writes to point us to an ongoing series of articles, "Leopard vs. Vista," by Daniel Eran. The latest is part 4, Naked Sales
, and it's a meditation on hardware without Windows, Apple's strategy of hardware-software integration, and the dissatisfactions that arise from the creative tension between Microsoft and hardware manufacturers. (The earlier articles in the series are linked form this one.) From the article: "The vast majority of PCs come with Windows pre-installed, and actually can't be sold without it. Leading PC hardware makers can't freely advertise PCs sold without Windows, or with an alternative OS such as Linux, without having to pay Microsoft significantly more for every other OEM license they ship. That's why all name brand PCs prominently repeat their own version of the cult-like phrase 'Dell recommends Windows XP Professional,' as if there were a choice in the matter and they thought it would be helpful to provide some guidance... Apple's current Get a Mac advertising campaign doesn't compare Mac OS X to Windows, it compares the complete experience of a Mac with that of a PC. After all, Windows is only half of what's wrong with the PC as a product."