Dell Selling Windows Free Laptops

Holly Shit! When did this happen? Dell has been selling desktops without the Windows for quite some time now, but I didn’t realize they will also extend this offer to laptops. It seems that they are now offering Latitude systems with a clean HD and a FreeDos CD in the box.

The low end models start at $699 which is pretty good for a laptop. Even after you add more memory, and get a better CPU you still end up with a pretty decent deal out of it. My only concern is the Wifi cards that they ship with the system. There is really no guarantee that they will work with Linux, nor do they test them for that. So you are probably better off choosing a no-wifi hardware, and then buy yourself one of those nice PCIMCIA orinoco things that have kernel level support.

Sure, you can get much better supported systems from dedicated Linux laptop vendors, but if you want something on the cheap end, Dell is always here to give you the low all quality hardware you can shake a stick at.

If this is old news, feel free to complain in the comments, but I swear, this is the first time I saw this option on their website.

[tags]dell, laptop, open source laptops, free dos, windows, windows free laptop[/tags]

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7 Responses to Dell Selling Windows Free Laptops

  1. Pingback: cpu - somdaj.com » Dell Selling Windows Free Laptops UNITED STATES WordPress

  2. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Solaris Terminalist says:

    To be honest, I never had issues putting Linux on a Dell laptop, but then again, I never really used wireless with Linux. Shouldn’t be too big of an issue.

    I kinda wish I knew about this earlier though. I just bought my wife a new Acer laptop. She wanted Windows since that is what she uses at work, but all I could find is crappy old Vista. I am moving an XP license over, since I keep experiencing issues with Vista.

    *sigh*

    Thanks for the upgrade, Microsoft!

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  3. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    The two big hurdles are Wifi cards and Win-Modems. Modems are kinda non-issue these days, but for me (and that’s my personal oppinion) a laptop without wireless card is somewhat useless.

    I had good luck with my trusty old, external Linksys WPC54G v.1.2 card. It is not supported natively, but I was able to get it working with ndiswrapper. With the newer versions of nidswrapper I was actually even able to get WEP support.

    Side note is that the ndiswrapper makes it difficult for me to use wireless sniffer tools like kismet because of the limited range of supported features.

    The only other issue I had was with the 3D support in my Radeon Mobile card – but that’s probably because I never bothered installing the proprietary binary drivers.

    Btw, I bought and configured a HP tablet last week for my boss. It came with XP on it – so I’m guessing not all the vendors are 100% switched to Vista OEM’s. Or maybe this is because Vista doesn’t have a working tablet support yet… :P

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  4. Wikke BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    A while ago, I installed a Linux distro on my desktop, just to check it out (We had Linux introduction classes at school that time). I thought: nice way to practise some more at home.
    Everything went fine, I was playing my way around, until i got a bit bored and wanted to go on the internet …
    I use a USB Wifi card (don’t ask me why, it came with the internet package, 6 years ago) and Linux didn’t want to recognize it. And tell me, a Linux pc without internet is useless!
    Kinda lost interest on that moment, and the Linux partition faded away.
    Yehah, i use Windows 100% of the time, but at least everything works because i’m a Linux noob and always will be :P

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  5. Craig Betts UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Solaris Terminalist says:

    Just because Linux has issues talking to the WIFI device shouldn’t keep you from learning! You can always run a virtual system on top of Windows. For beginners, I recommend Moka5. It is easy to install and just get running. Shoot me an email (cbetts99 at gmail dot com) if you are behind a proxy. There are a few tricks to get it to pass through.

    Once you feel like installing your own distro, take a look at VMWare or Microsoft Virtual PC. They are pretty easy to setup.

    All the networking can be routed through to Windows which in turn can talk to your WIFI device! Pretty clever, huh?

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  6. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Wikke, this happens because Wifi card vendors do not release specifications of their products to the public, and do not offer linux compatible drivers. There is only so much community can do, but if the vendor chooses not to support a segment of their market there is not much that can be done.

    There are hacks designed to get around that – for example the ndiswrapper package which acts as a wrapper around windows specific drivers and allows your OS to communicate with the device. It is not perfect, and it doesn’t always work with the more obscure cards but it is a solution.

    Wireless is a big problem for linux community right now, the same way winmodems were just few years ago. This is why I always recommend that people start their journey with Linux by installing it on a desktop system with a typical office setup (ie. broadband connection, and standard video and sound cards without 3d acceleration). On a system like that you are almost guaranteed to have nearly everything working out of the box.

    Laptops are tricky because they often contain proprietary hardware unique to the vendor (with dell this is usually not a problem), unsupported network cards and etc..

    Sorry you had a bad experience with it but I recommend you try it again.

    Here is the thing though – comparing linux to windows is like comparing apples and oranges. Both are fruits, and both are round, but they do not really look or taste the same. Learning a new OS is kinda like having a new girlfriend. She is never going to be the same as your ex – but it doesn’t mean she won’t be interesting, amazing and of course annoying in her own unique ways.

    Fortunately, unlike girlfriends, operating systems don’t mind if you dual boot them. :mrgreen:

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  7. Wikke BELGIUM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    That’s one thing that is very funny about the Linux community :) a bit of bashing and you get either quadriplion times bash back, or advice :)
    Yes, i even tried using ndiswrapper, but the errors were beyond my scope :/
    Don’t get me all wrong, i can get around in the bash shell, but not everywhere :) and since my company doesn’t use Linux, i also don’t use it (I want a bit of quiet relaxing when i’m home :))
    Linux is a fantastic, powerfull operating system, mainly on servers and that’s where the problem is. The usability for less technical people sure did improve over time, but they still can’t beat windows with that.

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