When we assemble a computer by parts, the most common is install the operating system ourselves. However, when we buy a new computer, we most often find that it already comes with an operating system installed by default, usually Windows. In this way, we only have to connect it at home, turn it on, and, after completing a simple initial configuration wizard, we can start using it.
This can have its advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you look at it. And, therefore, we are going to look at both possibilities to discover which could be the best option.
Advantages and disadvantages of a PC with Windows installed
Windows, as we will already know, is a paid operating system. And therefore, one way or another we will have to pay for it. Of course, while a license purchased by us has a price that ranges between 150 and 250 euros (depending on whether we choose the Home or Pro edition), OEM licenses for manufacturers have a much lower price, although the difference is it pays with certain sacrifices that we will see later.
The best thing about these types of systems is that they are ready to use. We are not going to waste time downloading a Windows, creating a USB, installing it, downloading drivers … Just turn on the PC and, in just a few minutes, start working with it. This is perfect for users who do not have much experience and they don’t want to get complicated. We are paying a premium, in a way, for the license and for the “start-up” of the equipment. In addition, once the license is included with the equipment, we won’t have to worry about paying again. We will have the right to use the PC unlimitedly, and even install all the updates, such as, for example, from Windows 10 to Windows 11, for free.
On the other hand, a computer with a Windows installed as standard are usually more expensive than a computer without it, since we are paying, in a way, the license. Depending on the laptop or PC we choose, the difference can be up to 300 euros, although generally it is usually somewhat less, around 100-150 euros. So if we choose to buy the computer without Windows, we can save money, or use that difference to choose better components and then install the system by hand ourselves.
In addition, it is important to remember that Windows pre-installed by manufacturers usually include a lot of adware (antivirus, a trial version of Office, a program to watch movies, a recorder, etc), programs that not only do not interest us, but also, from the first moment, weigh down the performance of the computer.
Is a computer without Windows better?
There are several reasons where we may be interested in buying a computer without the operating system installed by default. These teams are designed for users who already have a certain level of knowledge and know what they are doing. In reality, computers must come by law with a system installed. But manufacturers, instead of installing a Windows, install FreeDOS, a free operating system similar to MS-DOS. And, based on it, we can do whatever we want.
The first reason to choose this type of notebook or PC is that let’s not install windows. There is life beyond the Microsoft operating system, and if we are going to use a Linux distro, such as Ubuntu or Debian, it is unnecessary to pay a premium for the Windows OEM key.
It may also happen that we already have a Retail password (the faces) in our possession, and that we want to use it on our new computer. These keys can be installed on multiple computers (although not at the same time), unlike OEMs, which are tied to specific hardware. If we already paid for a key in the past, why pay again? We can save money, or use that difference to choose better components.
Finally, it can also happen that we do not want our new PC to have advertising. We remind you that the pre-installed Windows are usually full of adware and unnecessary programs. Therefore, if we do not want this, and we prefer a clean Windows, installed and configured from scratch by us, we can avoid it.
Where to buy a license to install it us
In any case, that a computer comes without Windows installed as standard does not mean that we cannot install it ourselves. Quite the opposite. Just as we can install a Linux system, we will also be able to install the version or edition of Windows that we want. Of course, the process will be manual, and we will have to know how to do it.
As we have already explained, Windows Retail keys (the ones we can buy as users) are quite expensive. And there are many stores that seek to scam us (selling the same license to many users, illegal keys, OEM at Retail prices, etc.), so we must be very careful. If we are looking for a full price key, and we do not want to take risks, the ideal is buy it from a reputable store (for example, on Amazon, as long as it is sold by Amazon itself), on a component PC (same, sold by the component PC itself) or in similar stores. And we can even do it in a physical store, where we can make sure that the Windows package is sealed and unopened.
But, if what we really want is to save, there are many stores that sell cheap windows keys, being able to get a license for less than 10 euros. These licenses are reused OEM keys from discarded systems that have been reactivated by Microsoft. We can activate Windows with this key and use it without any problems, with full right to update whenever we want. Of course, being an OEM key, once activated it will only be valid for that PC. When we buy a new one, we will have to buy a new key.