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Dell No Longer Selling Systems w/o Microsoft OS

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the yer-bringing-me-down-man dept.

Microsoft 1159

Some Sys Admin sent in an email that he got from Dell which basically says Microsoft will no longer allow Dell to sell PCs without an operating system. Please note that Microsoft is not a monopoly, and does not use their monopoly power to squish competition in the market place. The message itself is attached below, and is worth a read, especially the last bit.


1. Effective 8/26 - New Microsoft contract rules stipulate that we can no longer offer the "NO OS" option to our customers beyond September 1st. As such all customers currently purchasing a "NO OS" option on either OptiPlex, Precison or Latitude for the express purpose of loading a non-MS OS will have the following options:

1. Purchase a Microsoft OS with each OptiPlex, Precision or Latitude system.

2. For OptiPlex and Precision - purchase one of the new "nSeries" products (offered for GX260, WS340 & WS530 - details in the attached FAQ) that are being created to address a different OS support requirement other than a current standard Microsoft OS.

We must have all "No OS" orders shipped out of the factory by September 1st. The "No OS" legend code and SKUs will be I-coded on 8/19 and D-coded on August 26th to ensure shipment of orders prior to September 1st. FYI - this effects all of our competitors as well.

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A First Post Blessing (-1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046113)

From all the folks here at your moms house.

First ? ;p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046118)

Nuff said

You know what they say (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046125)

I don't know... tell me...

HOKE (-1, Offtopic)

uberbacon (589223) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046130)

i agree with myself, that was a good bye

Wasn't this one of the bigger issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046134)

MS using its market power to force computer makers to include MS if they want to have a decent contract with Microsoft (and thus stay competitive in the market)?

Glad to see MS learned so much from the brutal slap on the wrist they received.

MS OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046136)

Please note, I will not buy a DELL 'DUDE.' They can keep their computer with the MS OS.

Monopoly (4, Interesting)

Rosonowski (250492) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046137)

Interestingly enough, I was trying to explain this same concept to my father no longer then an hour ago. I'll have to show him this note.

He seems to beleive that "they just make the better product, so people buy it. That's why they are so big. Not because they're an evil company"

Fine with me (3, Redundant)

corebreech (469871) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046138)

I'm no longer buying systems that come with Microsoft OS's.

Re:Fine with me (4, Funny)

phaxkolumbo (572192) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046155)

Duuude! You're so not getting a dell!

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046140)

wow this takes teh cake. how is one supposed to respond to somthing like this? bring on the m$ bashers, ms deserves it this time

:P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046141)


That pretty much does it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046142)

I now no longer feel guilty about pirating their warez.

That muct be a pretty intimate contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046145)

I had no idea that a contract could get so interwoven such that it can affect how you function as a business. Not to give to much credit to Microsoft, but they're obviously looking after theie own interests as well. I guess they're trying to hook as many vendors as they can now before other viable desktop alternatives surface up in the near future.

2004 headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046146)

"In a press conference today, Dell CEO Michael Dell stipulates that the Microsoft contracts are a boatload of shizzle. Dell will start shipping Redhat Linux standard."

Reaction... (1)

koh (124962) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046148)

This is another nasty move, and I advise the community to react promptly and to just... ask for the _ban_ of this crazy Visual Studio ad I just got while reading comments !!

Seriously, Taco, for karma's sake... do something ;)

Re:Reaction... (2, Funny)

servanya (321392) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046156)

I just saw that VS .NET ad too! WTF?!!

Re:Reaction... (0)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046201)

Oh please. If it burns your eyes, don't look at it. :P

Sounds like fraud to me? (2)

Lewis Mettler, Esq. (553022) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046153)

Just what is fraud anyway?

Fraud is the use of a false or deceptive statement for the purpose of getting your money.

Microsoft's lie that it is not a monopoly clearly qualifies as false or deceptive. And, they clearly have given it for the purpose of getting your money.

Hey Michael Dell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046160)

Why don't you advertise those "other" systems? Anyway, my next system is going to be bought at..get this Mr. Dell...walmart.com.

What do they mean? (3, Interesting)

boa13 (548222) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046161)

purchase one of the new "nSeries" products that are being created to address a different OS support requirement other than a current standard Microsoft OS. Are they talking Linux here, or what? Does anybody have a link to the mentioned FAQ?

Re:What do they mean? (1)

Kranium (211344) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046283)

I wonder if Judge Colleen.. uh.. Cotar-Kelley (?) will know about this? Or maybe she already knows? I just hope all little things like this don't go overlooked and figure into her decision!

I see this two ways.... (2, Interesting)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046162)

The way I see it, this message could (and probably will below) be read two different ways:

Either Microsoft is acting all monopolisitc again, requiring all these fancy regulations, and just being plain evil, or,

Microsoft is just not comfortable with no OS installed, which means that the user will have to 'find' an OS, that might just be Windows. Although they seem to be very vague, it's not like they're saying you can't get the OS you want.

To add my own personal view, if it weren't for the "because of Microsoft Licensing" bit, it would seem to be a reasonable and sensible strategy. These 'Alternative OS' systems might be customized to used parts that have better driver support, etc.

Anyways, let's watch the flame war begin....

Antitrust information... (1)

hklingon (109185) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046163)

How do we get this information to (legal) people that might be interested in doing something about it? Perhaps the group that was prosecuting microsoft in the anti-trust trial would like a community effort to discover these sorts of things, to use as evidence.. ?

What about the attached FAQ? (1)

FeriteCore (25122) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046166)

Not much here - I suspect the "attached FAQ" which we are supposed to see fills in some details, where is it?

You know.... (3, Insightful)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046167)

M$ has always been brash...I think it's this type of charging at the US government that has always kept them off-kilter. That, and their large portion of the US economy has made the Government skittish about confronting their obviously Monopolistic tactics.

All it's going to take is a young Attorney with the lack of political awareness to tell the Emperor that he has no clothes.

So let's toast to the young an Naive. Personally, in a world where M$ can do this, I think drunk is a preferred state.

Going Boldy where I surely don't belong,


Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into jet plane engines.

Re:You know.... (3, Funny)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046200)

has made the Government skittish about confronting their obviously Monopolistic tactics.

This isn't obviously monopolistic.

This isn't even illegal unless you are a monopoly.

And we all know that MS isn't a monopoly anymore, and probably never was.

Re:You know.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046294)

when you spell microsoft "m$", this is what i picture:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2002- 07 -22&res=l

Well... (1)

Relyt (96115) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046168)

Yes, microsoft are bastards, but really:

just fdisk the thing when you get it.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046221)

and pay the microsoft tax. not even use what you just paid for.

Re:Well... (1)

archen (447353) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046247)

While true, that's the same as building your own computer, then randomly flushing some extra money down the toilet because you purchased an OS you didn't use.

Re:Well... (1)

Jerry Hicks (599962) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046266)

Nothing is free. The cost of the fdisk'ed Microsoft garbage is factored into the system and provides revenue to Microsoft from customers who may not wish to buy Microsoft products.

Blame Dell, not Microsoft. Dell shows itself to be a spineless puppet of Redmond.

Re:Well... (Two problems) (4, Insightful)

MarvinMouse (323641) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046268)

There are two problems with that:

1. Microsoft is pushing that having a computer with an OS other that installed on it is illegal (especially when they are donated to schools.)

2. More imporantly, Microsoft gets paid for every computer that sells with their OS. If you buy with theirs and remove it, you just gave MS your money for no reason.

If you want a notebook w/o an OS (2, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046169)

You can still go to Powernotebooks. [powernotebooks.com]

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymo (0)

boy_afraid (234774) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046171)

This just gets me mad! I can't wait until we can stick it TO THE MAN! I swear the the DOJ and MS are in bed together with their settelement. IT IS A CONSPIRACY! Public proof that Microsoft is a monopoly trying to squash the competition. If the DOJ doesn't do something about it then it will come back around to bite MS and DOJ in the ass.

Re:I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it an (1)

speedfreak_5 (546044) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046263)

Maybe that's what is needed. Let it go and it will come back and bite them on the ass. Two birds with one stone.

Funny how this works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046309)

I was just on dells site and I configured Box and funny how it's 200.00 bux more with linux than with MS OS shit... hrmm isn't that lame

Re:I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it an (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046274)

No it doesn't ur dumb.

Re:I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it an (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046302)

Wow, people like you makes me see how stupid people can be. You are completely biased toward Linux, and perhaps that is invading your privacy, but the fault is not Microsoft's Dell signed a contract and Dell knew that it would loose the Linux people. If Linux is so good, then why didn't Linux make a better deal? because it's a worse operating system, we all know that most of the people use Microsoft OS. It's the damn truth and eal with it.

No need to disclaim... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046172)

After all they have been found guilt of monopilistic practicies, they are guilty. Theyve lied to consumers, they've leveraged power in an unfair fashion, it's all a matter of public recorcd isn't it?

It's a shame... (4, Insightful)

EraseEraseMe (167638) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046174)

The second the computer hardware industry gets over it's undying need to profit and destroy its competitors, it can finally do something about Microsoft. If they were all to tell MS at the same time "Hey, guess what, we're going to dictate the terms of what OS goes on our machines now", then MS would be up a creek without a paddle. Unfortunately, the likelihood of this happening is slim to nil, the second a large comp manufacturer did this, the others would go the other way and run to MS saying "Look at what CompStore2002 is doing! We won't do that, give us a break on the licensing!"

Microsoft is using the greed of the industry against itself. Without hardware to run it on, software is useless, and Microsoft is useless. They are in a far more precarious position then they let on...Maybe it's time to give them a little scare

Re:It's a shame... (4, Insightful)

cyberconte (156446) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046217)

The second the computer hardware industry gets over it's undying need to profit and destroy its competitors, it can finally do something about Microsoft

Uhh... yea, thats the whole point of running a business, you know? to make money? Espeically publicly traded ones...

Ironically, cooperation *not* to buy microsoft product could be viewed as illegal cooperation between companies. Funny that! I'll bet the'd be punished in 6 months with hefty fines, too.

I'm not bitter. Really. -_^

Re:It's a shame... (4, Troll)

StandardDeviant (122674) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046311)

undying need to profit and destroy its competitors

Puh-leeeeeez. That's what corporations do. It is the corporate officer's duty to undertake whatever actions maximize stockholder benefit. Period, end of sentence. Offering health insurance? Stock options? Good pay? Those are all tools to maximize worker productivity. Understand, this is neither a good nor a bad thing in the moral/ethical sense. In the world of business, there is no right and wrong in the moral sense, only "right" as in following the law and making money. Look at it this way, if Dell did the "right" thing by standing up to MSFT and lost money or went out of business, is it morally correct that this action hurts Dell's stockholders and employees? Gordon Gecko may have been a loathsome character, but his "Greed is Good" speech is closer to the truth (in the ethical sphere of corporate reality) than many would like to admit.

If you don't like the way business is run, then don't get a job at one. Start your own, give it the college try, and hope that you can look yourself in the mirror after ten years has turned you into that which you railed against as a young turk.

MS flaming (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046177)

So what Microsoft has the right to declare contracts like this and it must have been good if Dell signed it. Nowehere does it explicitly say Dell can't sell other OS's. And even if they can't it's not a monopoly to do so. It's just that Linux didnt put a better offer on the table.

This stinks, but... (3, Insightful)

vex24 (126288) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046178)

I couldn't find a way to buy an OptiPlex, Precision or Latitude (or Dimension) from Dell without an MS OS before now anyway!

The only machines I can get from them OS-free are servers, which works out in my situation since we use Windows on the desktop and Windows or Linux on the servers. I don't think this represents a major change for Dell, but it could spark enough interest to affect the outcome of the antitrust settlement.

That shouldn't matter. (5, Funny)

russianspy (523929) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046181)

Who cares?

Microsoft is a company that understands their users, right? If I choose to simply boot out of a linux installation CD and NEVER access the windows partition or use any of those programs, they'll give me my money back. Right?


Re:That shouldn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046265)

ehhh....... not so true. regardless of what the eula says, best buy wouldn't give me a refund on the vpr matrix system i bought b/c i didn't want to use xp home. gr.

Re:That shouldn't matter. (1)

russianspy (523929) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046290)

One day, in the near future (hopefully), someone is going to sid down with you and explain the concept of sarcasm ;-)

Dude, You're Stuck With a Dell (3, Interesting)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046182)

While I agree this probably because MS has a monopoly, I doubt that 99% of Dell buyers would want anything besides Windows on their PC. So really the net effect is moot.

Then again, maybe Dell was looking for a way to stop selling OS-less PCs without incurring the wrath of Linux-zealots, and chose to blame MS. I would not be suprised....

This is what essentially killed Be (4, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046184)

Remember BeOS? The new OS on x86 that got killed by MS. They couldn't get vendors to ship their systems dual boot with Windows and BeOS due to MS policy. I don't understand why Be (who still are in opreration with one employee :) uses this fact and goes to trial.

Scott Hacker has a great column on this called He Who Controls the Bootloader [byte.com]

BE did file the lawsuit. (2)

Lewis Mettler, Esq. (553022) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046256)

The BE law suit is pending just like the law suits from AOL and SUN.

Maybe it will take a class action antitrust law suit filed by all linux distributors against Microsoft and all OEMs in order to get Microsoft to comply with federal law.

But, until then they will continue to lie under oath as well as to the public.

Re:This is what essentially killed Be (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046258)

That's assumedly what that last employee is supposed to be around for, to assist in bringing antitrust action against MS.

Initiative for Software Choice (1)

Danta (2241) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046186)

...yeah right!

I buy a lot of Dells at work (2)

Raleel (30913) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046187)

and I will express my concern to them, although I know our computer purchases are only a small small fraction of Dell's total sales.

I find it interesting that on the Small Business ws340 with Linux page, they mention that Dell PCs
use Genuine MS products :)

Re:I buy a lot of Dells at work (1)

archen (447353) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046276)

"Genuine MS products" - that comment always killed me. What else are they using? Hong Kong Windows Special Edition for $4? That OTHER Microsoft's products? Lindows?

You were fooled... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046188)

That memo / note isn't true. You were suckered into posting it. Dell does not have any contract with Microsoft that forces anything like that.

Dell however CAN do whatver they want, a good journalist would see that DELL is the one here, not Microsoft.

Slashdot- spreading FUD since 1896.

Big Government = Big Business (1)

cyberconte (156446) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046190)

... and of course, our lovly government won't do a damn thing about it, because we have big-company loving Dubbya in office who has no problems with the current state of affairs, and despite what trash comes out of his mouth, will do as little as he can while still holding public opinion.

If you don't believe me, i've got some Worldcom stock i'd love to sell ya.

Our only hope is that the remaining states that care about this take this all the way though and some real punishments will come out of it.

Re:Big Government = Big Business (1)

BinBoy (164798) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046277)

This was happening before GWB took office in Jan 2001.

Re:Big Government = Big Business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046287)

Except that the current worldcom mess is all from things that happened while Slick Willie was in office and was too busy finding interns ot suck him off to be paying actual attention to the economy. This mess we are inn all started in 1999, long before Dubya came to the office.

Maybe if you took alittle time to study some history before shooting off your mouth you would have a clue.

If you want to make money and keep it, you better keep away from the likes of Clinton, Gore, Daschle, and the rest of those socialists.

Why does MS try these kinda things? (1)

jayant_techguy (441933) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046194)

Microsoft should be split for its monopolysing policies directed to completely remove competitors of it.

MS Sucks!

But you can still buy linux preinstalled, right(?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046195)

Does this affect your ability to purchase a linux server from Dell?

Holy Shit (2)

Tranvisor (250175) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046196)

What a stupid move on the part of Microsoft. Nothing would push the judge in the anti-trust case more towards the 9 dissenting states.

Whos idea was this? The smart buisness move would have been to finish the settlement of their current anti-trust case, then lock down their vendors. By doing this now, they are asking for trouble.

Typical Microsoft arrogance.

not new (2)

Jose (15075) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046197)

do a google search for:
coke pepsi exclusive contract

Crazy Mike Dell here...!!!!!!! (2)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046202)

Right now get Dell computers at an insanely low price! That's right! We've been threatened by Microsoft and our loss is your gain! Get this 2 Ghz Linux box for only 599.00! Seriously, can we look forward to a sale since they have to be out by Sep 1?

BYOS! (2, Informative)

DraKKon (7117) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046206)

Build Your Own System.. I assume that most /. geeks do anyway.. Generally people who can;t build thier own system will find linux hard to grasp anyway. Linux is cool, don't get me wrong, as (of a week ago) all of my systems run RedHat, but as stated on another /. story, how many of your moms run linux? Or your dopy blonde sister's run linux?

This issue is simple to explain (1)

cyberlotnet (182742) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046211)

Microsoft in its wisdom feels it has the best product out there and 99% of the people that purchase a computer are going to use there product.

Since this is a FACT in there eyes, They can not understand the legality of anyone purchasing a system without a OS.. As soon as there lawers see a tally stating that 10% of the computers sold where sold using the NO OS option, They begin to think..

We are the best? We are on 99% of the computers out there right? That means only 1% can be non-windows right? So where do the other 9% get there copy of windows that they must be using by our math?

OF COURSE.. Those 9% are pirating our software... If we don't allow them to sell NO OS products we reduce pirating...

Re:This issue is simple to explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046237)

I think you are right to some extent, these people are incredibly biased toward fighting for linux and what not, most of the people don't really care. This capitalism and free market, not monopoly.

Dell is just as guily and som FUD! (2)

puto (533470) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046212)

Ok I see this in two ways. MORE MS Monopoly, and

Dell probably signed a sweetheart of a deal with MS for say 10 bucks per copy of OS they ship. However Dell has a built in per system cost for 50 bucks per OS into all builds. All companies do this, think you are getting a good deal on the car? They all make money.

So Dell signs a sweetheart deal. Adds 40 bucks of profit for each PC sold. No brainer for the bean counters. Cause they already ran the numbers and saw Linux support would cost them for more than selling Linux PC's would make them. I bought a few Linux servers from them and had to reinstall as soon as I got em. But then again who doesnt with any os?

MS still goes out on Dells as well. We should look at what the bennies are for Dell.

Two Things.

Dell says " 2. For OptiPlex and Precision - purchase one of the new "nSeries" products (offered for GX260, WS340 & WS530 - details in the attached FAQ) that are being created to address a different OS support requirement other than a current standard Microsoft OS."

Ok so they are addressing the issue and selling systems with other OS options than MS. OK, so the above means you can still go non-ms on certain systems.

I want to see the attached FAQ the email talked about before I start the barn burning.

The whole story please.


This isn't so much monopoly as it is... (2)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046216)

This isn't so much about being a monopoly as it is being absurd.

Sure, the business model seems to work fine.

Microsoft says: "If everyone is using our operating system, we make lots of money".

Dell says: "We sell a lot of computers using the microsoft operating system *anyway* - and in fact, they make up 90% of our business - so why argue? Let's just switch to 100% microsoft!"

See, here's the problem. If Microsoft is the only company supplying operating systems to home users, we have no growth in the operating system market. People are content to see their system crash, people are content to pay 200 dollars more with their PC for an intangible piece of software which claims to be better than everything else.

Sure, I like WindowsXP. I use it often, my machine dualboots XP and Redhat. But I like the option of booting redhat, and I like the option that Dell had previously given their customers.

I wish dell would just say no. Dell, Gateway, the rest of them should form the same trust that microsoft has. If all the computer manufacturers got together and said, "You know what? We're not going to take this. From now on, you're slashing the price of your OS or no one is going to use it, because it wont be available for any systems." Microsoft would listen quick, or would call lawyers against the same type of bullying that they themselves do.

Oh well. Another one bites the dust.

Here we go again (4, Interesting)

starseeker (141897) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046218)

Well, this might mean any of several things:

a) There has been some legal development in what's left of the legal arguement that we don't know about, but is distinctly in Microsoft's favor, and has made them more bold

b) Dell might have decided that the "No OS" clause doesn't restrict them from selling Linux boxes, and along with other vendors allowed Microsoft to set these terms to get cheaper licenses. What Microsoft defines as "No OS" isn't clear, but Linux certainly isn't "No OS", at least here in the real world.

c) Microsoft is becoming increasingly worried that the legal proceedings are not going well, and wants to get this new contract into effect before the judge forbids such moves

d) Or the most likely of all - Microsoft is ignoring all legal and consumer issues and is being openly anticompetitive in order to milk the cash cow some more. Maybe they believe that if they act like the consumer doesn't and shouldn't give a rip about it, it will be true.

Why this is a GOOD thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046219)

Productivity out of the box!

That and maybe it'll be a level to convince MS to lower the basic price of their product, since they have to sell so many damn copies of it anyway.

That and you can always erase it if you don't want it.

Really, what's the big deal here? Free software on the hoof.

So you still have a few choices... (2)

bziman (223162) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046220)

If you're a big corporate behemouth, your soul probably already belongs to Microsoft, so what the hell, buy Dell.

Otherwise, you want to have another choice -- build your own damn machines and save a grand for each machine.

Okay, so you want Linux and enterprise support... I hear IBM does the Linux thing. Why don't you give them a call.

If Dell wants to cave to Microsoft, then consumers who really care will take their money to IBM or one of the independent vendors.

In the meantime, does the Department of Justice read the newspaper? What are they thinking??!!


Sucky? Yeah, but... (2)

StandardDeviant (122674) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046223)

I really don't see this as being a bad thing on Dell's part. MSFT is doing something crappy to the hardware folks (big suprise, they've done it before). Dell is, in case nobody noticed, planning on an alternative for folks that don't want MS OSen installed (see point 2 in the memo). Frankly, I'm more disappointed with Dell as a potential customer for not offering AMD-based solutions than I am for them this.

Also, this is only in reference to their consumer product line (if you define the precisions to be semi-consumer). You'll notice if you go to their site that "No Factory Installed Operating System" is the default for their server products... I'd be waaaaay more pissed to be forced into paying ~ 800 usd for win2k server than I would be about ~100 usd for xp. Also, the consumer line is where it's most likely the customer is going to want windows, it's a much more ambiguous situation on the server end of the spectrum (NT? NetWare? Unix?) so Dell is listening to their customers by offering a wide range of choice there.

Just don't buy Dell (3, Insightful)

M_Talon (135587) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046225)

*affecting a bad surfer accent* Dell, you're going to hell...

Seriously, before we go off on a big spree about how Microsoft is bad and all that, let's keep in mind that Dell could have fought the licensing in court if they really wanted to. They could have used the precedent of Microsoft as a monopoly to tell them to fsck off. Microsoft could have tried to "punish" them, and Dell could have beat them down even further. There is/was a perfect chance to fight against the monopoly, but Dell just turned over and gave up.

Yes we're all QUITE aware of how evil M$ is. I could rant about that for days, but here on Slashdot it's preaching to the choir. What I see here is a company (Dell) basically enabling that evil to thrive. Wanna boycott something? Boycott Dell and make them realize they should have fought back.

What? (1)

electricmonk (169355) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046226)

For all we know, CmdrTaco could be trolling us. Can't we have a little corroboration before everyone goes off the deep end?

What the (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046228)

I'm sorry, but after reading this "submission" without any additional links to information from Dell I have to ask: what's with the topic subject? The submission content looks more like like Dell's just no longer allowing computers to be ordered with no operating systems whatsoever, not just specifically Microsoft OS's.

What to make of this? (1)

tempestdata (457317) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046229)

On the one hand, you could argue that this is nothing more than one company offering a deal to the other. They are selling their product on their terms. How is that wrong? "I have product A, if you want to use product A, here are my terms. You are free to not accept the terms and not use product A".

On the other hand, everyone just knows that a company such as dell cannot sell its products without putting a Microsoft OS on it. (Well atleast not to the general public). The best course of action for them is to agree to Microsoft's terms, because if they want to stay in business, they really have no other choice.

Where this hurts consumers is, that they _HAVE_ to pay for a Microsoft OS whenever they buy hardware. I dont run windows anywhere anymore. I have 2 unused MS OS licenses for win95 and win98. I paid for that software and didn't even use it. Ofcourse, I just build my own systems now, so its not like I no longer have a choice.

What about companies then? At my old workplace we had several dell computers running linux and Solaris 8 (i386 version). I'm not sure if we had gotten windoes preinstalled on those systems, or not. But now we would've gotten it for sure. My company would have been forced to pay for something it didn't use.

Thats not in the consumers best interest...

Why hasn't anyone mentioned... (2)

handsomepete (561396) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046233)

FYI - this effects all of our competitors as well.

Can anyone confirm this? Making cries of "I'm not going to buy a Dell now" are silly unless you're willing to expand your list to (probably) Gateway, Compaq, HP, E-machines(are they a competitor?) if this is actually the case.

Opt out (2, Interesting)

nornbasher (266750) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046235)

But surely I must be able to legally opt out of the EULA by returning the sealed agreement.

If there is a license agreement then there MUST be an opt-out mechanism of some sort.

Or would you have to return the whole computer !

I imagine if 1% of slashdot readers bought a Dell (or other brand) read and refused the terms in the EULA and asked to return the machine/software Dell and others would get the point and force the issue with MS

m$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046236)

I just stick with building my own PCs. So far, I've never actually had to purchase a Microsoft OS.

Hmm, easily worked around. (1)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046239)

Just offer a copy of Linux for the ultra low price of $1, stipulate the product comes with no support what-so-ever and voila, problem solved. Of course, MS would probably hit them back hard for doing something like that.

Funny Thing... (1)

mprinkey (1434) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046240)

I opened this page and I got a Microsoft .NET ad in the middle of the story. I think Slashdot needs some psychotherapy...it is a touch schitzo.

Fact-checking, anyone? (4, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046242)

Somebody with a hotmail account sent the slashdot editors an e-mail, claiming it was forwarded from Dell. Then they proceed to immediately put it on their front page. I suppose next they will post the one about how Mel Gibson once had plastic surgery to fix his broken & scarred face. Or maybe that a little boy who is dying of cancer wants to set the world record for getting the most post cards.

Even if this is legit, is it really that big of a deal? Most Linux users know enough to ignore the "Dude, you're gettin' a Dell" dude, and build their own systems anyway.

Why does buying a new computer... (2)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046243)

Why does buying a new computer mandate that you've got to license a new product from microsoft?

If I've already got a windows machine, in theory, why can't I just install the same OS license on the new box and throw away the old one? (I know, scary, but it's what most people do).

Seems like extortion and product bundling to me. It's like mandating that every time boeing sells a plane, they bundle 500 million gallons of jet fuel and charges an extra 15%, even though most airports just don't need that surplus.

Hmm Which is Better? (1)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046244)

To make a long story short... I am getting a Dell laptop to replace my workstation where I work. It comes with Win XP Pro preinstalled. Seeing as I have Slackware 8.1 on my workstation right now... I'm left wondering... should I format the dell, or just dual boot linux, and never use windows. Here's the burning question... which would be better? (Wiping the MS OS and never using it, or keeping it installed, no noone else can use it, and never use it.) ...

Seeing as it's already been paid for... probably a moot point. Should show this link to the folks who make the decisions where I work...

fork the production line (1)

dotslashdotdot (514391) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046245)

This only applies to some models.


Why do I not believe you? (2, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046249)

Between the way various article postings lately are all but Slashddot-sanctioned trolls (EU-only internet, anyone?), the fact that I don't think even Microsoft is so stupid as to try something like that when Judge Kolar-Kotelly hasn't signed off on anything one way or the other (Ballmer wouldn't want to find himself in a cell for contempt of court), and the story comes from "some sysadmin" whose "e-mail address" is in the Hotmail domain...

Well, let's just say I'll believe this story once it's verified by a third party.

The new "Urban PC: Nigga with a Giga" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046251)

It's all part of Dell's hip new marketing plan to reach the "inner city."

Coming soon: "Heeb with a USB," "Spic with a RISC," and "Fag with an Asset Tag."

Dell systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046253)

They even go as far as to tell you what version on the Windoz system you can have on what model.... (system A can only come with X.P. etc.....) not good.

i thought they already didn't offer a no os option (1)

bmwm3nut (556681) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046254)

earlier this summer i tried to order a latitude without any operating system and everyone at dell said that i couldn't do that. so i decided not to get a new computer. is the announcement located on dell's webpage so that i can tell the operator if they're stopping 'no os' options by september 1, then there must be a 'no os' option now.

oh come on (1)

jiminy (588565) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046255)

yeah, i know it's a pain in the a$$ but c'mon you know you were just gonna format and repartition it anyway....

Editors, Put Up or Shut UP (1)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046262)

Every time slashdot editors posts another MS story implicating that Microsoft is so evil, I wonder if they realize what two-faced they are.

I believe the editors run Windows, if only to play games. And what are those big ads i see here, Microsoft .Net Ads! So these guys love to whine on and on how Microsoft is killing competition, defrauding the public, causing global warming, but love to patronize them and take in their ad money!

If you believe Microsoft is so bad, why don't you stop contributing to their bottom line? It may not be easy to stop playing windows games, but you have other options. Or stop accepting money to run ads on your own site from that Evil Empire, the Borg. It may not be easy, but life is not easy. Grow a backbone and take a goddamn stand.

If you can't do that, then you guys are nothing but weak hypocrites.

Dude, you're getting a dell! (2)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046269)

(marked up 200 dollars because of windows XP installation - sorry :()

This might explain why... (1)

JSCarr (312656) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046273)

...all of my attempts to purchase a Dell laptop last week with Linux preinstalled were met with blank stares and head scratching. Oh, well. There are at least five salespeople at Dell who now know that at least one person out there would prefer not to pay for a Microsoft OS.

What's even worse: (1)

dbCooper0 (398528) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046279)

The option for WinXP or Win2k are slimming (we didn't see that coming?) and it's even harder to buy a machine, IMHO.

While trying to research what was available for a neighbor ready to buy a new system, I made a call to Dell with a question. The salesperson insisted that I create an account just to ask if a certain Dimension series used a friggin' FlexATX MoBo.

I was incensed by the attitude. My neighbor and I tried the website...but specs weren't available. She bought one anyway, the next day. Her sales rep worked diligently to sell her everything he could to inflate her budget by about 25%.

I'm about to go back to building boxes. Dammit.

I'd just like to point out... (2)

MattW (97290) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046280)

That a Dell PC would cost you a truckload of money more than one from Wal-Mart anyhow, so go buy your OSless PC there. And be sure to let your relatives and such know where they can get non-MS PCs when they think of buying.

And I just bought one... (1)

mlrtime (520968) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046285)

Actually their Dimension 8500 series are not all bad, they are pretty cheap.

I had to buy one because my sister is going to college. Before everyone flames me for not building one, I have done this before, and its not worth the time/effort supporting it in the future. I might have saved a whole $50 by building one.

I use Linux at home of course, but I don't think my sister would be able to figure it out.

What do you want Dell to do? Go up head to head against M$?


F$^% Microsoft!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046293)

For this, today i will go out and buy 100 CDR's and make ILLEGAL copies of WINDOWS XP and hand them out for FREE!!!

I suggest everyone does the same, we'll call it economic terrorism, and then they will get congress to put big brother in all our computers and houses and cd-r drives to check what we do 24/7 to fight this evil 'terrorism'


DELL is now a part off MS body (1)

dmnss (572230) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046295)

Will die, like Netscape, Lotus, etc... that in the past was great partners from MS.

An interesting link on microsofts'website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#4046297)

http://www.microsoft.com/education/?id=DonatedComp uters

This is a good example about computers and no os. According to Microsoft, and so far Microsoft only, it a legal requirement to transfer a computer with it original OS. Now this is in regards to transferring, and they might be pushing this so called legal requirement to have an affect on OEM computer manufacturers to include their OS on the computers as well.

In any case, just build your computers from scratch, and install what you want. If I can make a modification to something I buy, then why make it accessible to begin with?

Two licenses's... (2)

edgrale (216858) | more than 12 years ago | (#4046301)

Okay, so let's say I've bought 20-30 licenses for Windows 2000. So far each computer I've ordered from Dell has been w/o a license.

Now then, I order another 30 licenses for Windows 2000 because Microsoft has decided to dump the sale of W2K. Do I get my money back from Microsoft after I get a new license from Dell with the new computers?
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