> Despite everybody's best efforts, none of today's PC operating systems
> actually work properly on a brand new PC. In say, Fedora this can be
> painfully obvious as your brand new HP laptop runs X with VESA graphics or
> refuses to acknowledge the existence of its built-in touchpad. Sure
> there'll be an update that fixes it, but that's later, and you've got the
> new laptop now.
It's fine to offer a restore CD with the driver pre-loaded. However, Microsoft should also offer the ability to download a clean version of Windows from its website, if you input the correct product key.
Microsoft has spent a lot of effort tying product keys to specific configurations and models of computer. They created Windows Genuine Advantage and barred pirated copies of the OS from downloading most updates. Offering a copy of the original Windows CD would really not be challenging for them.
> You mention trademark law as a solution to the dual boot problem. This is
> charmingly naive - to sophisticates like us it's obvious if you're running
> OS/2 or Mac OS X, but to the average user it's all a muddle. My sister
> continues to be caught out by the need to buy different software for her
> "new computer" (a MacBook). Trademarks don't help because they're not
> aware of the trademarks, it's just more technical mumbo-jumbo.
It's not "charmingly naive" to believe that users know the difference between a can that says "Coke" and one that says "Pepsi". It's also not naive to believe that users can't tell the difference between a big Apple logo plastered on the startup screen, and on the desktop afterwards, and the same situation with a Windows logo.
Frankly, I find your comments to be elitist. Just because a person is not a computer professional, doesn't make him stupid. There is a difference between being stupid and choosing not to invest time and energy in something.