FreeDOS laptops are increasing in popularity with consumers, in spite of the recent decline in the overall sales of laptops.
According to industry sources, the sales of such non-OS laptop computers in Korea have surged during the recent three-month period. Although manufacturers are refusing to disclose specific figures for their relations with Microsoft, it is estimated that the ratio of non-OS laptops jumped from less than 5 percent to 15 percent or so between the third quarter and December last year.
Microsoft, in the meantime, estimates that 20 to 30 percent of the laptops recently sold in Korea carry no OS, which is higher than the analysis by retailers and wholesalers. The OS provider’s estimate is likely to be closer to actual, because it reflects the copies of the OS provided for manufacturers in advance.
Industry experts are predicting that the sales of FreeDOS laptops will increase at least three-fold this year from the approximately 10,000 units of last year. However, the laptop market is forecast to shrink in size from 580,000 to 550,000 units.
The rapid increase in the sales of this type of product can be attributed to Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, which increased the supply of new laptop computers without OSs these days.
These products cost about 200,000 won less than the others, due to the absence of an OS. An official copy of Windows 7 can be installed at a price of 120,000 won or so. Therefore, a non-OS laptop can be more economical for users with some knowledge.