THE GLORIOUS FRENCH REPUBLIC seems set to kowtow to Microsoft and levy a tax on every tablet in the land that doesn't run the Windows operating system.
For a while now France has taxed MP3 players after surrendering to demands from the movie and film cartels that it make all of its citizens pay for those few who download media content.
Now the French politicians have worked out that they can get even more dosh if they extend the tax to include tablets. After all, most of them are just big phones and MP3 players, they think.
However since the legislation does not cover computers they have to define what it is that makes a computer different from the devices they want to tax.
According to the French magazine Numerama they have decided that a device is only a computer when it runs Microsoft Windows. If it runs Linux or a Mac OS then it must be just an MP3 player that's being operated by someone who is a 'pirate' and therefore needs to be taxed.
So when the Vole peddles its tablets, as it has done for nearly a decade, they are PCs. When Apple does so, it is just an entertainment toy. While we are inclined to agree with the latter point, that would also apply to devices like the Galaxy Tab and anything else Androidish, as well as the Ubuntu Linux based tablet that is coming out soon.
It will also apply to the French-based outfit Archos, which makes very cheap tablets.
Archos CEO Henri Crohas raged that it is silly to say that tablets running Windows are less involved in copying media content than those running Android or any other operating system.
He said that such legislative action would distort the market in favour of tablets that run Windows. He said that it could be very damaging to the French manufacturer, which had to pay $3 million for taxes in 2009 on its other products.
It will be interesting to see if the clueless French politicians rethink this daft proposal. µ
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday