Recently, I went looking for x86 tablets. If I could wipe Windows off and experiment with several OSs (Android x86 or several Linux distros), I didn't mind paying a higher price.
I saw that a company called Visual Land offered several x86 tablets and Android tablets. Interestingly enough, the specs of their android tablets were lower than those of the x86 ones, that surely enough came preloaded with Windows 8.1 or 10 (shrug).
I sent an e-mail to the company's tech support. After a couple of days with no reply, I contacted customer support to know if it was technically possible to get rid of Windows and install something else. They made me go through the usual protocol:
1. What OS do you want to install? Windows 10? (My answer: NO!)
2. The tablet is designed for Windows. (My answer: Yes, but I want to see what I can do with it.)
3. That could make your warranty void. (My answer: I understand, but I'd rather run the risk of bricking the device than being tied to Windows.)
At the end, the man from customer support told me he didn't know if it could be done or how hard it was.
A day or two later, I received the reply to my e-mail:
"Dear Sir. You can't do that. The OS is locked. Good day."
That's disappointing! After all, I am buying hardware and they are selling hardware. Why should they care what I do with my tablet after I buy it if I'm the owner? If fiddling with my device voids my warranty, I'm perfectly willing to accept my responsibility, but why wouldn't they let me use the hardware I rightfully bought the way I want to?
As I replied to the company, I'll look for a company that cares more about its customers. If we pay, we deserve respect...and respecting customer freedoms is a good start for any company that values its customers.