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You Gotta Keep 'em Separated

The Globalization Institute, a Brussels based think tank, has recommended the EU require all PCs to be sold without preloaded operating systems such as Microsoft Windows. Despite the fact that this would be an obnoxious intrusion into the private business relationships between PC manufacturers and Microsoft, such a regulation would do nothing to loosen Microsoft's hold on the OS market. Most consumers demand Windows because it is compatible with their older PCs and will effortlessly fit into any existing market. Splitting up Windows from PCs will just inconvenience the majority of consumers who demand Windows, forcing them to buy it separately. For those that do not want Windows, cheap alternatives such as Linux are readily available. Clearly PC producers think that bundling their product with Windows increases the value of their product and benefits consumers. Why else would they do it?

Instead of thinking about new regulatory schemes, the Globalization Institute should consider the plight of consumers.