Dell open source computer costs more than with Vista?!

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

Derek Buranen points this out on his blog, and I’ve done the math too and come up with the same results: Dell wants $53 more for a computer with no operating system than one with Vista.

Check for yourself: Dell’s D420N without an operating system: $1,252.

An identical machine with Vista: $1,199.

(Sorry I can’t fit the whole print summary in the screenshot.) You go through it and see if you can figure out why it costs more. Both are

  • Intel® Core™ Duo Processor ULV U2400 (1.06GHZ, 533Mhz)
  • 512MB, DDR2-533 SDRAM, 1 DIMM Integrated
  • 30GB Hard Drive, 8MM, 4200RPM
  • D-Bay plus 24X CD-ROM Drive
  • Intel® Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (check the print summary to find this)
  • Dell Wireless™ 1390 802.11g Mini Card

Even the displays are the same size, and the same resolution: WXGA 12.1-inch. With the exception of a “resource CD” — which I really doubt is worth $53 — I can’t find the difference. So that $53 markup is infurating. I’m almost insulted that Dell thinks open-source customers are that dumb.

Now if you’re really thinking about an OS-less computer, let me also give you a push in the right direction: System76.

P.S.: While you’re at it, digg it.


6 thoughts on “Dell open source computer costs more than with Vista?!

  1. Pingback: Dumb/Funny things on the Net « Momes

  2. K.Mandla Post author

    😀 Hey, you deserved it. And don’t let the Windows fanboys get you down. You found something newsworthy that just points out the cracks in the system. If they’re giving you a hard time for pointing it out, it just means they’re embarrassed by it.

    Welcome to the big time! :mrgreen:

  3. Paul Bersch

    I don’t know if this applies to this particular example, but computer manufacturers like Dell are often paid incentives to include preinstalled software on their computers (things like browser toolbars, trial versions of software, etc). These incentives are one of the ways Dell makes money even after selling computers with such low margins.

    Of course, you can’t install these programs if you don’t have Windows, so no Windows, no preinstalled software subsidies. Your screenshot lists XP Home SP2 as the OS, not Vista, but I imagine that an OEM like Dell gets a basic version of Windows (even Vista) cheap enough that the incentives may actually add up to more than the cost of Windows. To keep in the black, they have to charge the consumer the difference.

    This is another reason why OEMs are so reluctant to offer Linux or sell barebones systems.


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