Anyone who has visited the Dell website with any recency knows that Word is not bundled as a default "freebie-included-in-price" option. The default option is "No Productivity Software Added." Adding MS Works (which includes MS Word 2003) costs $79.
So what's the "imaging" problem? Are we supposed to pretend this particular retailer, whose model is different from others because of user-customization options, is incapable of providing machines without a software option (particularly given that this is their default configuration?)....
The place this impacts Dell the most I'd imagine is in relation to Enterprise level customers, and all those Colleges and Universities they are partners with --- who sell pre-configured machines with Word installed to their students.
Of course, everyone has moved into their dorms in the next "120 days" and it's not like Enterprise customers in Canada won't deal with this from every PC retailer.
I smell a rat.