They talked about using "an existing Windows CD" and were quite surprised when I asked for the cost of buying Windows new, instead of using an existing copy of Windows. I was quoted R1126 for Vista Home Premium and R 1582 for Vista Business, but with no support. Perhaps those prices are excluding VAT, because PriceCheck lists WinXP Home edition DSP pricing starting at R1168 including VAT. Unless those are (illegal) upgrade prices, but even so they are lower than those indicated on PriceCheck.
The salesmen were surprised when I told them that installing Windows from a CD that came with a different PC was called piracy. The one guy ducked the question by saying "it depends on the number of licenses you have". That may be true for a large business with multiple licenses, but if a home user installs Windows on a different PC to the one it was supplied with, you are technically breaking the law. I wonder what Microsoft has to say about all this?
Update 26th January: Greg Hill, the product marketing manager at Core Group, the Apple distributor in SA, called me.
"The intention of the "Windows Compatible" decal on the marketing material that you came across was not to mislead the consumer at all, but rather to highlight the fact that these fantastic machines are also capable of running MS Windows.
In future we will ensure that the consumer is made aware that the price does not include MS Windows.
We will also takes steps to coach the retail staff to communicate clearly that a legitimate version of Windows is required in order to take advantage of this feature on the Mac."
And on a lighter note:
Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard