Here’s one way Microsoft can get some much needed help in the tablet market: the French government is considering levying a tax of 12 Euro on all tablet PCs with more than 40GB of internal memory, unless they run Windows.As Techdirt summarizes, pointing to this story in the French-language publication Numerama, the tax would be an extension of the private copying tax that France (and other countries) levy on tech gear that can be used to duplicate copyrighted material. The government collects this tax, then redistributes the money to content owners to make up for losses from piracy.
The tax was originally applied to burnable CDs, then extended to MP3 players. But computers have always been exempted from this tax, and Windows tablets–unlike the iPad or Android tablets–would be considered full computers under the new law.
French manufacturer Archos, which currently ships Android-based tablets, is up in arms about the proposed law, and has threatened to join a lawsuit to overturn the law if goes into effect on January 12 as planned.
But Archos doesn’t want to tax to be applied equally or scrapped–rather, it wants authorities to give it the same computer exemption that’s being considered for Windows. The company says that because it allows users to replace Android with a Linux distribution, this makes its tablets real computers as opposed to mobile devices.
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