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Beware When Buying a Computer in Poland


ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
28 Dec 2008 /  #1
Several clients of mine filed complaints against stores in Poland selling computers to them. We were successful in court and all have won their cases against the defendants.

Here was the issue in each case:

Consumer goes to a store to purchase a computer (PC). The PC could be purchased with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Linux, or without any Operating System (OS) at all. Let's assume, the price of Windows XP OEM copy by itself costs 300 zloty, any Linux Operating System is Free of Charge, and the PC with Windows XP plus a LCD monitor costs 1,700 zloty. Well, in all cases, the consumer first questioned the sales person in each store, "How much does that PC with Windows XP and monitor cost? The salesperson answered, "That will be !,700 zloty with VAT included." Then, the consumer questioned, "How much will the same PC without Windows XP (perhaps with Linux, which is Free) cost?", rightfully thinking the price should be lower. The salesperson answered, "That will be the same price...1,700 zloty with VAT included." In this case, the price should have been the 1,700 less the 300 or so zloty (value of Windows XP). The consumer argued this to management, and the reply was, "Don't worry about it, we'll give you Windows XP for free anyway. That's our policy, there is no price differential." In other words, these computer stores are selling computers with 'illegal copies' of Windows XP to their customers, when in fact, they should be selling the computer with 'legal' copies of Windows XP as an added cost to the purchase price. In all cases, the court forced the stores to sell my clients the computer at a price less the value of Windows XP. The prices for a 'computer without any Windows XP Operating System" should be priced separately from "Windows XP", with the latter being an added cost. Buyers in Poland beware. Don't let some computer store salesmen sell you a computer for more than it's worth. They tend to pocket the value of MS Windows as an extra commission.

I recommend, when buying a computer in Poland:

1) Ask the store salesman how much Windows XP / Vista costs by itself
2) Then ask how much a computer with Windows XP / Vista will cost.
3) Finally, ask how much the same computer will cost without any operating system, since you wish to Install Linux on it.

You will be surprised at some of the answers you receive. Good luck.

By law, a store selling a computer with MS Windows on it must pay a fee for each copy sold, and should be passed on to the consumer when included on a PC. OEM (manufacture's copy) usually sell for less than the retail version, nevertheless, they both still have a cost.

==>"
OEM software, or original equipment manufacturer software, is software sold by the creator to another company for resale. For instance, Microsoft sells OEM copies of Windows Vista to computer manufacturers who install the software on new computers. Computer manufacturers (e.g., Dell, Sony, HP, etc) generally purchase OEM copies of Windows Vista in large quantities, so each OEM copy of Vista sells for less than a retail copy.

Although OEM copies of Windows XP / Vista are intended for system builders to install on new PCs, it is legal for anyone to purchase and use the discounted software. However, purchasing and using an OEM copy of Windows Vista carries additional risks, limitations, and requirements when compared to the full-price retail copies:

* Risk of pirated or counterfeit copies
* Lack of retail packaging and user manual
* You open it - you support it
* Install only once - no transfers allowed
"<==

What really is shocking in Poland is the usage of lllegal copies of Microsoft Windows Operating Systems at the home user, private business, and even government level. Software usage and theft in Poland is rampant, and more police control should be implemented. Retail computer stores also add to this problem, as you have seen. Buyer beware.

Personally, I prefer and use only Linux on my PC, as well as only Open Source Software. It's all free as in 'air', and 100% lega! :-)

The poorest excuse I hear from friends who use illegal Operating Systems and software is: "Hey, everyone does it, so why not me?"

Elzbieta
lolok  
28 Dec 2008 /  #2
Hear Hear, But try finding a PC store which sells English version XP or Vista....You may as well be asking for the Holy Grail by the look they give you.......

All Hail E.Bay :-))))) what would I do without it......
Jim Ryan...
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
30 Dec 2008 /  #3
what would I do without it......

Install a good Linux distribution. :-) It does almost everything Microsoft Windows does, except: the volume of 'gaming' that Microsoft commands. Otherwise, Linux, for a small or large business, home and professional use, is an excellent Operating System choice. Did I tell you, it's free? You also avoid the potential legal issues that 95% of all Poles face when they use a 'cracked or pirated' version of Windows XP / Vista.
Vincent 9 | 817   Moderator
30 Dec 2008 /  #4
Install a good Linux distribution. :-)

I don't think Linux is for the one that most people will go for, when buying a new pc. Microsoft will tell you that 90% of the world's PCs use their OS.. Nearly all software is designed for windows, and installing printers etc is usually plug n play. Linux can give all kind of issues with, installing hardware drivers etc, and is only for computer geeks,and people who think that getting something free saves them money, which in the long run is false economy.

Many people complain that windows is too expensive, but this is in the cost of a new pc when you buy it. I can't think of anything else that gives good value for money in the last ten years that computers do today. When I first bought my first one in 1998, I paid £1300 for a Pentium 2, 350mhz, 9 gig Hd and 128 mb of memory. Now today, a machine that is 20 times more superior to that will cost £400, and a good laptop the same..

Windows has made the pc easy to use, for the consumers, and has made the computer the good value for money that it is today. Windows xp has played it's part in all this, and in my opinion is still the best OS that money can buy.
Harry  
30 Dec 2008 /  #5
Hear Hear, But try finding a PC store which sells English version XP or Vista....You may as well be asking for the Holy Grail by the look they give you.......

Go to Datacom. They supplied me with an English version of XP from stock with my PC and offered me the English language version Vista if I wanted it instead.
ukpolska  
30 Dec 2008 /  #6
Hear Hear, But try finding a PC store which sells English version XP or Vista....You may as well be asking for the Holy Grail by the look they give you.......
All Hail E.Bay :-))))) what would I do without it......
Jim Ryan...

Never had a problem at all in finding English versions of XP, and Harry on most Vista packages sold in Poland English is a choice when you install Vista for the first time on your computer.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
30 Dec 2008 /  #7
Vincent,

You are so wrong. Wake up! Linux has Operating System distributions such as "Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora, etc...and hundreds more", which have complete plug-n-play capabilities for any computer system out there. For every program in Microsoft, Linux has a very good equivalent, for free. I am a very successful small business owner (a professional attorney), and I run Linux for myself and my other 20 employees, at no cost. This amounts to enormous savings per year for my firm, and the firm's employees are very happy with our current operating systems. The LAN (Local Area Network) works perfectly for us. Can you please provide me some valid argumetns for your previous comments? I am waiting for them.

Elzbieta W.
Vincent 9 | 817   Moderator
30 Dec 2008 /  #8
If that's the case, then me and a few billion others . If Linux is so good , then why has Microsoft got their Os installed on 90% of the worlds computers?. I think this fact speaks for itself, people have voted for for their favourite Os, and it is not Linux.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
30 Dec 2008 /  #9
Vincent,

I've been in the business world for quite a while, with plenty of experience...Microsoft has excellent marketing...Linux, on the other hand, is "Open Source" (non-profit)...hence, there are no profit motives involved. Linux is free, written by an Open Source community of developers. This is the 'meat' of the conflict between Microsoft and "Open Source". it is "for profit" versus "Non-for-profit" developers. Have you yet tried any Linux distribution?
Vincent 9 | 817   Moderator
30 Dec 2008 /  #10
Yes I tried suse 10 a couple of years ago. It was very hard to get on with, and went back to xp. I know a few people who will only use Linux and they love it, but it is not for me and a few other people I guess. Linux seem to have been going for years, at least back to windows 95 or longer, but compared to windows machines they have not made any advancement on the world market, 1% I think.
Aramroth  
30 Dec 2008 /  #11
Vincent, the difference between SUSE 10 and openSUSE 11.1 (the latest version) is like the difference between Windows NT 4.0 and Windows XP. Linux is improving much faster than Windows.

Of course if you think that "if there is no Start button and no C: drive, it sucks" Linux will never be an alternative for you.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
30 Dec 2008 /  #12
Answer: Cash available for marketing (brainwashing the public). That's why. Linux is "Open Source...free...there is NO profit motive".
Harry  
31 Dec 2008 /  #13
I am a very successful small business owner (a professional attorney), and I run Linux for myself and my other 20 employees, at no cost.

Probably best if you do run it at no cost, you might need to save money for a libel case the next time you libel a fellow professional in the Polish legal world (assuming of course that I'm wrong and you aren't just a secretary playing virtual-boss online).
ukpolska  
31 Dec 2008 /  #14
assuming of course that I'm wrong and you aren't just a secretary playing virtual-boss online)

I think you may have hit the nail on the head there Harry lol
sausage 19 | 777  
31 Dec 2008 /  #15
and I run Linux for myself and my other 20 employees

mostly word processing and spreadsheets I bet!
I doubt if much of the mainstream creative software is available on Linux
ukpolska  
31 Dec 2008 /  #16
Almost every single translation agency in Poland has to use MS word as Trados translation programs just will not work with Linux along with many many others.

Linux is okay for the small business but once you get into mainstream financial systems like the one's I used to use in London there is just no comparison between Linux and MS, because almost all of the systems are designed for MS.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
31 Dec 2008 /  #17
assuming of course that I'm wrong

Well, that you are. You are what...a low level translator for some law firm in Warszawa? Does the law firm you work for also use illagal copies of Microsoft Windows? Get a life Harry, or try getting a Polish woman if you can do it. Now please tell me, what exactly made you make the assumption you made here?

think you may have hit the nail on the head there Harry lol

Ukpolska, jealous are you? Perhaps you watch childrin or clean houses for a living? If that's not your occupation, then please, tell us on this forum, what you do in the UK for a living?

Almost every single translation agency in Poland has to use MS word

Open Office 3 is fully compatible with MS word. Learn something about computers ukpolska, and then you won't have to clean houses for a living. Get a university education if possible.

Attention: Please, everyone note...who 'attacked' who on this thread first? I certainly did not mention anyone personally here. Did I hit the nail on the head with the illegal software statement?

Elzbieta
ukpolska  
31 Dec 2008 /  #18
Open Office 3 is fully compatible with MS word. Learn something about computers ukpolska, and then you won't have to clean houses for a living. Get a university education if possible.

wow raw nerve eh! lol

If that's not your occupation, then please, tell us on this forum, what you do in the UK for a living?

Many people on this forum know what I do, and I live in Lublin and have my own company there.

Your post just shows how much you know about computers !!!
If you come on here and post crap be prepared to take it back ffs

Happy new year to you ela

Ladies and gents: you've each had your say. Please, keep on topic.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
2 Jan 2009 /  #19
If you come on here and post crap

Software piracy in Poland is crap? It's a well known fact, world wide. Please read Poles Blamed for Internet Piracy. Poland ranks 2nd for pirated game software alone. You can visit any 'open market' in Poland, especially Kraków's Bronowice area and find pirated software until your heart content.

About LInux...it can be used to run full sized businesses and satisfies most software category needs. For Linux, there is excellent accounting, database, graphics, word processing, spreadsheet, and much other software avaiable for free. Translation software will surely have Linux versions in the near future.

The German city of Mannheim is in the process of converting all of their Microsoft based software to Linux, using OpenSuse Linux. Numerous large businesses, for profit, and not for profit, are also taking initiatives to do the same. Even the New York Stock Exchange has recently decided to base it's trading software on Linux. The list goes on. The conversion to Linux from Microsoft will indeed not take place overnight. The movement is on the way to a good start though.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
2 Jan 2009 /  #20
Personally I run Ubuntu on my main computer but I disagree that it is totally plug and play as ela_lawyer suggests. For example some things such as my webcam and scanner needed 'fixing' (i.e. finding, building and installing drivers manually) and unless someone is confident with working on the command line then they would probably get stuck doing that.

Unfortunately there are still lots of programs that only work on Windows and this means I am forced to keep at least one PC running Windows in my office.

Personally I love linux but think it has a little way to go yet before it is as easy to use as Windows. But I think that ela_lawyer is right in that it has come a long way very quickly and is growing fast. I am sure it's market share will continue to grow.
ladykangaroo - | 165  
2 Jan 2009 /  #21
For Linux, there is excellent [...] graphics software

I'm sorry to say that but in case of graphic you have only two options: Mac OS and Windows. Linux might come as very, very distant third, mainly for home users.
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
2 Jan 2009 /  #22
...in case of graphic you have only two options: Mac OS and Windows.

For my firm, employees / contractors, and myself use the following Open Source software exclusively to run the business:

- Operating System: OpenSuse (Linux)

- Office: Open Office 3 (includes spreadsheet, word processing, presentation, data base programs, mathematical syntax, drawing)

- Accounting and Enterprise Resource Planning: SQL-Ledger ERP

- Web Browser: Mozilla Firefox 3

- Web Page Development: Bluefish

- Graphics: GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), Inkscape (Vector Graphics)

- Firewall: IPTables / Netfilter

- Multimedia: MPlayer, Xine

- PDF: XPdf

- CD / DVD Burning: K3b, DVD+RW-Tools

- Server: Apache

- Instant Messenger / Chat: Pidgin, Xchat

The firm has saved over $60,000 USD utilizing Open Source software and Linux / Unix operating systems. Everything has been working extremely well and is very stable. It took a learning curve of approximately 1 month for most employees to adjust to a non-Microsoft working environment.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
2 Jan 2009 /  #23
Translation software will surely have Linux versions in the near future.

Great news, I already suspended all my works, cancelled all orders and took 1-year long holidays and I'm waiting ... not.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209  
2 Jan 2009 /  #24
Linux and the open source offerings are very very good for businesses. I'm running a project now with 48 servers all running red Hat. Linux for the consumer has some way to go before it dents MS maket share but I believe it will happen. Anyone remember the great MS campaign that promised the ultimate consumer friendly computer with no blue screens of death? Fact is OS are complex and prone to failures so the never go wrong machines is still some way off.
ukpolska  
2 Jan 2009 /  #25
Fact is OS are complex and prone to failures so the never go wrong machines is still some way off.

Agreed :)

The main differences between windows and linux.

Windows:
Windows was primarily created for end users usage. Therefore, it was built with extensive support for gaming, graphic and sound. Also, user friendliness is also a big plus in windows.

Linux/*nix family:
Primarily created to serve. Used for servers such as web, telnet, fileserver and irc. Therefore, it was built with extensive stability and network support.

For these reasons, I would like to say that there are no "the best OS". The question needed to be answered is "What do you want to use it for". Gaming and home use then windows might be your choice. Web Servers-then linux is the best option.
ladykangaroo - | 165  
2 Jan 2009 /  #26
For my firm

Great. For your firm.
However graphic designers, web designers, publishing and printing companies, photo editors, architects and 3d modellers would probably challenge your claim about the ultimate superiority of Linux and its "excellent graphic software".
OP ela_lawyer 5 | 64  
3 Jan 2009 /  #27
...your claim about the ultimate superiority of Linux and its "excellent graphic software".

Open Source graphics software such as GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus, Cinepaint, Blender (3d rendering) are excellent indeed, and this isn't only my view on the subject. Just perform a search on Google for "linux graphic artist software" and that will result in more than several informative articles.

I never used the phrase 'superior' specifically, although it may have been seemingly implied to you. Utilizing Linux for the financial operations of a firm is a great choice because you avoid proprietary licensing fees and overall costs of such software. For example, if you are a graphics artist and find the offerings of Open Source graphics software not suitable your liking, then you can even devote one or several workstations to using either Microsoft or Mac, and pay the license fees for those particular workstations. The remaining part of your firm's operations can use Linux, and you can achieve cost savings in this manner as well. It's not an all or nothing proposition. You can mix the Operating Systems of your choice in the office anyway you wish. Considering it's all free and can save most enterprises enormous sums of money, and the funcionality is there, who could possibly complain?

In my original posting, I mentioned Linux as an alternative to Microsoft because of the rampant pirating and theft of proprietary software in Poland, and the fact that "many" computer sales vendors in Poland will attempt to provide their clients with an illegal copy of Windows, and charge you for it. This was the original issue being dicussed, as is clearly stated in the topic itself. The topic wasn't 'Linux versus Microsoft and Mac'. Linux was only mentioned as another choice for running a business.

From my personal experiences living and working in Poland, I have found that abusing the use of pirated software also extends to the public and governmental level. For example, a close friend who works for a local gmina in her small city had recently stated, "None of the Microsoft software at my workplace, including Operating Systems, is either legal or licensed." This also trickles down the the average home personal computer in Poland. You will find that over 90% of all copies of MS Windows is in fact, illegal or pirated. Most police and citizens seem to turn their head the other way to this and view it as a minor abuse.

It seems that most responses to this post are more focused on the Linux versus MS issue and have totally ignored the original topic itself. As was indicated in 'red' in post #18, how about we stay on topic? Or, we can start another thread on the Linux / Windows / Mac comparison and speak about it there?

Cheers,

Ela
philip - | 7  
4 Jan 2009 /  #28
What about...the shop is just absorbing the cost...

Like an airliner that did not put price rise...when the uk government included a new Tax...

Maybe the computer without Windows xp was £1000 but with xp it is now stil £1000 because they don't want the customer to go without XP...But I dunno...

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