US IT industry commentator Ralph Nader has stepped up his anti-Microsoft campaign after he accused IBM chief Louis Gerstner of failing to support IBM's own OS/2 operating system.
In a letter, Nader rapped Gerstner for 'forcing customers who buy IBM personal computers to purchase Microsoft Windows'.
He added: 'You should give your customers an opportunity to buy a non-Microsoft operating system, or at a minimum permit the consumer to buy a PC from IBM without any operating system.'
Nader said he was surprised to learn that IBM will not allow consumers to buy IBM Aptiva computers with OS/2 installed. 'When consumers contact IBM to purchase an Aptiva computer, they are told the only way to get OS/2 is to buy a PC with Microsoft Windows 95 installed, and then pay an extra $199 ($275 in one call) for a shrinkwrapped copy of OS/2, which consumers must install.'
Customers who do not agree with the terms of the licence are told they have no right of refund from IBM. Nader pointed out that the 'Microsoft End User Licence Agreement says that a consumer who does not agree can return the software to IBM for a refund'.
He stated: 'Millions of OS/2 users are bitterly disappointed at IBM's failure to promote the OS/2 platform as an alternative to Microsoft Windows. Perhaps IBM should consider following the Netscape example - release the source code for OS/2 and permit users to modify copies of OS/2.'
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