I was so lucky to see this advertisement today as I was walking down Wayaki Way after work. At first it was the “Core i3” that caught my eye, and then the words “FREE DOS” leapt out at me. Holy cow, each new Dell Inspiron comes with a complimentary copy of DOS! How Dell limited themselves to only using capital letters, I don’t know. If I had an opportunity like that I would pay some guy to stand on top of the billboard, shouting, “FREE DOS!!!” at the top of his lungs!
Just kidding… FreeDOS is a free, open source clone of Microsoft’s Disk Operating System (DOS). Yes, DOS. You know, the black and white one from 1980 where you type commands. The one before the GUI became common. Ringing any bells?
The reason this is hilarious is because FreeDOS is not a FEATURE, you can’t do anything with it. It’s there to keep the price of the laptop down. If Windows ain’t preinstalled, then you’re not paying the “Microsoft Tax.” Why they don’t just install an equally-free (and more useful) operating system like Ubuntu, I have no idea. The fact that none of their target audience even knows what FreeDOS is is just an added bonus.
Good work, Dell. Way to push the envelope ;)