Here comes a crazy thought:
Why don't computer manufactures get in cahoots and get Microsoft out of the demi-god loop? I mean, computer manufactures are struggling because their profit out of every sell are very small... in the meantime, Microsoft is laughing its ass off while making millions upon millions over their sells of Windows 7 (or so they say).
If any of the manufacturers dared getting out of the Microsoft way (you know, let's push Linux a bit harder, let's not say we recommend Windows 7, etc, etc), Microsoft would just need to get the price of Windows 7 licenses a little higher to force the manufacturer into red numbers (if it isn't already, of course) and teach the bully a lesson, right? We have all seen the Halloween Documents and know of Microsoft's business practices, so no surprises there. Microsoft would still have all the other manufactures lined up with lower prices to pay for Windows 7, the rebel manufacturer would have to get their prices a little higher because of the increase in the price of Windows 7 it has to pay now making it more difficult for them to compete against the other manufacturers and Microsoft gets to keep the upper hand in the end. Sounds like a subtle kind of trust, doesn't it? By the way, am I the only one who has the phrase "Divide and conquer" pounding in his head?
But what would happen if the biggest manufactures would get together (say, in a secret deal) and fight Microsoft all at the same time? Is that possible? Is that legal? Would that be enough to get Microsoft out of its ways and start really competing instead of been shoved down everybody's throat? If it is legal (I honestly don't know), then why don't they do it and let Microsoft laugh (very loudly, by the way) at them (and the rest of us)?
Now... where did that smart-ass laugh I'm hearing in surround sound come from? Seattle?