I'm a Linux devotee.
I don't like to see obviously skewed analysis on Linux's behalf any more than I like to see it on Microsoft's behalf.
It's at least erroneous, and probably intentional distortion, to use the Windows shelf price of $299 in a TCO analysis. Nobody pays $299 to get Windows with a computer.
The boxes with Windows are less expensive than the boxes without.
Did you go back and read that sentence again?
I tried a lot of configurations.
and I found a few where the Windows option costs $10-$20 more.
Mostly the Windows boxes cost up to $230 less when you factor in the big "instant discounts" which are available only on the Windows boxes.
I called their toll free number too, and another polite fellow explained to me that they have this assembly line, and they are all set up to install Windows, and an out-of-the-mainstream order without Windows is hard to deal with.
..the hard truth that saving money on the Windows license isn't going to be the big money saver that some analyses have assumed.