Re: How many consumers want a pc with no OS?
"I know that all us super tech heads just love fucking around installing OSs, but most consumers would see a pc with no operating system as being like a car with no motor or a fridge with no door."
To me, it's more like a new sketchpad with nothing drawn on the pages, or a crossword puzzle book with none of the puzzles completed. Of course, people like me are in the minority, even if we're the majority here. Most consumers would feel just as you mentioned.
Still, even if a computer left the factory sans OS, that doesn't mean it will always end up being delivered to the end user in that form. The retailer could accept shipments of laptops with no OS (or even no hard drive/SSD) and put whatever OS its users want on them. The mass market megaretailers would never do this, of course, but the handful of smaller retailers out there who do know a little more would be able to offer their customers Linux or Windows 7, if that's what they want (if they can find the licenses of the latter, anyway).
There are a few of that type of shop around me. For desktops, it's no big deal; they build their own, just like many of us do, so they already don't come with an OS. Laptops, though, are another animal, and it would be nice to see them offered by the manufacturers in a way similar to how Intel offers their NUC SFF PCs... as barebones units without memory, HDD/SSD, and (obviously) OS.
Of course, there is also the possibility that shipping PCs with blank HDDs would not result in those laptops being any cheaper than the current Windows-equipped versions. The crapware that is installed alongside Windows is not there because the PC manufacturer thought you needed McAfee or Norton or whatever else. It's there because the publishers of those products paid the PC maker to put them there-- which subsidizes the cost of the PC, offsetting the license fee the manufacturer had to pay to Microsoft for the privilege of selling Windows preinstalled.
It's why a Dell PC (I think it was a laptop) that actually did come with Linux preinstalled (and no crapware) cost more than Windows versions of the same PC, shocking the community of people who expected it to cost less. Without the crapware subsidies, it cost more, even without the Microsoft tax.
So it may be that the way to go is to simply regard Windows PCs as having blank hard drives, if you don't like the OS they come with, and to treat them accordingly-- format it and install whatever you want, just as you would if the drive were actually blank. That's what I did with the most recent PC I bought preassembled... in 2008, I bought a laptop with Vista on it, and I put XP on it the day it arrived. It kept that XP installation until about a year ago now, when I went to Windows 7. It's now a Linux Mint/Win 7 dual boot PC.
I don't get people who just open the box and use things.