Spurred by this NY Times article, Scoble is surprised that Dave Winer is considering treating his PC as a consumable, like an ink jet printer which now cost less than the cartridges, because Microsoft's OEMs don't provide Windows install disks when you purchase a PC, and it's nearly the same costwise--even less sometimes--to buy a new computer instead of purchasing a full-fledged copy of Windows.
Let the dumpster diving begin!
My guess would be that Scoble gets his Windows CDs free, or that perhaps they have WindowsXPPro CDs sitting around in candy dishes at Microsoft for all who wish to partake, but newsflash to Scoble: Most of us regular folks have to RE-BUY the software if we want to be able to pave our machines (to get rid of offending agents, because we deleted an important operating system component and screwed it up bad, or just because we feel like it).
I spent $2,000 on computers last year--my Acer laptop from buy.com (do NOT buy.com) and an HP PC from Microcenter here in Atlanta. The year before we bought a PC from a different store (or OEM as Scoble refers to them). In fact, I've been buying PCs for years, and it's been a long, long time since I got the actual software that would let me re-install, from scratch, the Microsoft OS. Maybe never.
Yes, Robert, the world is round and every day all around this round world, people pay for Microsoft's OS twice. Once on the computer and once in the box.
I hate that too. Grrr.