Microsoft has responded to our request for comment after a "free-market" EU thinktank, the Globalisation Institute, recommended that all PCs in Europe should be sold without a preinstalled operating system (see the story here and our leader commentary here).
"You can buy a PC with no OS, with Windows or with Linux, or indeed a Mac with the Mac OS so all such options are available and consumers make the choice already," said a spokesperson, before dropping in a comment that never fails to set off alarm bells for any hack: "I am not sure what the angle here is for you."
Move along! Nothing to see here! Keep your eyes on the road! A sure sign, if I've ever seen one, that Microsoft is very keen for this suggestion to never darken its door again. Of course, as our own investigations showed earlier this year, it is nigh on impossible to buy a new PC without shelling out the so-called "Windows tax".
That, I would posit, is our angle.
We also got a response from Commissioner Kroes' office, which stated that the EC is "aware of" the Institute's proposals, but has "no comment at this time on whether such an initiative would be required by the competition rules". Watch this space...