The Inq is reporting that a European think tank dubbed The Globalisation Institute, has recommended to the EU Commission that it require the unbundling¹ of Microsoft Windows from new computers to promote competition in the Operating System (OS) software market.

Alex Singleton, president of the institute, penned a policy briefing which argues that following the success in forcing Microsoft to unbundle its Media Player from Windows, the Commission should take its thinking Microsoft’s operating system monopoly to its logical conclusion and support the “unbundling” of Windows from desktop computers.

Imagine that: not having to pay a Windows tax when you buy a new computer. The document highlights the fact that Windows imposes higher costs, saying: “The Windows monopoly imposes an extra cost on virtually every EU business, as the price of operating systems would drop in a more competitive market.”

As The Inq so eloquently puts it: hear, hear. You can download the full policy briefing (PDF, 1.2MB) here.

1. Bundling refers to the common practice of computer manufacturers to include the OS software with computer hardware, all for a single price and typically without the buyer having any choice as to what OS software they receive. Unbundling means the decoupling of computer hardware and software such that each is sold and priced separately, often with the buyer having a choice between two or more competing OS software products. This has been prohibited (in Europe) for vendors of expensive, large scale commercial computer systems such as mainframes and high-end Unix systems for about 25 years or so.

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