The Windows Tax at Dell

Now that Dell is selling PCs without Windows, we can see how much Windows adds to the price. Dell does not say how much extra money Windows costs, but by configuring similar systems with and without Windows the price difference can be seen.

So it turns out that not including Windows saves the consumer $50 from the regular list price. This amount is not too far off from what a large OEM like Dell would pay for a volume discount for Windows Vista Home Basic (the regular OEM price is about $95). Many value PC sellers try to make up for the cost of a Windows license by bundling demo and trial versions of software such as AOL (affectionately known as “crapware”), for which they receive money from software companies looking to increase their distribution levels. Dell is no exception to this practice, although on their web site it allows customers to select the option of not including various applications.

It turns out that the Windows tax for OEMs is about $50. Hopefully this will pressure Microsoft into lowering prices and encouraging buyers to try Ubuntu.

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