I asked a company if they could sell me a PC without an installed Operating System, as I plan to install my own. Their response was that "We have to legally include a OS with all of our systems. So we include Windows 10." It surprised me that this would be a legal issue rather than a company policy.

The company is based in Utah. Is this an actual legal requirement by law? Why? Could it be to protect consumers? Would it protect the company from liability? Is it likely part of a contract they are in? Or is this a misunderstanding by customer service?

I didn't find anything with a cursory web search. (I am a new poster, so any critiques of my question are welcome.)

1 Answer 1



AFAIK there is no such legal requirement.

Why this company told you there was I can’t speculate. But I will.

They may be under contract with MicroSoft to put their OS on every box they sell - that would be a legal requirement. Or the just don’t sell boxes without this and they employee told you it was a legal obligation to get out of the conversation.

  • 1
    Some more background (possibly rather out of date): en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundling_of_Microsoft_Windows May 14, 2020 at 22:31
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    It's not clear whether this is the retailer or manufacturer, on the retail side they probably contractually have to sell the boxed computer as they receive it, and the manufacturer probably has licensing deals with Microsoft that include exclusivity, at least for specific models. May 15, 2020 at 17:59
  • ...Didn't the courts rule at some point that it's illegal to require an OEM to put your company's OS on it?
    – Vikki
    Aug 15, 2021 at 1:41

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