Dell's Open PC Costs More Than Windows Box


Fully vaccinated are you?
Staff member
From Slashdot:
"In this article at The Register, they show that Dell's Open PC costs more than a PC shipped with Windows XP. That's right, getting a PC with a blank hard drive costs more than the same hardware running Windows XP." From the article: "As it turns out, Dell's sales staffers have a secret web page for the product that you can't find with normal search tactics. A kind lass we'll call 'M' pointed us here. On this site, Dell presents a couple different versions of the mysterious E510n. The lowest-end system starts at $774 and is exactly like the boxes above - including the free flat panel - except it has 512MB of memory. For some reason, Dell told reporters that the box starts at $849 - yet another one of the odd sales tactics surrounding this "open source" kit. [Following the publication of our story, Dell raised the price of the PC back up to $849. See the sales pages below for the original $774 price comparisons.]"
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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
I get the idea that Dell is attempting to design classes of customers. It seems like Dell is punishing customers for desiring something non-Windows, asserting their right to alternative operating systems. Dell might explain that they have contracts with Microsoft, and perhaps that they need to ship X number of something to justify a certain price. I wouldn't be convinced with such a whiny tale, given that Dell's brand is in individually assembled PCs. was once accused of charging more for the same products when they detected the customers had searched certain web sites for price comparisons. denied the practice, but people have provided convincing evidence of tiered pricing.

It is very disappointing (I marvel at the sense of denial, that this sort of practice would not be uncovered or talked about) and it stinks.

Al Dyer

Hi Jennifer,


While I do believe that Dell has its own reasons for price structuring, that is their right, as is our right not to use their products and services.

Ahhh, Free Will--

I use Dell for the convenience but know its limitations. If I really wanted, I could buy the cheap box with windows loaded and buy a $100.00 internal drive then load what I wish. If a person has the knowledge to use alternate operating systems they also have the knowledge to work the system.

If we don't like something, find something else.

The wonders of our free market, free choice society are continually boundless, if we just used our grey cells.:mg:

Enjoy the day all,



Fully vaccinated are you?
Staff member
I don't see the discussion as a matter of Dell's 'rights'. Of course they have the right. The point of the discussion, I believe, is they probably are losing customers and possibly threatening their business. Yes - I agree - Dell also has the 'right' to fail and go out of business.

Al Dyer

Thanks for the clarification Marc,

As my current spyware/virus program won't let me open the entire article I didn't read anything about losing customers in the above posts and I agree they have the "right" to go out of business, I hope they do so we can have more local stores to pump our money into. These huge corporations are a blight on society and I hope they go the way of the doo-doo bird. Dell does have questionable advertising and various price structures that are hard to uncover.

You can go to their site and find the same item at differing prices on the Small Business & Home sights. If your not carefull you can order a system and when received it does not come with the cables; sold seperately at an outrageous price.

Thanks for the link Marc, good stuff!


Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
It may have been a different thread in which I mentioned a loss in customer loyalty. My letter to BusinessWeek's editor expressed it last month.

I asked my husband about it--he buys all the tech equipment for this area's newspaper. He said he'll stay with Dell, though he is also annoyed with their customer service slide, because it's a known quantity. He doesn't need their services except warranty returns, a system he is well familiar with and doesn't care to relearn in switching to HP.

But HP would be more than happy to take up slack that Dell creates for itself. I've read that HP is working on beefing up its customer services, and is offering custom computers just as Dell has so successfully done.

If HP can control their machines' quality in performance better than before, they can indeed take some of Dell's customers because Dell's machines have become more problematic in the past year or so.
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