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Dell unhooks Windows from desktops

Dell Computer is making Windows optional for some of its business desktops.

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.

And here's the real kicker!!!

    N-series PCs will cost the same as PCs that ship with Windows, a Dell representative said.
News source: CNet News.com
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