Microsoft: Don't sell PCs without operating systems
Microsoft has urged UK PC vendors not to give customers the opportunity to buy a PC without a pre-installed operating system.
Supplying base systems, or 'naked PCs', is a missed opportunity, according to Michala Alexander, Microsoft's head of anti-piracy.
Writing in Microsoft's Partner Update magazine, which is distributed to computer dealers, Alexander estimated that 5 percent of computers sold in the UK in 2006 would not include an operating system.
Alexander is keen to bring that number down, even though customers could want a base system because they want to install Linux, or because their firm already has a licensing agreement for an operating system such as Windows.
Linux vendors and free software supporters, though, believe these base systems can play an important role in supporting the open source market. Some are concerned that Microsoft may be attempting to use its powerful position in the market to hamper competition.
The European branch of the Free Software Foundation hopes that PC vendors will not be swayed by Microsoft.