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HP is the New Dell: Great Customization Options and Even Better Price

My last two laptops have both been Dell. I had always loved the fact that I could customize my laptop fairly specifically at the same time as getting a great price. At the time, other companies generally could only offer one of those options: a prepackaged bundle with a good price or customization with a premium.

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Sony Charges $50 Extra to Sell You Laptop with No Crapware

Sony LaptopSony and crapware have a special relationship, so much so that it takes over two minutes for its laptops to boot into Windows (compare that with 30 seconds for a MacBook). The company has even issued press statements explaining its reasoning: “The programs are carefully selected and provide benefits to many consumers, up to 30% of whom act on the offers.”

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Microsoft Hopes to Release Windows for $100 Laptop Next Year

OLPCThe One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program started at MIT was developed with the intention of getting $100 laptops to kids in developing nations. While the price tag is almost twice that, they’re still working to get it down.

The laptop, currently called the XO Laptop, has had some success with the recently announced “Give One, Get One” program. For just $399, the deal buys both yourself and a child from a developing nation new XOs. The non-profit is reporting about $2 Million worth of donations each day.

Now the latest news has Microsoft coming out with a statement saying it is trying to rework Windows XP to run on XO laptops. The company has outlined the challenges (a good rundown of them can be found here) it faces in this unusual project. The biggest challenge cited is the fact that the XO laptop uses flash memory rather than a traditional hard drive, which is what Windows normally needs.

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PC Gaming Soon To Be Affordable: Growing Popularity Equals Better Competition

HP GamingThe big computer companies seem to have one thing in common right now: bring computer gaming to the masses. Last week HP launched the Blackbird 002 desktop PC, the company’s first HP-branded gaming PC. The starting price is $2,500, roughly half the cost of much of the high-end gaming competition.

Then there’s Gateway (soon to be purchased by Acer), which plans to introduce a gaming PC in November called FX540 with a gaming-oriented notebook line planned for release in January. And let’s not forget that both Toshiba and Dell released new, more affordable gaming computers this summer. Toshiba, with its Satellite x205 series of gaming notebooks which start at around $2,000, and Dell with its XPS 720 gaming desktop, which starts at roughly $1,700.

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Computers Coming Preloaded with More Crapware Than Ever Before

SonynotebookWalt Mossberg of Wall Street Journal fame has an article out (subscription required) explaining just how much crap his brand new Sony laptop came with. And we’re not talking full programs either; these are trial versions which force you to pay later if you’re really interested. Walt counted about two dozen “craplets” pre-installed, which likely are part of the reason for the over two minutes of time it takes the computer to start up (compared to 30 seconds for a comparable Apple MacBook, ouch!). Sony’s response:

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Dell Ex-CEO Gets $5 Million Cash for Screwing It Up While HP Profits Soar

Dell is shelling out $5 million to ex-CEO Kevin Rollins who stepped down on January 31 and will leave the company on May 4. The $5 million in cash will be given out over the next two years. Founder Michael Dell is back in charge and has to clean up the mess of disappointing earnings, a laptop battery recall, an accounting investigation, and HP taking over the number one spot in the market.

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Dell Taking Orders for Vista PCs TONIGHT!

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has some unidentified sources claiming that Dell will begin selling personal computers with Vista tonight just before midnight eastern standard time. These first movers will get their new Vista-loaded computers on Tuesday, the official launch day of Vista for home users. My question:

Will there be a spike or drop in Dell orders tonight?

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