It is not so simple. Often you like some hardware and want to buy it but you get no option of getting it with GNU/Linux or at least without paying for Windows which you will then replace with GNU/Linux anyways. You can choose other laptops but often they don't offer what you want, hardware wise.
What if I like the iPad's hardware but want to run Android on it? Is Apple similarly obliged to make that possible? There's a slippery slope here when it comes to forcing manufacturers to offer choices to the consumer, particularly as politics inevitably get involved.
Tablets, phones are expected to be bundled as they are expected to work out of the box, and were designed for that particular OS (the different model of ARM and friends in most cases).
Laptops, PCs are historically not, they are expected to be installed and customized, and were NOT designed for a particular OS, but work as "general purpose computing" (the universality of x86 in most cases).
There's no slippery slope, it's the customers want their general purpose device to be general.
If you don't want to pay the windows tax, don't buy the computer. They don't have any obligation to you unbundle hardware and software. Likewise, you have no obligation to buy it. It is a voluntary exchange.
Sure, don't like it don't buy it, but if there's 0% (that's zero) other option, what can you do? That's the case in practice over here in Taiwan that you have to choose between no computer, or one with Windows. That's not really a choice, is it?
Considering that in the EU Microsoft has to provide a choice of alternative browsers (the N edition of windows) I see this as more sane option that addresses the problem closer to the core and I hope that it will be required practice in the whole EU.
After all, a vendor who is confident in the value of their product has nothing to fear in the face of fair competition.
Couldn't agree more about KDE Plasma desktop. I've used most desktops there are and switched to KDE Plasma about a year ago (I used GNOME2 until then, don't like GNOME3 and Unity at all) and boy, KDE Plasma is by far the best desktop I have ever used. Looks great, has awesome usability (once you get used to it) and it is very flexible so you can adapt it almost perfectly to the way you work. Realy awesome.
I switched back to GNU/Linux about 3 years ago when I started noticing and becoming aware of this ugly trend with Apple. I just couldn't live with myself anymore if I didn't also act according to my belief in digital freedom and empowering people. so after some self-questioning I have decided to switch to GNU/Linux and free software.
Yes. For some people this is not a choice, as such. It’s like wearing slightly uglier, slightly less comfortable clothes because they weren’t made by child slave labor. Is there a true choice what to wear?
If I’m understanding you correctly, you are implying that it’s OK to buy things produced by child slave labor, because otherwise the slave children would starve.
This is… an argument I won’t get into. Suffice it to say, I was merely trying to construct an analogy to demonstrate why, sometimes, using something less than the “best” product is preferable, and why, for some people, it can’t be considered a choice to use the less efficient product.
Yes, and I'm trying to dismantle that analogy by demonstrating that such decisions are made without consideration of the consequences, and that nothing in this world is so simple that simply using or not using a product makes the planet a better or worse place.
If you eliminate some number of products from your universe, random chance alone dictate that some of them must be the best at what they do, and you will be left with, for that program’s purpose, a product which makes you less productive.