A French man has won a lawsuit against computer maker Acer over a laptop he bought that came pre-loaded with Microsoft's Windows XP and other applications he didn't want.
Antoine Gutzwiller disputed the fact that he had no choice but to buy the €599 Acer notebook with the ubiquitous operating system and software products including Microsoft Works, PowerDVD, and Norton AV.
The court of Puteaux in France ruled that the PC giant, which is the world's third largest computer vendor, should refund Gutzwiller €311.85 to cover the full cost of software loaded on his machine.
Intially, Acer offered to settle for just €30 for the software bundled on Gutzwiller's laptop, but he rejected that sum and took the firm to court - ending up with reimbursements worth nearly double that of the original cost of the machine.
Under the judgement, the court said Acer should also cough up €500 in fees to cover what it described as "abusive resistance and committed expenses".
Apparently, the dispute had rumbled on for nearly a year. It is unknown whether the French court ruling could set a precedent for future European cases involving pre-loaded software.
Acer has yet to respond to our requests for comment. ®