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.