sure will give equal opportunity to the competition. This will help in breaking a push from Microsoft to endorse its products by the manufacturers. I am tired of seeing clauses like “… recommends Windows …” or “built for Windows …”, when other OSs work perfectly fine on them, sometimes even better. This will even encourage the hardware companies to release drivers for other platforms. Although this sounds anti-Microsoft, I think this will let the users give a serious thought to the decision and probably appreciate the OS more. There more than just a couple of cases, where people have chosen to use an older version or a completely different OS.
Zoli Erdos asks if this is good for you, the end user? This is like a shift of responsibility from the computer manufacturers to you. There can be three scenarios – either you are interested in selecting an OS, or you consider it to be a hassle, or you simply cannot choose one. In the first case, you will get a chance to learn about other options and inform yourself. In the second case you can go with Windows, in case that is your default. But in either case this lets you make a conscious choice, instead of picking up what is available.
The problem will be in the last case, when choosing the OS will be big enough hurdle to just not buy the PC. Another big problem will be the support that you get from the machine manufacturers. Most of the OS queries will be rejected right away because they will not be responsible for your choice. This is the biggest disadvantage of shifting the responsibility from the manufacturers to us. And I am sure more dynamics that will change.
I am not sure whether the recommendation is good or not. I am biased with my preference that I do not use Windows, and I end up reinstalling over it. But at the same time I am aware that many are not in a position to choose an OS, and a pre-installed machine is necessary for them. Maybe this will warrant another layer between the manufacturer and you which will provide the service of helping you select the OS and making the machine ready with it. What do you think? Will this help or hurt?