Why? Did Microsoft intervene?
Why does the offer of economical 13 '' notebooks without operating system completely disappear? In January 2017 all major manufacturers had been present.
Notebooks without Windows are distributed by only a few dealers. The mainstream customer does not even know that you can buy a notebook without Windows, except for the apple notebooks .. The mainstream customer does not even know that the price is typically 130 EUR for Windows, except for crippled notebooks that are not expandable 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of memory, for which Windows is cheaper.
Test visits in mainstream computer shops have shown, the sellers talk about Linux as complicated and as not suitable for beginners. That was 2000 still true, meanwhile the situation has turned. See all my positive surprises in my relocation to Linux.
So why should Microsoft intervene?
In the time when the switch to Windows 10 was vehemently pushed, some have gotten the feeling it's not my computer, it's a computer from Microsoft, I'm just tolerated fellow users. The possibility to test Linux with a boot USB stick led to the surprising realization that this is easier than Windows.
For poor people it is a big difference whether a new notebook costs 270 or 400 EUR. For a family with children it is a big difference whether you can buy 2 or 3 new notebooks for 800 EUR.
If Microsoft intervenes here, then it is not about 130 EUR license fee per notebook, which are lost. Just to pay an EU cartel penalty like 2013, one would have to prevent the purchase of 4 million notebooks without Windows.
It is about preventing a critical mass of simple users who recommend Linux notebooks to other simple users. It is about the breaking out of Linux from the Freak-corner into the mainstream. I am sure Microsoft can only maintain its market share by means of methods that are not compatible with fair competition.
There is no planning security for planned computer purchases. In January, Acer, Asus, hp, Lenovo and others, which I do not remember had offers for economical 13" notebooks without Windows, all had disappeared in April. This are conditions like in the GDR, if you planned to buy oranges in 4 weeks ,