Microsoft has released for sale and will pre-install the right-of-use (not product ownership) license of its next operating system, Windows 10. Although most will acquire this license through the Windows tax when buying a new computer and although (rarely) it is possible to get their reimbursement it is still with obstacles, the great majority will not request the reimbursement maybe for lack of knowledge that the equipment and its operating system are two different products (many do not know either that it is an operating system), ignorance of the possibility of reimbursement or for not making the effort (I plead guilty) of which the manufacturer is habitual that provides zero information on how to proceed and when it is done is with difficulties. Many of us pay for the Windows license even if we do not want it, and although Microsoft logically prefers you to acquire the license, I think it does not matter that you do not pay it for personal use.
There are few but a few options to purchase a laptop without Windows or with some Linux distribution, good quality, good specifications and reasonably priced, one of them are Slimbook laptops. In the blog of KDE Blog there is an article about an model of these laptops and a video with a unboxing.
Why do I say that they do not mind not paying the license? Because version after version the measures included in Windows or Office to protect them from an unlicensed use are avoided without apparently many difficulties and after a very short time appear in the pages of downloads the images along with the instructions to follow to install it without any type of problem. And in Windows 10 it will be the same. Why do not the included validation measures prevent unlicensed use? Because it suits Microsoft not to be too restrictive. If they were, some would pay the license, but many would say, what? Does the license cost 119 € (or 199, or 50 depending on what is returned with a new computer)? A third (aprox.) of what the computer cost me?, and that only Windows, if we add Office and other programs the cost of the licenses could far exceed the price of the equipment. Worse still, amount to be disbursed every few years due to obsolescence and new versions. And what would those who could not use Windows or Office do? Find alternatives and … what do you think they would choose? The expensive competition of Apple with its Macs or some distribution GNU/Linux like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, etc … That people knew and paid the cost of the software licenses would probably be one of the best ways to encourage the use of free software and GNU/Linux.
Does anyone believe that a company like Microsoft with the resources and capacity it possesses could not implement a validation that would prevent its misuse, more now where the internet connection is common? No, the answer is that he does not want to and the time has had to prove otherwise. Losing many users in favor of their alternatives would make them able to use those same alternatives at work (including schools and training companies), the business world where Microsoft is easier for them to claim their right legally rather than individually and from where they will get higher income. Doing so would cause Windows usage quota to drop at current monopoly levels and possibly in the long run a risk of their income.
One only has to see the obscene millionades that are adjudicated in contracts for the purchase of licenses in the public administration. Money that comes out of your taxes that many politicians and officials responsible for such awards do not understand (or do not want to understand) that this hefty recurring expense is much better invested in local companies that create jobs in the region and in free software of which anyone can benefit instead of a company that little of its development does in each country where it is used. The cost of the free software can be equally obscene, equally bulging or much smaller but the difference among others is that very probably not by the licenses but by the services of consultancy or development that can be offered by local companies and of which depending on the case any could to benefit.
Microsoft knows that you are using your software without the corresponding license and tells you to show you a message from time to time or you remove the wallpaper, a bit annoying but not prevent its use. Voluntary or negligent validation systems built into Windows or Office allow many users to use the Pirated Edition, users who are not willing to pay the considerable cost of the license. Although it will prefer that users buy the license Microsoft allows to a certain extent the use of its software without it, the alternative would be to lose the possibility of convincing some to use the software legally apart from losing use quota in favor of other alternatives, perhaps they prefer a situation where their software is used illegally rather than an alternative is more helpful. Microsoft also commits the injustices that the law leaves or no one demands, pre-installed its undesirable system by some who do not want it at the same time as it does not provide clear information and the process is simple to get its return together with the reimbursement of its cost and in taxes that using tax engineering along with other companies are taken to where they pay least.
A new version of Windows or a new computer is an ideal occasion for instead of migrating to the new version of Windows make the jump to GNU/Linux and stop worrying about being raped by slavering licenses or accepting clauses that most people would read and understood they would not accept it so cheerfully. I did it a few years ago going through various distributions, from Windows to Arch Linux, and after almost six years I still follow Arch, from Arch Linux to Arch Linux.