Since the 1990s, Microsoft has maintained agreements with the world’s leading laptop manufacturers in which, in exchange for supplying them with OEM licenses (more price-adjusted than retail licenses and, unlike the latter, linked to a certain hardware configuration) , These manufacturers undertake not to sell equipment without an operating system.
Apple machines aside, In 99% of cases, this means that laptops come pre-installed with some version of Windows (often Windows Pro or Windows Home)…
…but those agreements don’t actually force manufacturers to install any Microsoft operating systems. Thus, some resort to free operating systems, such as Ubuntu Linux ormore frequently, to the almost unknown (but much more pre-installed than it seems) FreeDOS, a clone of the ancient MS-DOS.
The reason why there may be manufacturers that offer computers with Linux or FreeDOS even maintaining agreements with Microsoft is that that allows them to offer cheapest equipment on the market, thanks to the fact that they can save the license price of the equipment in question. And it is that, when we buy a laptop, it is rare that we are paying only for its hardware.
If at first your intention was to use a non-Windows OS, buying one of these laptops may be a good idea. But it can also be even if you’re a Microsoft stalwart.
This commitment to FreeDOS has, of course, an impediment: not useful for entry-level users who don’t know how to install Windows on their teams. Microsoft knows that, and it is the reason why this apparent ‘hole’ in its agreements with manufacturers does not lose sleep for the directors of the Redmond company.
However, if you know how to install an operating system yourself (or have a friend on hand who does), buying a laptop without Windows pre-installed may be a better option than you think.
Bare-bones laptops aren’t just for minority OS geeks
Even if you’re looking to be able to use your new laptop with a Windows operating system, buying a laptop without an operating system pre-installed might be a great idea: that would give you the freedom to either use a previously purchased Windows retail license for another computer, or to buy a new one simultaneously with the laptop, because as we said before, retail licenses are not linked to specific hardware configurations, and we could still reuse them in a few years, once we have discarded the new laptop.
HP 15s-eq2122ns – 15.6″ Full HD Laptop (AMD Ryzen 5 5500U, 12GB RAM, 512GB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, No Operating System) Silver – Spanish QWERTY keyboard
MSI Bravo 15 B5DD-005XES AMD Ryzen 7 5800H / 16 GB / 512GB SSD / RX5500M / 15.6″. Cooler Boost 5 thermal system.
Likewise, there is another reason to look for the use of a non-preinstalled Windows: that the manufacturer cannot (as they usually do) fill your computer with unwanted software before you can get your hands on it: what we call ‘bloatware’ are applications whose developer companies pay the manufacturers to be pre-installed, hoping that once installed, users won’t look for other alternatives.
Fortunately, no operating system there can be no bloatware installed on it. Well more or less.
If not Windows, what?
In any case, if you already have a recently purchased laptop in your hands for which you don’t also have to pay for a Windows license, perhaps you can take the opportunity to experience that there are operating systems beyond Microsoft’s horizon. FreeDOS is not really a good operating system for a more or less modern laptop, because it will never allow us to squeeze its capabilities. However, there are other options within your reach: