Walt Mossberg

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PC Options Without Preinstalled Software

Here are a few questions I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability.

Does any PC manufacturer offer an option to order a Windows (MSFT) PC without any extra software preinstalled?

Dell’s XPS models can be ordered without most preloaded third-party software if you are very careful about clicking all the “no” options when ordering online. But you still are likely to find yourself with Dell’s (DELL) own sometimes annoying networking software.

I have two Windows machines, one for work and one for home. Both use Outlook for email. How can I best transfer many emails from the machine at work to the one at home and still be able to read them in Outlook — without forwarding them all?

Outlook has an “Import and Export” function that will allow you to export any of your email folders to, say, a transferable medium such as an external hard disk or flash drive. You can then take this removable medium to the home computer, plug it in, fire up Outlook, and then import the folder you had exported earlier at work. You can find these import and export functions under Outlook’s File menu.

Can Internet Explorer and Firefox 3.0 coexist on the same computer?

Yes. In fact, you can have 2, 3, or 4 different Web browsers installed on the same personal computer, whether Windows or Mac (AAPL). You can even run different browsers simultaneously. For instance, as I type this, I am running IE 7, Firefox 3.0 and Safari 3.0 on the same computer at the same time.

The only slight hassle is that you will have to decide which to designate as the default browser, the one that launches when, say, you click on a link in an email.

  • You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online for free at the new All Things Digital web site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.

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