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Want FreeDOS on your brand new laptop?

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?

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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46 Responses

  1. I’d go with DOS over OEM installed OS’s. Although sometimes that’s a boon (as is the case with Xandros on the EEE since it’s tailored specifically for the EEE line… drivers in particular), I’m sure everyone will be happy to NOT have crapware on their brand new PCs.

    Norton AV trials… Office 2k+ trials…. Adobe Reader -> kill it with fireee!!!!

    The downside? Netbooks. Not everyone has the knowhow to install OSs from sticks

  2. daddy joey says:

    you’d save roughly around 3.5k if you’re going to purchase a notebook without an OS.

  3. Gary says:

    I got my MSI Wind12 U210x installed with FreeDOS and had Windows 7 RC installed for the mean time until I have the money to get the legit Windows 7 Starter or maybe even Home Basic or Premium.

    I think it’s ok they include FreeDOS or Linux so that they can get the laptop cheaper than with an OS installed. If I’m not mistaken, it’s cheaper if you buy separately the OS than having it pre-installed. What’s good is if your laptop dies (knock on wood.. hehe!) at least you’ll can install the same OS on another PC than getting the OEM version that tied up to your PC.

  4. Jerome says:

    For the tech savvy, I guess they can get this and just get their dose of OS (whether legit or pirated is another topic). For the regular customers, I guess they can get the ones that come with pre-installed OS’es.

    It all boils down on how much budget you’re willing to spend for the OS. Again legit or not, it’s still a matter of preference by the customers.

  5. LunaTech says:

    I think I will consider buying a laptop with freedos because it will drop the price and there’s also a new OS google Chrome. For netbooks buyers, it will be a bargain.
    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  6. roan carl says:

    I just bought windows 7 starter kit it works fine. but not much features as home basic though, but at least its original & it cost only 2.5k

  7. manonastreet says:

    As long as the laptop is cheaper, i’d go for freedos. But i notice many laptops sold in Cebu having no OS/Linux are a little inferior specwise than those that come with windows (especially Vista) only. While I want the specs, I don’t want the vista and they don’t give you that option.

  8. brent says:

    “I have dozens of legit Ubuntu, XP, Vista and Windows 7 licences lying around to use anytime.”

    Sir yuga, can i have one evaluation copy lang gamit ko? hehe

  9. marvin says:

    windows 7 is better than vista. I like ubuntu linux cause it is virus free. I have never try freedos. However, it is okay to purchase laptop with freedos because that can be reformatted anytime. Cheers!

  10. Erin says:

    At this point in time, what can normal users (re:non-techie ones) do with FreeDos? Might as well load it up with a Linux variant or GoogleChrome so that the laptop will be useful at the get go.


  11. ed says:

    Maybe you can also include your windows 7 os on your gadgets giveaway abe. Im sure a lot of people will agree. :-)

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  12. Due to pressures in the part of manufacturers to stay competitive, they keep on finding ways to at least lower the prices of their laptops & netbooks. One way of doing it is to go for FreeDOS. This is actually good for us consumers because aside from these products being cheap, we have also flexibility to which OS we want to install. As they mentioned, Vista not good for netbooks and windows 7 is still expensive. So, some of us have the option of going back to XP which in most cases we already had a copy. But what about those who got counterfeited copies of OS like windows 7? Are they giving more chances to those Guys to install counterfeited OS? But of course we never recommend counterfeited products in general because it’s illegal.

  13. erikjames says:

    oem’s are good because it’s already package deal… drivers already included, the ones really needed by your laptop for it to run smoothly… unlike buying laptops w/out an operating system… if you want to remove unwanted trial version softwares quickly, google the tool “decrapifier”… it will only take minutes to uninstall everything in just a click. separate copies of operating system when installed to your laptop (i guess the retail version), sometimes create problems… i know you can download the drivers online but is it really the right drivers for your laptop? think again… preinstalled operating system is better… i have my own laptop that’s why i know, i’ve been experimenting on it since i bought it… so keep your recovery discs, just in case… it has the right operating system and drivers for your laptop in it…

  14. chris says:

    not but if get cheaper laptop and install my preferred OS.

    @andrew mercado not just counterfeited OS is illegal but security issue as well. I’ve tried using counterfeited before but I noticed that it is more vulnerable to viruses even if I’m using a license Norton 360.

  15. Carl says:

    Ok lang meron namang Jolicloud OS eh..


  16. anonymous says:

    the ones selling FreeDos usually takes advantage in offering customers pirated winxp or win7 rc. in my opinion, brand new laptops should come with pre installed legit OS.. sa U.S. diba its required nga?

    -Sent via YugaTech Mobile App

  17. IC DeaDPiPoL says:

    Got a FreeDOS with a Compaq C793 and it was worthless considering you can only boot to a command prompt. It lacked even a simple modem driver (Winmodem go figure) much less any DOS app.

    Currently using Mint 8 and pissed off as to why Compaq support was so barren (got 1 CD filled with documentations only. No drivers, nor apps aside from the Windows based Acrobat AFAIk) With a GNU/Linux installed it would make a newly sold laptop useful compared to one running on FreeDOS.

  18. IC DeaDPiPoL says:

    Found this under wikipedia:

    The last piece of DOS based apps I used way back was Arachne running on an external US Robotics 33.6kbps with a pretty decent rendering engine for a DOS app, and DOSAmp for playing mp3 files.

  19. Vince says:

    I’ve been using UBUNTU for more than a year now.

    I believe UBUNTU is better than windows in lots of things. Virus free, totally free OS, lots of supports, etc..

    The only downside that I can see is that most independent softwares out there are designed for windows and not for linux, and the limitation of hard core window games.

    BUt I want to make this clear. Basically I can do all things in Ubuntu what I can do with Windows, minus webcam and audio chatting.

    I basically build two website using my laptop, using Ubuntu softwares. And so far, I never had a big problem. I only had minor trouble shooting which I believe is pretty normal for those tech savvy.

    If you are on a tight budget, I would highly recommend UBUNTU.

    Before I forget, UBUNTU is best especially if you have an internet connection.

  20. Jhay says:

    I really don’t know how to use DOS so when I got my first laptop, I bought a legit copy of Vista with it.

    In a few months, I expect to see new netbooks to come pre-installed with Chrome OS. :P

  21. Robin Lim says:

    It is a good option to have. You may want to install a different version of Windows from that which is being offered by the manufacturer or go the Linux route. The Free DOS options gives you a choice.

  22. Vance says:

    I think it is good for the laptop market. It bring the price down considerably.. You get more specs for lesser price…

  23. cornflakes says:

    I would rather choose Centos or Fedora. or even Debian.

    I went laptop hunting last week and I found out that most sub 40Thou laptops doesn’t have the OS with them. you have to add around 5K to get a Win 7 Homebasic OS.

    Well, I got fed up so I purchased a Macbook instead. =D

  24. marvin says:

    nice choice cornflakes

  25. For me, It does not matter with OS come with the laptop, since Ubuntu or FreeDOS will do, since we can always install our prefered OS later on. AS for me, this is the first time that I heard about FreeDOS, so if given the chance, I’ll try to explore this OS first then install Ubuntu later. :)


  26. Jazon says:

    I’d rather have freeDOS than Windows so that I don’t have to pay for M$ tax because I’ll install Linux anyway.

  27. Erin says:

    I think most are missing the point of the last question in the post. Any non-proprietary OS will give the benefit of a reduction in the total price. The question is more of is FreeDOS beneficial as the starting operating system of a new laptop? If your answer is ‘yes because I’ll immediately install [insert another free OS] over it anyway’ means that getting FreeDOS is tantamount to not getting any OS is just pure marketing BS. Not all users are techie enough to install a new OS. My wife, my parents, heck even half of my friends wouldn’t know.


  28. RJ says:

    Sana nag-effort man lang sila na iinstall yung Ubuntu since it is FREE! Hayz, marketing strategy nga naman, they would put something unusable (FreeDOS) para maibenta nila yung OS (XP, Vista, Windows 7, etc.).. Kawawa yung mga hindi techie kasi maiisip nila no choice sila when in fact, MERON! :(

  29. simplynice93 says:

    FreeDOS is ok for us (techs) since we can install any OS we want (Win XP/Win 7/Linux). It’s good that some shops give us this affordable alternatives.

  30. jojo says:

    i agree with Erin. not all potential laptop buyers are techie enough to install an OS. i guess some of their basic concerns are the presence of MS office for basic word processing, spreedsheet and the like; an app for video viewing, an app for sound-tripping; and of course surfing the net and chatting. and just like what RJ said there are free OS available so why not install them, and there are also open sourced MS office equivalent(i guess it’s OPENOFFICE) which they may install just to lessen the price and sweeten the deal to potential buyers.

  31. Calvin says:

    same with carl. i’d go for jolicloud if there’s no pre-installed OS on my low-end netbook.

  32. tetchie says:

    Just like regular customers with limited knowledge on computers, I’d go for pre-installed OS even if it will cost a little more. I even look for a laptop with easy recovery option.

  33. Selboy says:

    i don’t know all these OS. What I know is MSDOS and pirated Windows XP. lol

  34. erikjames says:

    every time you buy a new laptop w/ legit preinstalled OS, it also comes with recovery discs, usually 2 dvd’s. keep them just in case you messed up or want to re-format your laptop, and because it has the right OS and complete drivers for your laptop. worry free.

  35. vance says:

    I like the idea of having free dos on the market, it lower down the cost of the system but as you have said they could use free linux distro instead.

    One downside of having free os is that you can’t test the system functionality unless you bring it home and install an OS.

  36. IC DeaDPiPoL says:

    The problem with FreeDOS is it isn’t useful in a sense a newly bought laptop that can connect to the net or write documents already.

    Replace FreeDOS with GNU/Linux (recommending LinuxMint or Ubuntu) or the upcoming Chrome OS would make it a lot more useful than getting a DOS prompt with not even a simple browser.

    Recovery discs isn’t the way to go since despite having compatible drivers pre-installed in the image, they also carry a lot of bloat. Better still to just take time installing an OS from the start, adding the drivers and basic apps then finally imaging the OS partition to be stored as your custom recovery discs.

  37. atom says:

    i have been using Ubuntu and Mint for quite sometime now (siguro mga 3 years na), naabutan ko na yung release na wala pang mobile internet then hanggang sa nagkaroon. the linux os works fine at nasanay na din akong mawalay sa Windows except nung nagbalik Ragnarok ako na naginstall ako ng WIne to run the program ;) try ko itong freeDOS

  38. DevD says:

    What would be the price of a new core i5/i7 laptop with FreeDos?

  39. Eiji says:

    ,im planning to buy a new laptop, what do you guys think freeDOS or w/OS na? Kung freeDOS where can I buy a legit o original copy ng Ubunda at Linux? Then if I choose freeDOS do I need to buy ba a CD ng drivers ng laptop?

  40. Eiji says:

    ,”Ubuntu” hehe..^ ^

  41. Eiji says:

    ,bkt ang mura ng msi i7 s asianic? P10,900? Bkt bkt bkt?very very confused?

  42. idiotme says:

    @Eiji baka down payment lang yun hihihihi

  43. Herb Asay says:

    What an epic put up – in reality vital! A improbable deal appreciated!

  44. Diezuhl says:

    I’d prefer FreeDOS over a preloaded Windblows on a new laptop. Linux has always been my go-to OS and I’ve already moved on from Ubuntu as it’s too bloated and I hated Unity. Try PCLinuxOS and you’ll see the difference. You can download the full-blown KDE’s or XFCE’s but for those experienced users you can download mini versions and add your own applications that are all available on Synaptic.

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