The new desktops appear to be a slick interpretation of Microsoft's new licensing terms and a way to navigate customer demand for PCs without an OS installed. The Microsoft licensing terms, which were put in place on Aug. 1, specify that PC makers must ship PCs with an operating system. The new policy exists to prevent piracy and to better track OS shipments.This contradicts previous reports that Dell would no longer be selling systems without a Microsoft OS.
With the n-Series, Dell will include a copy of a free operating system--FreeDOS--inside the cardboard box. However, the OS will not be pre-installed, so customers will not have to worry about reconfiguring their machines should they want to use a different product.
The OS-free PCs are really aimed at high volume corporate clients, but at least one workstation will be available for individual purchasers. Don't expect any savings, though. Dell's OS-free PCs will cost the same as those with Microsoft OSes preinstalled.