Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Dell To Offer Windows-Less PCs 588

An anonymous reader submits: "As a follow-up to the Slashdot story Dell No Longer Selling Systems w/o Microsoft OS, is reporting that Dell will sell systems without Windows. Microsoft's new licensing terms stipulate they can't sell PC's without an OS (hence the removal of the NoOS option), so Dell will be offering FreeDOS as an option for some computers. It will come with the computer, but not installed, so that users may install any other OS that they wish. It's a very creative interpretation of Microsoft's licensing terms, and one I imagine Microsoft didn't have in mind."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dell To Offer Windows-Less PCs

Comments Filter:
  • The obvious move (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msgmonkey ( 599753 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:10AM (#4069295)
    Who else could n't see this comming? Having said that I was expecting it to be some kind of Linux distro.
  • by siliconwafer ( 446697 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:12AM (#4069315)
    If they're going to offer the software, without it being installed, why FreeDOS and not Linux? Is anyone actually going to use FreeDOS?
  • Go Dell! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rknop ( 240417 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:14AM (#4069329) Homepage

    I'm heartened to see them doing the right thing-- continuing to be willing to sell customers completely legal things that they want to buy even if that is what another very powerful company doesn't want.

    On the other hand, it's utterly ridiculous that Dell would even have to perform this end-run around Microsoft's licensing terms in the first place.

    Anybody want to place bets on how long it will be before Microsoft changes their licencing terms again to prevent Dell from what they're doing now? (Or perhaps M$ will just tell Dell that they've decided not to licence Windows to them at all; they've used those sorts of threats in the past.)

    (Who appointed Microsoft as the regulatory agency for the computer industry anyway?)


  • Thank God (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brennan73 ( 94035 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:16AM (#4069367)
    Considering that most vendors won't sell you a PC without a Windows license, I was beginning to wonder just what the hell the point of the Microsoft Select licenses was. I mean, wasn't it supposed to be that by buying them in volume, we'd get a discount? Wasn't this discount kind of, erm, compromised by the second license MS wants you to buy with new hardware?

    This should have been a provision of any settlement the govt. accespted in the first place, but at least someone is doing it on their own. If Dell makes this stick, hopefully others will follow.

  • by Latent IT ( 121513 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:17AM (#4069383)
    Here's a line of crap from the article:

    The new policy exists to prevent piracy and to better track OS shipments.

    My ass. It exists to sell MORE MICROSOFT PRODUCTS. I'm not even normally a MSFT basher, but even someone completely asleep at the switch should see something wrong with that line.
  • by Dalroth ( 85450 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:18AM (#4069388) Homepage Journal
    If they're going to offer the software, without it being installed, why FreeDOS and not Linux? Is anyone actually going to use FreeDOS?

    No, and that's the point. They don't have to support it. Linux is big, complicated, sometimes quite painfull to use. Dell most likely does not have the expertise in their call center to handle the influx of support calls a linux installation would cause, so I think this is a very smart move.

    They could, however, partner with a company like Mandrake or Red Hat in the future. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. Problem is, even with the party line "call Red Hat for help", they'll still be getting a large volume of Linux calls that they probably don't want right now. Maybe when the economy gets a little better.

  • by IncohereD ( 513627 ) <[mmacleod] [at] []> on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:19AM (#4069392) Homepage
    Because Mac OSX licenses would cost them money, and add no value to the customer. FreeDOS is (I'm assuming), free, and only costs them the price of the media to ship it on it (i.e. essentially nothing). That's probably the real reason it doesn't ship with Linux, Linux would take more discs/space. I bet they cram FreeDOS on their driver disc or something.
  • by Contact ( 109819 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:19AM (#4069395)
    N-series PCs will cost the same as PCs that ship with Windows, a Dell representative said.

    Forgive me for missing something here, but why? What's the incentive here, as opposed to just buying a normal machine and wiping the disc?

  • by popeydotcom ( 114724 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:21AM (#4069417) Homepage
    What they're really doing is selling an OS-less PC, plus an extra CD that adds very little to their costs and might even be useful to a tiny fraction of their customers. opposed to a couple of CDs (Linux) which would be very useful to a lot of users?
  • by msgmonkey ( 599753 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:22AM (#4069424)
    People are asking, so I'ill contribute. Dell is an extremely loyal company for various reasons, for example they have never shipped an AMD system and (from what I read) where given priority for Intel chips when availability was tight. As a result of the above Dell dont want to rock the boat completely with MS, they just want to get round this new rule while causing minimal damage to their relationship with MS. Giving away FreeDOS practically guarrenties that you are n't going to get support calls because who's going to be running a DOS system in 2002?
  • by killraven ( 135919 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:22AM (#4069429)
    For all of you asking why freedos and not Linux, here is the simple reason. To choose and install a useable linux would be very expensive for Dell both in terms of testing, support and keeping the OS up to date. Dell doesn't expect anyone to use FreeDOS, hell they probably haven't even tested to see if it will work. FreeDOS is simply the cheapest and easiest way to get around the licensing restrictions. Dell fully expects you to buy the machine throw away the freeDOS CD and install the OS of your choice.
  • by div_2n ( 525075 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:23AM (#4069448)
    Sure many of us here probably build our own machines, but if you do plan on buying one of these, do it on the phone. Ask the salesperson if they can ship it with Linux (or your favorite OSOS).

    If they say no, then tell them you want to place a customer request that they offer that because that is what you are going to install anyway and then order it.

    If they get enough requests for it, then maybe they will warm back up to the OSS desktop market.

    Of course, this may have no effect but it doesn't hurt to try.
  • by joib ( 70841 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:26AM (#4069476)
    I guess they wanna charge you a few bucks extra for installing linux. As is said in the article, this is mainly aimed at big corporations who install their own stuff anyway, so they don't want to pay extra for a linux installation they probably won't use anyway.
    As to why use freedos instead of some 1-floppy linux distro, who knows?
    Maybe they don't wanna tarnish Linux reputation (which perhaps would hurt their server biz) as "that toy crappy thing which is included with every pc to circumwent MS contracts and everybody throws away anyway".
  • by NexusTw1n ( 580394 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:27AM (#4069483) Journal
    From the article
    The company will not promote the new models heavily, let alone make them easy to purchase. Optiplex n-Series desktops will be available only to customers who buy the desktops in large numbers through Dell's Custom Factory Installation program. Individuals will be able to purchase n-Series Precision workstations, but not Optiplex PCs, via Dell's Web site. The Custom Factory Installation Program allows customers to specify an operating system or have Dell install a customized bundle of software, such as Windows or Red Hat
    If you buy enough boxes from Dell, they'll put any O/S you ask for on it, Linux has been available for quite some time to big customers.

    This "new" PC system, is again only available to big buyers, you won't be able to order single Optiplexes sans Windows from their website.

    Basically this is an old news rehashed as new news marketing droid PR stunt.

    If you want a PC without Windows on it, your best bet is still Walmart.

  • Isn't this kind of B.S. that the anti-trust case is about? What kind of software vendor tells a PC maker they can't sell a PC without speciific software included?

    This is the kind of thing that makes me hope that M$ gets spanked clear into the middle of next year by Judge Kollar-Kotelly.

    The most charitable thing I can say about Micro$oft is that they could be so much more than the festering abscess they've become if it weren't for their blind imperialism and obsession with maintaining a hegemony.

    Vortran out
  • Re:Go Dell! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Coplan ( 13643 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:30AM (#4069515) Homepage Journal
    I'm not so sure that M$ will change their licensing this time. I think they've been under a lot of pressure as of late. I think they have realized that people have this view of the "Evil Empire" and they have been making some PR moves lately that might make small steps to make them look more friendly than they always have been. Remember that issue where that guy discovered security issues in the XBox? MS didn't step in there to prevent the paper from being published. I think MS wants people to believe that they care about the end user.

    On the other hand, if they were to try to throw Dell under the bus, and change their licensing...not only would they loose a lot of respect from the consumers, but they'd loose the respect of Dell. I don't believe for a minute that Dell makes this move to spite MS. Dell is a business as well, and if their consumers aren't going to use Windows, they're more likely to buy a computer without it. Even if Dell were to offer said machines for cheaper than the windows-toting counter parts, Dell would surely make more money off of each computer, and not have to pay royalties to MS for that particular machine.

    It's great that Dell found this loophole. If MS were to do anything, I'd bet that Dell would make a big stink, the consumers would make a big stink, and MS would look more evil than it already does. Dell is large enough of a company now that it can actually get away with things like this under the shadow of MS. MS is on touchy ground...this is the OS war they never thought they'd have to deal with, and they're fighting companies that offer their products for free. It's all about image now -- they have to listen to consumers, they have to listen to retailers, and they have to end up looking good to win.

    On a side note, keep in mind the average linux user (who might potentially buy a machine without an OS). Chances are, if they buy from Dell, they're buying large quantities for a company that will run Linux. The minor difference in cost isn't always worth the extra it doesn't impact a corporation nearly as much to buy a machine, rip the OS and start over. They practically do that anyhow. The typical consumer who uses linux is likely the same type of consumer who builds his own he's less likely to buy a Dell for his Linux box anyhow. Just an observation.

  • by JPriest ( 547211 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:35AM (#4069556) Homepage
    If they wanted to make MS mad, they would have shipped with Linux. This is Dell taking a stand, but not fighting MS. I think this was a good move on Dell's part.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:37AM (#4069563)

    Does it really matter? The whole point is that they are not shipping it with Windows. Anyone who is going to use an alternative operating system is likely going to install it themselves at one point or another. Even if they don't do it out-of-box, chances are likely they will reformat the hard drive eventually and do it then.

    So, why try to satisfy everone (Why not BSD?, etc.) when chances are the end user will do they're own custom install anyway?

  • by MaxVlast ( 103795 ) <<maxim> <at> <>> on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:38AM (#4069574) Homepage
    If you aren't going to install an OS, and instead simply put it in the box, why not choose one that results in the user throwing away one floppy disk instead of throwing away all the media required for a bigger one? Most likely the user buying an OS-free computer isn't going to be using the pre-installed OS in the first place, so this makes the most business sense.

    Besides, do they really want to get firebomed by Debian zealots when they bundle RedHat? Or have all the RedHat cusy-life sorts sitting there scratching their head looking for graphical configuration tools in a bundled Slackware? It's easier to go with a non-issue. Like the unbelievable generic people in sample pictures included with picture frames: the least number of people will be offended.
  • by Enry ( 630 ) <enry @ w a> on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:42AM (#4069595) Journal
    Does this mean that MSFT still gets their piece of silver (aka license) for a FreeDOS machine?
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:43AM (#4069600)
    Well, if they are going to charge the same amount of money as if I had bought Windows installed, I would rather get the system with Windows. Why? For fun.

    I would then proceed to install Linux the first day I got the computer, without ever booting up Windows, and ask for a refund for the software. Others have done it. [] If they are going to charge me the same amount, then why not prove a point? Worst case, you don't get your refund, which you wouldn't have gotten anyway, but maybe you can get the point across. Best case, you get your point across and maybe get a few bucks for your trouble.

    Not the easiest solution, but it kind of sounds like fun.

  • by OpenSourced ( 323149 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:44AM (#4069610) Journal
    Better said the list price. Keep in mind that those are bulk machines only to be served to bulk customers like large corporations. I tell you by experience that the list prices for such deals have practically no meaning.

    So say they are selling 1000 machines to Megacorp, and prices is 1000$ each machine. If they have to pay...lets say 50$ to the Microsoft taxman, and Megacorp suddenly says that it wants them without OS, well, its suddenly 50 grand for Dell to play with in discounts, free items or free support. It all adds up the same.

  • by jcn ( 55250 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:44AM (#4069612) Homepage Journal
    N-series PCs will cost the same as PCs that ship with Windows, a Dell representative said.

    But who gets the money that is saved by not shipping Windows? Is any money saved at all? Previous incarnations of this sort of deal had the manufacturer pay Microsoft for a Windows license anyway.

    I think it's a big deal whether you are sponsoring DELL for taking on Microsoft, or are actually making some sort of implicit mandatory donation to Microsoft, just to be spared from the horrors of running Windows.

  • by gilroy ( 155262 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:49AM (#4069650) Homepage Journal
    Blockquoth the poster:

    If it's the same price, it seems foolhardy to purchase the OS-less Dell and forego the free MS license.

    It's not just the saved step and saved labor. It's also the reduced complexity in licensing. If a big corp buys a site license, they don't want extra copies under other licenses running around loose...
  • by lseltzer ( 311306 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:50AM (#4069657)
    >>I'd be just as happy to know that Microsoft wasn't getting paid a tax out of my money for purchasing a computer.

    In fact, with this deal you are paying a non-Windows tax. They are charging you the same money as if they were installing Windows and pocketing it. Plus they don't have any obligation to support Windows on this system, further lowering their costs, and the system with Windows was profitable in the first place. These systems are a practical joke by Dell and you're the target for thinking that you're some how better off.
  • by markbthomas ( 123470 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:51AM (#4069663)
    I don't know what you're talking about. They've been selling a practically useless OS [] for ages!

    J/K ;-)
  • by PolyDwarf ( 156355 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @09:59AM (#4069708)

    Such a monopoly. I know that justice is supposed to be blind, but I didn't realize that the DoJ was blind, deaf, and dumb all at the same time.

    Actually, I think the word you're looking for is "bought"
  • Spyglass revenge. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dinotrac ( 18304 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:01AM (#4069721) Journal
    If this flies, ya gotta love it.
    Turnabout may not always be fair play, but sometimes it does justice.
    Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of folks.

    It was just this kind of "creative" contract interpretation that let Microsoft screw Spyglass pretty much out of existence.

    PS: I hear that Spyglass picked up a little justice of its own in the form of a lawsuit settlement. Seems Microsoft told the Court some things in the antitrust trial that affected the way the Spyglass contract should be read. Guess they figured no one was paying attention.
  • Re:Go Dell! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markmoss ( 301064 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:01AM (#4069722)
    I think a lot of people are just amazed that M$ has the clout to force another company into things like this.

    That's what the antitrust suit should have been all about...
  • by Kredal ( 566494 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:02AM (#4069726) Homepage Journal
    Nah, it's completely legal... These numbers are made up, but they should illistrate the point.

    Microsoft: Tell ya what, Dell. If you promise to only sell computers with our OS, we'll only charge you 30 dollars for a copy.

    Dell: That sounds good. What if we want to seel OS-less or Linux computers.

    Microsoft: Well, then the OEM Price for Windows goes up to 60 dollars each.

    Dell: Ow. I guess I'll just sell computers with an OS installed (Quick, lawyers! make sure the agreement doesn't specify Windows!)
  • boycot major OEMs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stud9920 ( 236753 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:07AM (#4069757)
    I can understand it's more expensive to build a system from discrete parts, but small retailers will be happy to sell you a 'clone' for approximately 20 percent cheaper than a same specs Dell/HPaq/Gateway. Just buy one of those. Now you can tell me that
    1. Problems are more documented on an OEM machine. Maybe they are, but nothing is holding you from buying one of those, and make specs out of them for your local shop. Besides, you'll get more problems from the chinese mobo the OEMS put in nowadays to get a higher margin than from a typical Asus/Abit/MSI mobo, and you'll get no dirty onboard shared memory display adapter and mono soundcard.
    2. A small shop may sell you ten machines, but no 10,000.True, but they can easily build 10 machines a day, you can order from concurrent shops, and in the end the machines still have to be installed, and a sysadmin and his slaves can't install those in a week either anyway.
  • by clontzman ( 325677 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:11AM (#4069768) Homepage
    In other words, if I buy a computer from Dell that comes with Windows XP, and I format the hard drive and install Linux, then take the Windows XP CD (which Dell wouldn't send me anyway) and install it on another computer, I've violting the EULA.

    Which, in my mind, is total bitchcake. And part of the reason I use a Mac.

    Not to split hairs with you here, but I'd be really surprised if Apple's EULA allows you to move your copy of the MacOS from machine to machine. There are lots of reasons to use a Mac, but I'm not sure that Apple's operating system policies (try buying a Mac without the MacOS) are one of them.

  • Re:Thank God (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Peyna ( 14792 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:14AM (#4069794) Homepage
    I bet the local shop down the road from you would be more than happy to sell you a PC without a Windows license. Or you could just buy the parts or a kit online and build it yourself. Any monkey with a screwdriver and half a brain can assemble a computer. If you don't want to do the work, pay the extra few cents for the superior service and quality you will most likely get from the mom&pop shop down the road.
  • by gsfprez ( 27403 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:15AM (#4069797)
    >it is a pity that you don't get a price break for not
    >having to pay for Windows. On the other hand, I'd be
    >just as happy to know that Microsoft wasn't getting
    >paid a tax out of my money for purchasing a computer.

    I would agree - except that we don't know this. After all - if the computers are the same cost - where's the extra money going?

    Its an assumption on our part that as part of the new licensing rules that MS has set up with Dell, HPaq, etc. that they don't pay MS for every box that goes out the door. Perhapse that IS part of the new deal with MS - every box out the doors of Dell means $10 to Redmond, else its $MSRP (what's that? $199 for XPlite?) per actual box leaving the OEM?

    In fact - the fact that you DON'T get a price break is really stupid. Who actually gives a shit if you get a copy of Windows? Gimme one, i don't care. I'll just dump it in the garbage, use it for kindling, make a cool coaster... whatever..

    I just don't want to pay for it.. or in the case of businesses and colleges running under MS License 6.0, I don't want to pay for it twice.

    So really - if i'm getting a computer - and i can get it with Windows and without, and its the same price either way.... why WOULDN'T you want to get a copy?
  • All this talk.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by h4mmer5tein ( 589994 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:25AM (#4069864)
    Seems to miss the fact that Dell are aiming these boxes to major customers, those ordering in the 1000's at a time. There is an option for Joe Public to buy online, but its one specific workstation model. How many home users are going to think "Ooooh, thats good, no OS!". Most are gonna think "What? No windows? I dont want that!"
    The up shot is that the guys buying these things are gonna be the big corporates who would strip and rebuild whatever OS came on it to start with to match their corporate config. So whatever its supplied with it gets what they use. There is no net change in OS usage as a result.
    At the end of the day I'd say its nothing more than Dell getting a bit of good publicity by putting up two fingers to MS's licencing terms rather than promoting OS choice.
  • by MaxVlast ( 103795 ) <<maxim> <at> <>> on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:36AM (#4069942) Homepage
    I'm not talking about Joe IT worker who uses it to make a living (I've done that in the past, and while it's uncomfortable and icky, it's a necessary evil.) I'm talking about the guy who comes home and uses Windows and posts to /. about how awful it is and how hardcore he is for hating it and making it crash. Big deal. If you believe in something, don't be wishy-washy. (I don't mean to sound like RMS, because I'm coming from an entirely different place. I just think that if you do have ideals, it doesn't reflect well on you if you don't walk the walk.)
  • "I kid you not! This is just Dell trying to get back into our good graces. It is all a PR stunt - "Look we don't like M$ either!!!!" as they hand MS money under the table."

    It's more than a PR stunt. Dell is using FreeDOS as a small doorstop so the door will remain ajar, allowing Linux or whatever other OS they choose to squeeze through in the future.

    Dell does not think anyone will use FreeDOS. They just want to sent the prescedent that they have the ability to ship some other OS with their machines so that they can change this OS when production facilities, support people, developers, drivers, etc are ready.

    If they shipped only windows and then 1 year from now tried to slip Linux in, MSFT would slay them on the spot. Instead, if they ship FreeDOS now, which MSFT knows is know thread, they can SWITCH to linux instead, continuing to do something which they had be doing for many months -- shipping an alternate OS with their PCs.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:43AM (#4070002)
    This will be interesting in Germany, where you can.
    the ONE thing MS is desperate to do is to not let the end consumer see the cost of the software. Whatever they told the DOJ, this discrimatory pricing is a barrier to new entrants/competition. It is even more offensive to see this practice in 2002. EEC should just deem an implied OS price, and collect a tax/VAT/GST back off MS for a transatlantic source of revenue shifting. GATT implications an all that. Perhaps MS is more concerned with the tax angle. If the VAT man is awake, Dell may have to wear the tax difference - like AOL will.
  • by ReelOddeeo ( 115880 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:56AM (#4070102)
    Who appointed Microsoft as the regulatory agency for the computer industry anyway?)

    Microsoft did, of course. And believe me, it for your own good.
  • by MtViewGuy ( 197597 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @11:10AM (#4070212)
    I think the reason why Dell is offering machines without Windows installed is the fact Dell has announced an alliance with Red Hat Software to provide Red Hat Linux on both corporate PC's and servers on Tuesday.

    That way, Dell offers a low-cost alternative to Windows to satisfy increasingly penny-pinching large-volume customers, and Dell chose the Linux distribution that is #1 in the business environment, Red Hat (which has pretty much become the de facto standard for Linux distributions).
  • by sphealey ( 2855 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @12:06PM (#4070593)
    Under the agreement with the DoJ MS agreed to sell the software with the same terms for all major resellers.

    Thus if that agreemenet are upheld Dell has nothing to fear.

    If there were an enforcement agent to monitor and punish violations of the "spirit" of the DOJ agreeement, this might mean something. Unfortunately, the DOJ has pretty much signaled to Microsoft that it is "slap on the wrist and we are out of here" time. Organizations far less crafty and far less motivated than Microsoft have figured out how to evade this type of restriction in the past; I would guess that it will be about 15 minutes after the lawsuit is completed that M$ will be back in Mr. Dell's office with an offer he can't refuse.


  • Two things: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @12:45PM (#4070829) Homepage
    First, it's lose, not loose. I hate to be a spelling Nazi, but this error is so common I have to mention it. I admit that the double-'o' sound with a single 'o' is confusing, but that's just the way English is. :)

    Second, the "minor difference in cost" isn't minor at all... I bopped over to Dell, to see the "freedos" option in action. Apparently they haven't changed the web page yet. More interestingly, I discovered that, for example, in a PowerEdge 1650 rack server the cost of adding a 5-client license of Win2k server increased the cost of the machine by 45%. I don't care how little anyone thinks businesses care about the cost of hardware -- only a moron pays an additional 45% for something they're just going to throw away, and any manager who approves such a purchase was ignorant of what they were actually approving.

    I can definitely see why Dell would want to maintain a no-OS option.
  • Microsoft Tax (Score:1, Insightful)

    by NoRights ( 595889 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @02:41PM (#4071603)
    I know a lot of people see this as a way to avoid the MS tax, but there are other areas that need to be explored concerning the tax by Microsoft.

    For instance, if you build your own system, you will buy several pieces hardware and most specifically a sound card and a video card. These two pieces of hardware generally will go through the Windows Hardware Quality Labs certification or the newer Digital Signature certification. These two certifications cost money for Microsoft to perform and that cost gets passed on the consumer.

    If you want to avoid the MS tax totally, then you have to buy hardware that isn't designed for DirectX, if not you will be giving money to MS.
  • by Amazing Quantum Man ( 458715 ) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @04:13PM (#4072177) Homepage
    "But your honor, this isn't a per processor license, it's a per motherboard license. That's not the same thing at all!"

    The sad thing is that given the state of our judiciary, that might actually work...

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane