As many of you know I am a Linux and Mac aficionado. For my Linux machines, all of them are Dell. I have been always pleased with Dells prices, how their machines work with Linux, their customer service and the fact they are made in Limerick, Ireland (I am from Ireland). I politely emailed Dell (well got up on my high horse), heres my first mail:

I would like a refund of Windows XP since I am installing Ubuntu Linux on the computer when I get it. When I turn on the computer I am going to decline the EULA, and I am within my rights to request this refund (as part of Irish consumer laws). This also applies in Britian, see here: ( )

So yeah I wasn’t the most polite, but I was trying to make a point because I guessed they’d be not ‘welcome’ to the idea. Boy was I wrong, I got a lovely call from a Dell representitive telling me they would refund it:

As per our phone conversation I have arranged for you to be refunded for this part. Please allow approximately 5 working days for the money to show back on your credit card.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate in responding directly to this mail and I will be glad to assist you further.

All I can say is I am definitely a Dell customer from now on. The sad part of this story is perhaps Dell is out of pocket because of licensing deals with Microsoft. But they did the right thing, and that is honourable, it seems IdeaStorm and Michael Dell returning is working. I would gladly deny the refund. Why did I do this? I did it because I oppose the ridiculous notion every PC has to come with Windows, its like selling all black cars. People want choice and variety, and consumer laws are supposed to protect and promote this ;-) I won’t be using XP and I will be true to my word and deny the EULA as soon as I receive the laptop.

Bootnote: Ubuntu Dells are available in France, Germany, UK and the US but not in Ireland. I ordered through small business and specced the laptop to the exact parts the Ubuntu Inspirons in the US have, all that is different is the model numbers. Come on Dell, sell those Ubuntu machines in Ireland, I’ll buy another!!