Linux and FreeBSD users from around the Bay Area marched on Microsoft's Bay Area sales office in Foster City to ask for refunds for their unused Windows operating systems [ http://hugin.imat.com/refund/ ]. The Windows user license says that if you don't agree with the terms, you may return it to the vendor for a refund. After all the vendors had been tried persistently and all said to go to Microsoft, we did. Microsoft refused to give a refund too. We think a point has been made about a monopoly able to break the literal wording of the agreement it imposes upon all purchasers of PC hardware, whether they want to buy any Microsoft software or not.
|Reports by SVLUG Members||A Few of the Media Reports|
John Beale (see below)
Marc Merlin [ http://marc.merlins.org/linux/refundday/ ]
(Send reports to email@example.com.)
"Programmers demand freedom from Microsoft operating system", San Jose Mercury News, front page of the Silicon Valley/Technology [ http://www.siliconballey.com/ ] section
Report and photos by John Beale,
See the chronological list of John's photos [ http://www.svlug.org/events/refund/jpb/page1.html ] or read the narrative below.
I went to the SF Bay Area refund event on Feb. 15th, 1999 in Foster City, CA. This event was a fun one and I'm glad to have participated. There was a lot of press there, I think at least three TV crews plus many print journalists, maybe thirty or more. I took over 70 film pictures and over 100 digital stills, plus some video. I have put a four-page summary of the film pictures telling the story here [ http://www.svlug.org/events/refund/jpb/page1.html ]. Below, I have some thumbnail sheets from the DV camera, plus a few larger shots to give a flavor of the event. As far as the story goes, I'll let others tell it; but briefly, Microsoft set up a table with free lemonade and some soft drinks at the top of their parking structure. Also, a one-page statement to the "Linux Community" which is reprinted here [ http://marc.merlins.org/linux/refundday/dear-valued-customer.html ]. A Microsoft spokeperson gave some non-answers. Several attempts to enter the Microsoft office were met with a locked-out elevator and locked (exit-only) stairwell. I thought the impromptu press conference in the elevator was a nice touch (the elevator that went to every floor, except #9 where the Microsoft office was :-). -jpb 2/15/99
The office building in Foster City, containing the Microsoft office on the ninth floor.
Chris gives an interview with one of the TV crews present.
The flag added a nice touch to the 150+ person, 1/2 mile procession from our staging area to the MS building. Remember, free software is as American as apple pie!
Several of the organizers gave a press conference on the top of the parking structure where signs indicated the "Linux event" was to take place. There were a lot of reporters there.
Eric Raymond and Chris DiBona press the elevator button for the 9th floor. (It was locked out.)
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