[Bill Gates]

"Where do you want to go on February 15th?"

Microsoft Windows Refund for the Bay Area

    If you are a user of Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, or another free/Open Source operating system, you may be entitled to a refund for unused Microsoft products bundled with your computer.

    On Windows Refund Day (February 15, 1999), users of non-Microsoft operating systems will bring their Microsoft Windows original disks, manuals, and Certificates of Authenticity to the Microsoft office in Foster City, California to ask for a refund.

    Further information on the Microsoft End User License Agreement is at the Windows Refund Center in the Resources section below.


All attendees who will be returning software: Please e-mail arlo@linuxmafia.com immediately. We need a head count.

Everyone should assemble at the nearest of our four "Posse" assembly points, from which we will carpool/caravan at 10 AM. Do not go directly to Foster City. Posse organizers and parade marshals will do briefings and check-ins prior to the carpool, and you won't want to miss the t-shirts.

  • Mountain View: Meet Posse organizer Chris Di Bona outside VA Research, 1235 Pear Ave. #111. near N. Shoreline Blvd. Also, please notify Chris immediately that you will be coming, at mv@linuxmafia.com. (Directions.) (Map.)

  • Oakland: Meet Posse organizer Scott McNeil at the passenger pickup zone at the entrance to MacArthur BART, no later than 10 AM. Also, please notify Scott immediately that you will be coming, at ebay@linuxmafia.com. Please include if you can offer or are in need of a ride! Please note that the BART parking lot is for BART patrons. There is nearby on-street parking. (Directions.) (Map.)

  • San Francisco: Meet Posse organizer Rick Moen inside The CoffeeNet Internet cafe, 744 Harrison @ 3rd/4th Streets, no later than 10 AM. Also, please notify Rick immediately that you will be coming, at sf@linuxmafia.com. (Directions.) (Map.)

  • Santa Clara: Meet Posse organizer Ian Kluft outside the Hotel Marriott Santa Clara, 2700 Mission College Blvd @ Great America, no later than 10 AM, at the "F7" parking post near the tennis courts. Also, please notify Ian immediately that you will be coming, at sc@linuxmafia.com. (Directions.) (Map.)

Stick around, because we're also going to have a party to remember afterwards, at The CoffeeNet in San Francisco.

We are encouraging everyone to stick together and present a calm and polite, but firm, request for our refund.

The message is not "Windows sucks, I want my money back." The message is "I choose not to accept this license, and am therefore exercising my right to return the product for a refund."

The quality or lack of quality of Microsoft products is not the issue.

    If you are seeking a refund, we expect you to provide some documentation for the fact that you are not using the Microsoft products you are returning. Bring your computer if you can schlep it, but if you choose not to bring the computer, please bring a copy of your non-Microsoft OS, a printout of your partition table, name tag or raffle ticket from a free OS event, or something else to substantiate that you aren't just a random copyright violator looking for a handout.

If you try to use this event as an excuse to actually use Microsoft products in violation of applicable licenses, we will help Microsoft hunt you down and prosecute you to the full extent of the law.

    If you are not seeking a refund, and simply want to come along for the spectacle, that's fine too. We request that you not get in the way of people getting their refunds, and that you act politely to Microsoft employees and to the media.

    We will make further information on handling the media available here, since we want to present our OSs of choice in the best possible light without embarassing Microsoft, since they are only giving us the refunds we want.

    We have received a lot of positive interest in this event, so we are recruiting "parade marshals" to help keep everyone together and peaceful. Please send mail to marshals@linuxmafia.com if you would like to volunteer. Vandals and troublemakers, please stay home. This will be an orderly event and we don't want anyone to get hurt.

    Questions or comments? Please read our FAQ, first.

    For more information, please contact Rick Moen at: bofh@linuxmafia.com

Microsoft Windows Refund Resources

Full press coverage information, in timeline format.

The Open Directory Project's Windows Refund category. Press coverage and extensive additional resources.

The Windows Refund Center site that started the campaign, and is an excellent central information resource.

Visit the refund-news site: sign up for the Windows Refund Newsletter. Read issue 1! Issue 2! Issue 3! Issue 4!

The Bay Area FreeBSD community plans to turn out in force.

Penguin Computing article/press release details how this Linux PC-hardware VAR has tried extensively to arrange with laptop vendors such as Toshiba, NEC, etc. to buy machines without a mandatory copy of Windows98, and met with universal refusal.

Australian Linux User Gets Windows Refund from slashdot.org

An Orange County group will coordinate refunds for Southern California.

New York City area PC users will be coordinated by LXNY.

Japanese PC users will be coordinated through Hiroyuki Nishimura's Windows Refund Day site, which in its first two days attracted 2000 visitors. (Japanese language site.)

In the Netherlands and the Dutch-speaking portion of Belgium (Flanders), Rik van Riel will be coordinating Windows refund dag.

Centre de Detaxe Windows is the the site for France, organized by Roberto di Cosmo.

The New Zealand Refund Site is being run by Dr Anand Venkataraman.

Team OS/2 Deutschland has established a refund campaign in Germany, and sent a letter to the consumer federations' working group, as a first step.