Don’t Lie To Me! A Call For Hardware Honesty.

Warning! Bit of a rant here . . . At some point in the next couple of months, I’m going to kiss my old notebook goodbye and purchase a new one. I’ve been looking (when time permits) at the various deals that are out there. So far, I still don’t know who I want to give my money to. And this is where the big lie and my search for the truth starts.

Before anybody gets too excited, I’m not suggesting that Compaq, MDG, Dell, Lenovo, or insert-your-vendor-here, is lying on purpose. As Mark Twain might have said, there are lies, damned lies, statistics, and advertising copy. Check out this great deal . . . from a local flyer that showed up in my mailbox a few days ago. We expect advertising to stretch the truth, but we expext truth somewhere in there.

$800 for a great notebook with 512 MB RAM, 80 Gig hard drive, Wireless card, dual-layer DVD burner, 15.4 inch TFT screen, 1.6 Ghz Centrino processor, etc. Comes with hundreds of dollars in free software (XP Home, Encarta, Word, MS Money, etc, etc).

So, how much is the PC really worth, given that I won’t use any of that sofware. Is it $500 in software? In which case I should be able to buy it for $300.

Yeah, it’s a little nuts to assume that I can just subtract the $500 in free software to get the real price of the notebook (the free software I use on a day to day basis is actually free). Microsoft has cut deals with the vendor, forcing us to buy something we don’t want. Maybe I have to put up with it, but somewhere in that equation is what the notebook is really worth. I think that vendors should come clean and let us know just how much we are turning over to Microsoft and company when we don’t want or need their software.

If more people knew what Microsoft’s cut was, they might start asking for their hardware, unencumbered by products they didn’t ask for.

Truly, I’m not asking for a lot. Just a little honesty. How much is that notebook in the window? Just the notebook. Nothing else. Thanks.

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