Thanks for the Original Post. I didn't know it was a potential problem to get rid of 8.
The simplest basis the EU can use to act on I guess is the abuse of monopoly. MSFT has been convicted to pay record breaking fines before. It's just yet another examples of the same. This time not browsers or media players, but now it's the hardware itself that get's locked in.
Pity it'll take far too long to have any decent effect.
(Mac) OS X is FreeBSD derived - it's got nothing to do with Linux. [GNU license vs. BSD license]
Buying a "wintel" computer you intend to use under alternative OSes without windows coming along is terribly hard as the hardware is bundled with windows per Microsoft's deal with the manufacturer. Regardless what the chain of distribution and retail does: it's bundled at the source already. The manufacturer is not allowed to offer it to you without windows - or they risk to lose the lucrative discounts they get for bundling it with *all* they sell to consumers. This is where the (illegal in the EU) abuse of monopoly occurs.
So even if you try real ahrd, you'll not get a discount -not even a penny- for not wanting the windows license.
Servers typically are still available exempt from the bundling deal - I've to yet to buy any with a windows license. But it sometimes does limit choice. I typically run my servers under OpenBSD.
Mom-and-pop places building computers: all I know out here went out of business a few years ago when the discount supermarkets began to sell "PCs" without any form of support or after sales care for less than the mom-and-pop places could procure either pre-build asian sweat-shop stuff or -even worse- components. Let alone that they needed to give decent support and build/configure it all to be actually usable. I had a friend owning such a store: they saw their sales drop, got people expecting support on hardware they bought elsewhere but were unwilling/unable to pay for the support, so they let the shop phase out - there was no way to make a profit anymore.
It also coincided with the price drop of laptops to be affordable enough to be favored over the old fied machines.
It's also the same time I -and many like me- stopped giving PC support to friends and family: it became a bottomless pit. People just trash perfectly good hardware cause they can't fix the software problems - or more common: use employer provided hardware for personal use as well.
Obviously those folks not having an employer provided machine they're allowed to use for private stuff migrate to things like a iPad: why bother with a machine they cannot find support for (for free nor for pay), nor are able to service it themselves. If they bought it, it would just become "e-waste" in a matter of a few months.
Any of my friends or family that wants/gets support: they have a mac - "I don't do windows" is the mantra they get for any windows related issue. I don't even look at it or they'll assume I'm going to help them and won't stop demanding ever more.
Paying customers can get me to cover their windows machines - but they pay for it.