Lately, I’ve been observing that a lot of brand new laptops being sold in stores don’t have a proper operating pre-installed. Most of the time, you’d see FreeDOS on the specs sheet along with the uber-cheap price tag.
You don’t even see Linux or Ubuntu being offered considering that they’re also free and they’re a fully functional OS already. Last time I remember, only Xandros was really the only one marketed before during the first years of the Asus EeePC.
I guess, because of competition between local laptop brands and the international brands as well as the popularity of low cost netbooks, there’s pressure to get the prices of regular laptops down.
- Ubuntu is technically an option but would be hard to sell to regular folks. FreeDOS is easier — they can always offer the Release Candidate of Windows 7 for free and buyers would think they’ve got a bargain.
- Windows Vista doesn’t perform well on low-end laptops so the additional cost of pre-installing the OS does not add value to the package.
- With Windows 7 formally introduced to the public, the cost contribution of the OS to the whole laptop’s price has gone up from around 15% to as much as 25%. By excluding the OS, a lot of buyers will think the unit is cheap and that eventually encourages them to buy.
- A huge percentage of the buying population still go for bootleg copies of their favorite OS. I think more people would buy Macbooks if they were priced 20% lower and had no OS pre-installed. A number of them would just get the Php100 copy of Snow Leopard in Greenhills.
Personally, I’d go for FreeDOS whenever I buy a unit. I have dozens of legit Ubuntu, XP, Vista and Windows 7 licences lying around to use anytime. So, what do you think — is FreeDOS good or bad for the buying market?