Dell Offering Non-Windows Based Desktops

Posters Name: Kagato
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Subject: Dell Offering Non-Windows Based Desktops

Many of you know the folks at Dell have always offered the option of no pre-installed operating system at time of order. Well, due to recent changes in Microsoft's Licensing Agreement which basically state that Microsoft vendors can no longer off a "NO OS" option, Dell announced that they would no longer provide this option. Now there comes word that Dell has a new offer for those not wanting to pre-purchase a PC with Windows pre-installed. Word:

The PC maker next month will introduce n-Series corporate desktop and workstations that ship without Microsoft's Windows, or any other operating system, pre-installed.

The new desktops appear to be a slick interpretation of Microsoft's new licensing terms and a way to navigate customer demand for PCs without an OS installed. The Microsoft licensing terms, which were put in place on Aug. 1, specify that PC makers must ship PCs with an operating system.

With the n-Series, Dell will include a copy of a free operating system - FreeDOS - inside the cardboard box. However, the OS will not be pre-installed, so customers will not have to worry about reconfiguring their machines should they want to use a different product.

Dell has been shipping PCs without operating systems to its largest customers for some time, offering them a limited number of models of Optiplex and Precision machines.

The company will not promote the new models heavily, let alone make them easy to purchase. Optiplex n-Series desktops will be available only to customers who buy the desktops in large numbers through Dell's Custom Factory Installation program. Individuals will be able to purchase n-Series Precision workstations, but not Optiplex PCs, via Dell's Web site.

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N-series PCs will cost the same as PCs that ship with Windows, a Dell representative said.
Hmm, I have no idea where people get the idea that Microsoft has a monopoly on the market. Considering they can force retailers to effectively sell Windows only machines (sure, some people order Linux, but I doubt that accounts for any large percentage of Dell's yearly sales - and does anybody really even use O/S2 Warp anymore?) or loose the ability for direct software ordering from Microsoft (can you imagine what kind of deals Dell gets) and have to be forced to order via a 3rd party. Nah, no monopoly there.
Source: C|Net News (

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