Have a read of this article - an influential think tank in Brussels has recommended that it be made illegal to bundle operating systems with computers.
Gets my vote. A few advantages:
- Mac OS X available for any computer (not that I'd want to use it, but there are many people who would).
- More choice for consumers - most people use what is preinstalled and don't investigate any of the alternatives.
- Microsoft might actually get off their arses and produce a decent OS.
- More OS providers might make use of Live CDs/DVDs (for those unfamiliar with Live CD's, they are common in the Linux world and are essentially an operating system that can be run from a CD or DVD without installing anything. Kubuntu, my OS of choice, boots into Live CD mode, but then you can install it from within this mode). These would allow people to try an OS before they install it. I'm sure that even diehard Windows users would like the chance to be able to try a new operating system before they make a decision to install it.
- Users of free and open source software needn't pay for a copy of Windows when they don't want to use it.
While the EU is somewhat bureaucratic, sometimes they get it right. I hope this is one of those times.