How to avoid the Apple tax?

Richard Bennett richard.bennett at
Wed Aug 29 21:11:52 UTC 2007

On Wed, 29 Aug 2007 22:31:03 +0200, Mario Vukelic  
<mario.vukelic at> wrote:

>> As I understand it, Microsoft tax means that when you buy a (compatible)
>> PC, you are forced to pay Microsoft for the Windows operating system too
>> ...
>> The situation is exactly the same when you buy an Apple computer. You
>> are forced to pay for their operating system
> Stop for a moment and read these two statements in juxtaposition. Can
> you spot the difference now? It's in "when you buy a (compatible PC)"
> vs. "when you buy an Apple computer"

There was a difference when Apple used their own hardware, then it was  
their own private application.
Now that they have switched to using PCs, there is no difference with  
other PCs, so it would be good if they offered the option of buying the  
hardware without OS, the same as you can buy their OS without the hardware.

I just ordered a mapbook because I like their hardware and it actually was  
better value for money than the other options I was considering. If I  
bought a regular PC laptop I wouldn't dream of buying one with Windows  
preloaded, just to wipe it off, I would buy a barebones or Ubuntu laptop,  
but with the Apple mapbook I have no option, I have to pay the OSX tax  
when buying the hardware.

You can buy OSX with a 5 user license for 190 euro. Say I bought that and  
upgraded 3 macs with it, the next Mac I bought, I would prefer no OSX, as  
I still had 2 licenses left. But you are forced to buy an additional  
licenced copy you don't need. The OSX tax.

Say I watched all those Mac adverts about being able to run Windows on a  
Mac, and decided I like the Mac hardware design so I'll buy 10 for our  
office, but seeings as they only need Windows in the office, I'd prefer to  
order them with Windows pre-installed. I can't, I have to buy 2 OSses for  
each computer. The OSX tax.

Whether Apple are legally obliged to sell their hardware without OS might  
be debatable, but it would certainly make for a better user-experience if  
they offered OSX, Windows, and a few Linuxes as choice for the OS, giving  
the customers the possibility of buying the hardware with 1, 2 or 3 OSses  
pre-installed, but also without any, in case they already have an OS they  
want to use.

The reason I asked this question (not only on this list) , was because  
Apple users have got so used to being the small player they seem to see no  
fault with Apple. Apple is getting bigger, and tabs need to be kept to  
make sure they play fair with the new small players, like Linux. If  
Microsoft had sold their own hardware and OS bundled for all these years,  
they would have been broken-up into smaller companies when  they were  
facing the antitrust proceedings, they were not even supposed to bundle a  
webbrowser, or more recently a mediaplayer with their OS, let alone  



More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list