Where Have All The PCs Gone?

We wrote earlier about the shrinking share of PCs shipped with “7”. This could give a clue about what is happening:
“These systems are not recommended for the average PC user. Above average technical experience with PCs and software are typically required to install the software and drivers needed to make these systems fully functional.

These models should not be purchased if you plan to install any volume licensed version of a Microsoft Windows operating system. For information on Microsoft Windows volume licensing rights please contact Microsoft.

ThinkPad models without an operating system preload are not eligible for special promotions such as, but not limited to: ecoupons, limited time offers, component discounts, etc.”

see Lenovo – ThinkPad laptops with no operating system

Apparently there is a significant demand for PCs without M$’s “tax” and these machines are not intended for businesses who are big customers of M$. They are likely getting GNU/Linux installed.

One wonders what “volume licensing” with M$ is about if a PC without an OS does not work? Is M$ asking businesses to pay twice for a licence, once when purchasing the PC and again when making the “volume licensing” agreement? Here’s what M$ says about that:

  • If you plan to buy five or more software licenses, Microsoft offers price advantages for volume purchasing.
  • Desktop PC Operating Systems–Per-Copy, Per-Device License
    You must acquire a license for each device on or from which you access or use the software (locally and remotely). You may install only one copy on the device. You may install that copy on the host operating system or in a virtual (or otherwise emulated) hardware system. In Volume Licensing, the desktop PC operating system license is an upgrade license. You may only acquire upgrade licenses for devices for which you have already licensed a qualifying operating system. A list of qualifying operating systems that qualify for an upgrade license is contained in the Product List, which you can find at
    http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/product-licensing.aspx#tab=2.
    If you acquire Software Assurance, you have the right to use Windows 7 Enterprise Edition on the device instead of Windows 7 Professional. This also permits you to run up to four additional copies or instances on the device.

None of that makes any sense to me. The trolls call GNU/Linux complicated. All the complexity of GNU/Linux pales in comparison to the choices M$ offers. Of course complexity kills. I don’t see anywhere in that document where M$ requires a customer to purchase software with a PC, yet Lenovo discourages that. The mystery continues. Where have all the PCs gone that ship without “7”?

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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6 Responses to Where Have All The PCs Gone?

  1. Wahoo says:

    At our company, Windows PCs are purchased mostly from Dell but also from other vendors including Apple. All the bosses flaunt their Mac Book Air machines.

    Before a PC machine is given to an employee, someone from the IT group “ghosts” (as they call it) the OS and other product images like Office onto it to make it comply with whatever the flavor of the month/year may be for the department involved. We have a bunch of VPN key coded stuff as well as some business apps proprietary to our company as well.

    If something breaks, the IT guys fix it themselves from parts that we have on hand from the OEM. The guy that does our department told me that he went to the Dell school for the same training as they give their own techs and that we get a discount based on doing our own service.

  2. oiaohm says:

    WindowsFan and Phenom. MS volume License Windows is only upgrade by terms of license.
    So computer should have its own windows license.

    The big advantage of volume is two things. One the means to deploy images accross machines without jumping threw a 1001 hops.

    Number to KMS version has to connect to business network every so many days or it de activates.

    Funny enough as long as the OEM COA sticker is on computer it is legal for volume to be installed.

    Yes it way volume license MS Windows is never cheaper. Volume license MS Office can be but its rare to be the case.

    Volume license is about machine management more than anything else.

  3. Phenom says:

    Rudas, the installation of Windows is the same. It is only about the licensing model, with which you justify and activate your installations.

  4. So you have to have a version of Windows pre-installed BEFORE you can install a volume-licensed copy of Windows? Seems both wasteful and fraught with hazards to me, not to mention a waste of hard drive space and time as the Win installer backs up the existing, never-to-be-used-again files from the original install.

  5. So why does Lenovo discourage buying noOS if the business customer is going to buy from M$ anyway?

  6. WindowsFan says:

    Volume licensing agreements are the way that most companies buy Windows software as well as computers. Dell gives huge discounts from their on-line prices to corporations, many of whom have internal service techs trained by Dell as well.

    The details may be murky to individual users, but the business buyers have been doing this for years and do not have any problem.

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