I had previously reported that the Globalisation Institute in a report they made to the European Union last week, had recommended that the lack of choice for a operating system was keeping Microsoft in a monopolistic situation, and that computers should be sold with no operating system. When one thinks about this recommendation, it gives rise to other questions as well. How did it become standard practice through out the industry that almost all computers now come with Windows installed? Is there some kind of a rule, ordinance, statue, law or other legal standing that has fused Windows to the PC?

If one wants to purchase a PC without a operating system, you have limited abilities to do so. You can either build your own computer, which most people do not have the techno savey to do, or have a custom system built for you without a operating system. Recently Dell has begun to offer Linux based systems, but this is also limited to a single distribution of Ubuntu. Dell had previously offered what are called ‘white boxes’, computers without an operating system, but that practice has stopped for some unknown reason.

Rumors have been circulated that Microsoft has forced deals upon the OEM’s which may have prevented companies from previously selling computers with no OS. The MS fear seems to be that a computer with no OS promotes piracy. Whether or not this is true, one could conclude that it is strange that up until recently, Windows was the only option available when purchasing a PC and it is almost impossible to purchase a OEM computer without an OS.

But what about consumer choice? Shouldn’t we the consumer have the option to buy a PC with no OS? If I have a legal copy of Windows XP, shouldn’t I be allowed to install it on a new computer system without having to pay for a preinstalled copy of Vista?

What do you think? Should OEM’s be offering computers with no OS?

Comments welcome.

[tags]microsoft, windows, operating system, none, oem’s, linux, ubuntu,[/tags]