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Dell Offers FreeDOS With New PCs

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the on-again-off-again-baker's-man dept.

Businesses 488

Zed writes "Showing a distancing of itself from Microsoft, Dell now offers businesses a chance to purchase computers without a Windows operating system. The N-Series computers start at $319 from Dell's website and ship with a FreeDOS CD in the box."

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488 comments

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IN SOVIET RUSSIA, BREATHING THINKS ABOUT YOU. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095462)

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING

Yes that's right, THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING. Why you might ask? Well it's simple!

Your brain usually takes care of breathing FOR you, but whenever you remember this, YOU MUST MANUALLY BREATH! If you don't you will DIE.

There are also MANY variations of this. For example, think about:

  1. BLINKING!

  1. SWALLOWING SALIVA!

  1. HOW YOUR FEET FEEL IN YOUR SOCKS!



In conclusion, the THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING troll is simply unbeatable. These 4 words can be thrown randomly into article text trolls, into sigs, into anything, and once seen, WILL FORCE THE VICTIM TO TAKE CARE OF HIS BREATHING MANUALLY! This goes far beyond the simple annoying or insulting trolls of yesteryear.

In fact, by EVEN RESPONDING to this troll, you are proving that IT HAS CLAIMED ANOTHER VICTIM -- YOU!

Is this new? (4, Insightful)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095463)

I may be wrong, but didn't they start this a long time ago?

Re:Is this new? (5, Informative)

SubTexel (715118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095489)

Nope, you are right. They have been doing this for quite some time, they also offer Linux as an alternative as well.

Re:Is this new? (5, Informative)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095497)

Yep, back in 2002...

http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=1534

Re:Is this new? (5, Interesting)

jlevitsk (198160) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095505)

I thought so too. I just bought one of these. Came in 5 days from when I ordered it too. Very spiffy and then I threw Debian on it.

Re:Is this new? (5, Interesting)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095688)

I just found out about this a few weeks ago, it changed my plans of rebuilding my current box; for 319$ (or a little more) I can have a ~2.6Gig box with those nice/quiet Dell cases. The fact that I don't have to buy MS on it turned me around, it'll be our new main workstation running Gentoo Linux.

Next I'll think about replacing my server! At ~300$ I can't afford not to upgrade!

CB

Hmm (5, Funny)

pyite (140350) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095467)

Because 8 bits are better than none?

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095640)

If Dell is offering them, why is there no navigation available on the Dell.com site?

Dell doesnt want people to know about it?

Almost First Post (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095473)

While this may be a bit off topic, why does all DOS OS's run only on the PC? I would burn old women to have DOS on say a sparcstation 5.

Off topic? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095753)

Burning old women is never off topic. It's a necessary part of God's plan. Circle of life and stuff.

batman (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095485)

Hello. Did you know Asimov touched my junk liberally? She strapped me in to Stile's Stileproject.com and couldn't keep her offensive pornographic material away from me. This bitch disgusts me with her red flag touches. I couldn't believe she hungers for sex and masturbates and in general the city would not approve of a lascivious whore broadcasting such smut to underage kids for free. She learned all this shit in #anarchism. Thank you for reading this.

I for one (2, Interesting)

iswm (727826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095487)

Am glad someone made the move.

FreeDOS (2, Interesting)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095488)

OK, what can I do with it??

Re:FreeDOS (4, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095573)

"OK, what can I do with it??"

You can operate your disc system. Duh.

Re:FreeDOS (1)

fred911 (83970) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095638)

How about putting the OS you purchased a license to use on your old boxen, that's not currently being used?

Re:FreeDOS (1)

Tandoori Haggis (662404) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095706)

Block your own server?

FreeDOS? (3, Funny)

placeclicker (709182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095500)

What kind of home user uses a command line only OS?

Re:FreeDOS? (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095532)

The idea is that it is "Free", and probably doesn't violate some obscure Agreement Microsoft made Dell agree to, to not sell Linux or such, to be able to sell Windows at all.

Re:FreeDOS? (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095600)

Dell still sells Linux on certain models as far as I can tell. THe key here is that we're talking about a sub-$400 commodity PC, and Dell can inprove their position on the slim margin on these machines by cutting out Microsoft.

An agreement not to sell systems with Linux would constitute a level of Anti-Trust that I doubt even Microsoft could defend, when prosecuted.

Re:FreeDOS? (4, Insightful)

Via_Patrino (702161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095677)

Another probably answer of why they don't, sell with Linux but with FreeDOS is that they need to offer little support or none at all.
If you sell a computer with a software you need to support both, and supporting FreeDOS is much easier than Linux

Re:FreeDOS? (1)

Pikhq (728580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095581)

Me. (Working on Debian/FreeDOS dualboot)

Re:FreeDOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095598)

But did you buy your computer from DELL? :)

Re:FreeDOS? (5, Funny)

arrow (9545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095628)

What kind of home user uses a command line only OS?

Now THAT is a stupid question to ask on slashdot.

Re:FreeDOS? (1)

placeclicker (709182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095657)

I don't think the majority of slashdot buys computers from dell.

Plus im thinking home user = windows user (most often)

Re:FreeDOS? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095654)

Actually, there are plenty of decent GUIs for DOS. I would say that some of them work better than X11, especially on the hardware they were designed for. But of course, all that is out of date now. On antiquated PC hardware, DOS performs better than a Real OS. On Real hardware, Real OSes work better. So the only good I see here is avoiding MicroSoft tax.

IMO, This is great (5, Interesting)

HappyCitizen (742844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095501)

Its good to see at least one PC Retailer distancing itself from Microsoft. I thought that I read somewhere that Microsoft will not allow you to distrubute windows if you distrubute another non-microsoft OS as an option. Maybe it was just Linux. That connects with my second question:
Why FreeDos Opposed to Linux?
If its because of some MS rules, then I understand. If not, they should include more options.

Eather way, they are allowing an OSS OS to be bundled. GOOD LUCK TO DELL!

Element Computer (5, Informative)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095544)

They're not exactly Dell (referring to the size, not the quality), but Element Computer [elementcomputer.com] has a strict no-Microsoft policy to avoid paying expensive licensing fees to Microsoft. All the computers they sell run Lycoris Desktop/LX (a Linux distribution). They've got some pretty nice computers for the price... now if only I wasn't so cheap...

Re:Element Computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095713)

Not exactly Dell is an understatement. I've looked at their computers. Overpriced for less features. Should I pay more out of my pocket so that Microsoft doesn't get a small cut?

Maybe I'll waste money on ridiculous solar panels, including taxpayer subsidies, so that I can say that I'm green, and poorer for it.

While I'd never buy a Dell thanks to their bios and licensing stunts [cypherpunks.ca] , I wouldn't waste money on an Element computer either. I'll find another computer at a lower price than Element, with better hardware features including larger screen, better resolution, more memory, larger hard drive, which includes Windows, at a lower price, then wipe windows and install Linux. At least until Dell and other major manufacturers stop their games and offer a windows delete credit that isn't a joke.

Element may have great Linux computers, but I'm not paying a premium for inferior "options".

Why not Linux (5, Insightful)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095562)

Why FreeDos Opposed to Linux?
Simple. Every linux distibution is readily available, and attracts zealots. Why offend them thorugh favouritism?

Re:Why not Linux (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095674)

I think the answer may be even simpler than that.

In one word, "Support"

It's a lot easier (i.e. cheaper) to support FreeDOS than linux. You are still free to wipe the drive and install your OS of choice. ...I'm pretty sure that's what they expect you to do anyway. ...but this way, Dell doesn't get stuck supporting anything more complicated than FreeDOS on it's low end PC's.

Re:IMO, This is great (4, Informative)

piznut (553799) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095603)

Supposedly, you can get linux pre-installed. My assumption is that it will cost extra since it is Redhat Enterprise WS.

Their website seems pretty light on the details about linux but this page [dell.com] tells you what systems it is available for. Then again, anyone who actually wants linux on a desktop machine probably knows how to obtain and install their favorite distro anyway.

Re:IMO, This is great (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095629)

I think they got bitch-slapped in court over those deals forbidding competing software/OS's

Re:IMO, This is great (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095684)

Because FreeDos requires zero setup, configuration, or implied promise of driver support. It would be very unlikely that someone could come up with a support call resulting from shipping with FreeDos but very likely that one might result with the inclusion of a Linux distro. There isn't any margin in a $300 PC for support.

Re:IMO, This is great (2, Informative)

queen of everything (695105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095725)

Wal-Mart has had a cheap workstation for sometime that you can purchase without an OS, or get it with Lindows (I think). They aren't available in stores, only on their website, but its good that there are options out there.

It'd make a great little server to play with

Free Denial Of Service attack? (0, Funny)

(1337) God (653941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095502)

Hmmm, so you get it home, set it up, get online, then tell 'em "OK I'm ready" and then they packet jam the heck out of you?

Sounds kinda kinky ;-)

feel like losing data? (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095508)

I swear I've never had a freedos installation actually work for more than 5 reboots. Its kinda sad :(.

Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095511)

Why don't they sell linux? They would have a little bit more profit that way.

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095565)

They tried it in the past. There's no big conspiracy linking them to MS, that's just what 99+% of the people who buy Dells want.

Re:Linux (2, Troll)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095650)

I think he means "as opposed to FreeDOS which no one's heard of".

Maybe they figured that Linux folks could install Linux themselves and this way they aren't putting themselves at risk in case SCO wins their lawsuit. (Which is a very small risk, but maybe Dell doesn't see it that way.)

Plus, Microsoft *really* hates Linux. I still have some friends who work there ( I used to work there at one time), and they all say that the culture within the company is just an absolute hatred for Linux.

A few thoughts on the jihad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095520)

Ever notice the "beat the rush and see it early" link at the top of slashdot when a new story is about to come out?

Sounds good, doesn't it? To be able to view the pages linked to in the article before the tens of thousands of other slashbots click to view them.

Did it ever occur to you that you're taking part in cyber-terrorism?

That's right: Slashdot's editors are cyber-terrorists. They coordinate a DOS against small websites, and they attempt to collect moeny from people who wish to be spared the effects fo said DOS. Terrorism, plain and simple.

You can fight this and other crimes by slashdot's editors by joining anti-slash [anti-slash.org] . Anti-slash is committed to forcing the editors to own up to their numerous crimes against the geek community. Until our demands are met, we will relentlessly discredit them as a news service through trolling and other means.

Also, props to poopbot and the alan thicke troll. We remember your accomplishments.

In sacred jihad,

jihadi_31337

So... (1)

SilentT (742071) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095522)

Why exactly would anyone pick this Free-DOS thing over Linux?

Re:So... (5, Insightful)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095556)

I think they are trying to avoid parts of their OEM agreement with Microsoft that bars them from shipping PCs without and OS, and FreeDOS is more neutral than picking a linux distro to ship with it.

Re:So... (2, Informative)

FreakWent (627155) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095566)

to run freesco from the HDD you need a booting fat32, free dos is nice and easy...

This doesn't explain why you'd buy it with a brand new Dell though.

Re:So... (0)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095575)

It runs DOS games (Syndicate, Raptor, etc.) faster than any emulator under Linux, for one... I guess that's about it, though =)

And yes, I've tried DOSBox. It's quite slow for protected-mode games. I'm sure it will get better. This post isn't terribly serious.

Yes but... (1, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095529)

Yes but what can you honestly do with FreeDOS? I assume that FreeDOS is similar to MSDOS. Even if someone gave me MSDOS today I wouldn't want to run it. Unless you're buying the value PC for paying abandonware or really old PC games that you own, I am not sure how useful the setup would be. What is the point of giving people FreeDOS when you can just as easily give them Linux?

Re:Yes but... (0)

dan2550 (663103) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095591)

dont quote me on this but i think it is like windows 3.11. theres still a 'dos' backbone but a gui will let you run (slightly) newer games.

Re:Yes but... (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095592)

Unless you're buying the value PC for paying abandonware or really old PC games that you own,

Actually, I'm half tempted to do just that. (Well, I'm unlikely to buy one from Dell, but several times recently I've considered putting together a DOS system for the express purpose of playing games.) DOSemu, the last few times I've tried it, has always been difficult to get working, and never works well.

My biggest issue is finding space for another computer. My house is crowded enough as it is.

Re:Yes but... (1)

beaverbrother (586749) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095597)

Dell was told in their license agreement with Microsoft that they had to ship it with a DOS opperating system. This was their get-around.

Re:Yes but... (1)

amokk (465630) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095718)

Hmm, a Disk Operating System Operating System?

I must have fallen behind

Re:Yes but... (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095722)

Well that lets out XP, and since MS doesn't make DOS based OS's anymore, well I guess this was Dells only choice. I understand now.

Re:Yes but... (2, Insightful)

amokk (465630) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095605)

Well, you can always buy this PC for dirt cheap and then install a unlicensed version of Windows on it...

Re:Yes but... (5, Insightful)

InodoroPereyra (514794) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095610)

Yes but what can you honestly do with FreeDOS?

Not much, but it doesn't really matter. Dell is sending a message to Redmond, wait a couple weeks until they get a new deal with M$ ... everyone is doing this very same little trick these days, and I guess freedos is easier to support than linux for Dell while the negotiations take place ...

Re:Yes but... (4, Interesting)

retro128 (318602) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095631)

I think the idea is so you don't have to pay the "Microsoft Tax". They're not putting Linux on because they're not prepared to support it.

So you can put on whatever OS you want and Dell doesn't owe you software support. Obviously, this deal is designed to appeal to geeks who want cheap systems.

Re:Yes but... (1)

_Sexy_Pants_ (703751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095653)

While I wish such an abandonware machine would work, the easiest way is just to buy an old computer for them, that way you won't have to wrestle with the hardware. I've tried... Oh how I've tried

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095698)

It's not that they expect anyone to USE it! It's just a way to not pay Microsoft, and for Dell to not piss off Microsoft by shipping linux.

It's obvious that they expect YOU to install linux, but this way they don't have to support you.

WinModem (1)

bstadil (7110) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095701)

Yes but what can you honestly do with FreeDOS?

Most likely doesn't even support the WinModem this POS box more than likely comes equiped with. ;-)

Re:Yes but... (3, Interesting)

Orien (720204) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095776)

That is a question that a lot of people are going to ask. The answer is, if you are asking that question then it is obviously not for you, but belive it or not there is acually a lot of uses for it, it's just a niche market that isn't going to be for the masses. It definatly is a great project though.

There is a lot of old DOS software that is still in use by people with old hardware that don't want to upgrade. Such as small businesses that can't afford consultants that still use the same Point of Sale equipment they bought 10 years ago. They can't afford an IT guy, let alone one that can set up a Linux system for them, and a new system would cost way too much. If their computer dies and they don't have the DOS disk anymore they can use FreeDos to install on another computer, or buy a Dell preloaded with it.

Another example are non-profit organizations such as churches, that also don't have money to spend on technology consultants and still try to use the software they already have. In fact I just spent Saturday morning at my church working on a DOS machine. They have a geneology library that is open to the community to come and do family history with, and they use old DOS software for it. Someone donated a 486 to them and I set it up so they could use their existing software. That one already had DOS, but if they get a computer in without an OS, or if I have to replace a harddrive, FreeDos will be the first thing I try.

Also on the freedos site they mention that freedos is used a lot by hardware manufactuers who need to make a bootable floppy do things like flash rom for bios updates and such.

Inquiring minds want to know (5, Funny)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095531)

Do they at least still ship with the spyware? If there aren't 78 desktop shortcuts pre-installed, it's not a Dell!

They've announced this before (1)

debilo (612116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095533)

Check out this article [com.com] , it's from August 2002.

I wonder what was holding them back.

This is news? (5, Informative)

Orien (720204) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095539)

I know this isn't exactly new info, but if you look at freedos.org [freedos.org] you will see that they have a news post about it. It has been available for a while now, but only in Canada. The news is that it is for US also now.

FreeDos is a cool project. You should check it out if you haven't yet.

A wake up call for Microsoft? (5, Informative)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095540)

Since Dell has half the market cap [yahoo.com] of IBM [yahoo.com] . which makes it a sizable company in its own right, Microsoft (granted, which still has a larger market cap than both combined [yahoo.com] ) should realise that two of the biggest computer makers are trying to distance themselves. If they weren't already afraid of the free movement (whether it be Linux or FreeDOS!) they should be paying a lot more attention very soon!

justice dept. (3, Interesting)

millette (56354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095541)

I wonder if it has anything with this January 16th document [usdoj.gov] ...

irony (0)

dan2550 (663103) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095542)

isn't ironic how a dell article can have a big hp ad (unless your a subscriber)

Re:irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095606)

i don't know. is it?

What is the point? (4, Insightful)

ryanmoffett (265601) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095546)

While it's nice to see that there is an option, this seems like an empty gesture. Not to knock the FreeDOS project, kudos to you, there are SO many better offerings out there that could be packaged. What are businesses or home users going to do with FreeDOS? If anything this comes across like a message that says, "Here's your other choice, it's not really an option at all, is it?"

Avoids double dipping (5, Insightful)

etymxris (121288) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095658)

I believe the point has been mentioned before in similar threads, but it bears repeating here.

Many businesses already have licenses for all the software that they run--either a seat for every user or a site-wide license. For such businesses, a PC that comes with Windows is just wasted money. It would make sense to try to wrestle a discount from Microsoft when such a situation occurs, but monopolies are not often sympathetic to such things.

Re:Avoids double dipping (3, Insightful)

captain_craptacular (580116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095702)

Actually most MS site liscences state that you MUST buy a copy of windows with each new PC. The Windows site liscence just covers upgrades...

off topic, but the 2 minute rule sucks.

Re:Avoids double dipping (3, Funny)

etymxris (121288) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095734)

The Windows site license just covers upgrades...

No problem, these customers will just be upgrading from DOS :)

Re:What is the point? (1, Insightful)

captain_craptacular (580116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095671)

The point is that you don't tack $189 worth of MS tax onto the price of your box when you're just going to format and install [insert favorite x86 compatible OS here].

Re:What is the point? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095705)

But if you package FreeDOS in the deal you know for certain that they wont use it so you will not get complains about it. If you distribute a Linux distribution with it than there is a small chance they will try it and complain about something not working correctly. complains cost Dell money so they wouldn't want that to happen

Wee! (4, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095554)

A small handful of people rejoice!!!

Re:Wee! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095676)

Think about it people, this is cool!
Get a cheaper computer, steal windows or run whatever your favorite os is, you're good to go and you've saved some money!

Dell Servers + Linux (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095557)

This isn't that new. When shopping for servers at Dell, you'll notice several OS options, including RedHat and "No OS." Granted, it's good to see a non-Microsoft for desktop machines.

It feels wrong. (1, Insightful)

beaverbrother (586749) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095558)

At least since OEM versions of windows for them probably barely cost anything. Its like having mcDonalds downgrade their free toy from a fun windup to to just a damn doll that doesn't do shit.

This is nice ... (0, Redundant)

tcgwebs (737923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095560)

This is nice, but why not just ship it with Linux? Any flavor would do. Or would that be a violation of the distribution agreement that they made with Microsoft? And who uses DOS of any kind these days anyway? Why not just ship it with no OS at all? If you know enough about computers to use DOS, you probably know enough to install an OS just as easily.

Re:This is nice ... (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095749)

Many large OEMs are in agreements that say that an OS has to be bundled, and it must not be Linux. For a while (AFAIK), HP was doing the same thing before they got their agreement changed.

More precisely (5, Informative)

ScottSpeaks! (707844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095564)

Here's a better link [dell.com] , from the FreeDOS.org site.

According to their news entries, this is new for US customers, but it's been available to Canadians for a while.

They will eventually run MSWindows (1)

Via_Patrino (702161) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095567)

I think that most of that computers will run MSWindows by companies that already have a windows license for their current computers and plan to trow their computers away.
I've seen that: a company bougth 50 computers that came with XP and installed W2K on it

Re:They will eventually run MSWindows (1)

RatBastard (949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095707)

An XP license allows you to run 2000. Hell, it's the only way to get new 2000 licenses. Nice way for MS to pad their sales numbers for XP licenses.

When Dell stops this, and... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8095570)


When Dell stops this [cypherpunks.ca] bullshit, and offers a windows delete credit across their entire product line (without invalidating warranties), then you will finally know that you aren't paying a full microsoft tax when you order a computer with Linux or some other operating system.

Re:When Dell stops this, and... (1)

dekashizl (663505) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095710)

That [cypherpunks.ca] "bullshit" link you posted contains a really interesting story from a few months ago called "Dude, you're getting screwed" about how Dell screws over the customer wrt license agreements and has no ability or understanding of what they are even asking their customers to agree to. Take 5 minutes and read it.

Uh (4, Insightful)

SinaSa (709393) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095571)

When I first read this article, I thought to myself "What use is FreeDOS to a current business user? Is this a flashback to 10 years ago, when DOS was still useful?"

Then it occured to me that obviously Dell is still just as scared of Microsoft as it was two years ago when they attempted to ship Linux. Microsoft doesn't care if Dell ships with an OS that isn't a threat really. They just don't want Linux in the mainstream.

Shame on you Dell!

Re:Uh (1)

Negative Response (650136) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095760)

Actually I don't have a problem with Dell not shipping with Linux installed... For one thing, which distro would it be? And think that even when we (a research lab) purchased their computers with Windows, first thing we do is wipe it out and do a clean, Dell stuff free reinstall anyway, since their pre-installed OS is always full of junk, and the partitioning did never really suit out needs.

As long as I can buy a PC without microsoft crap on it, and without paying microsoft anything (I doubt it), it's good enough for me.

Where's the beef? (1)

llamaluvr (575102) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095586)

Was anybody else totally unable to find the reference to FreeDOS from the supplied Dell link? Or am I just dumb?

I have no clue which computer is a "N-series"- all I see are dimensions, precisions, optiplexes, and the like.

And, for some reason, whenever I clicked on a PC's "Customize it" button, it just refeshed the page. Happened on Moz 1.5 and IE 6.

Yeah, I believe it, but it'd be cool to see it, too :-/ .

Re:Where's the beef? (1)

SamboMambo (628087) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095624)

ye, i couldnt find it either. whats with that!?

Re:Where's the beef? (1)

ilikecake (628235) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095687)

Same here. I'm glad it's not just me. I searched the Dell site for FreeDos and got eleven links to systems you couldn't get FreeDos on.

However, I did find that RedHat was available on the Precisions. Partial credit I suppose.

me too (1)

polished look 2 (662705) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095764)

oh well.

Required to have an OS (2, Informative)

ayeco (301053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095620)

They are required to provide an OS with the computer systems they sell. This is an OS, and saves the end user a buck or two. This is great.

Are they doing this for the pirateers out there? (4, Interesting)

hoasis69 (745617) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095622)

Could be a brilliant Dell ploy to sell more systems to pirateers of Windows OS's since they'll save a bit with a free OS.

perhaps a trend? (1)

changelingyahoo.com (543558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095627)

In fact they've also switched from Windows NT to Linux on the Server Assitant CD's they distribute with new servers in order to perform (mostly) unattended OS installs.

All DOS apps will be belonging to... VisualBasic! (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095633)

Dell *is not* distancing themselves from MS, just doing what all OEMs should, offing a wide variety of solutions. And really, FreeDOS? How is this huge ore even measurable? Are big companies still buying DOS machines? Not for long, because these same companies will soon migrate their old DOS apps to... VisualBasic (joke, sort of...)!

FreeDOS. (2, Funny)

Oliver Defacszio (550941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095645)

FreeDOS! Great! Now I can run Telix 3.15 on my new 7 Flabblehertz PC!

Back in the real world, FreeDOS is about as useful as a deep-freeze in the Arctic circle. Are people supposed to learn to install an OS on new computers? What is this, 1987?

What it really needs.... (1)

_Sexy_Pants_ (703751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095689)

is a souped up "Edit". Forget IDEs, it's all about multiple CMD Windows

Distancing Itself? (1)

thparker (717240) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095690)

I fail to see how adding some obscure OS option on one line of PCs is "distancing itself" when the most prominent boldface headline on its Browse Products page is Dell recommends Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP.

Gotta love that paragraph (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095712)

``DellTM DimensionTM 2400 n series1 desktops offer affordable, everyday small business computing power. Extra economical because they come without a Microsoft(R) operating system; a copy of FreeDOSTM open-source operating system is included in the box, ready to install.''

'nuff said.

Another good step (1)

alchemist0405 (697664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095721)

I saw Fry's Electronics doing something similar with ThizOS (I believe it was called). I didn't really know a whole lot about ThizOS, and I don't really know a lot about FreeDOS, but as long as I am not paying the Microsoft tax I say more power to them!

Consequently, you might want to take note that Fry's has since then begun taking their Linux desktops out of the stores. (According to a computer dept. manager) They claim that the mechines were too hard to support. I hope Dell isn't forced down that road.

why FreeDos! (1)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095728)

the whole reason why they are shipping FreeDOS instead of something like linux is because for Dell, customer support would be a nightmare, with FreeDOS, they don't need to worry about customer support as most people will just install windows anyways.

this is what i have read somewhere(/.?), a while back.

Perhaps this is good... (1)

xoran99 (745620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095740)

One can be certain that the newest round of Windows trojans would not affect this system... :P If I were not confident in my ability to assemble a machine myself, I would gladly buy this system. By now we know what to do with unwanted CDs *coughAOLcough*, and choice, any way it comes, is a Good Thing. Besides, I can get Windows through my university for very cheap :P

Proof (1)

Popageorgio (723756) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095742)

More proof that Dell is the smartest PC maker in the market. They just found a way to shave even more off their costs AND make the computer safer.

Sweet (1)

Unregistered (584479) | more than 10 years ago | (#8095746)

1. Buy computer with FreeDOS
2. Install warez windows xp
3. Profit!!

That's the whole point of this promotion. So people can use their wared copies of windows. I doubt it will help linux much.
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