Do you remember the contract-based “E-PC's” from years ago that were very cheap, sometimes often free, assuming you signed up on a particular contract with a company? It isn't anything new to business for a company to offer you discounted or free hardware if you sign up with long contracts with them, but the PC version of that trick failed pretty horribly. It's back though
, with various offers being found from HP, Dell and others. Just about every Dell system, especially purchased at retailers, is offered with free hardware from Printers to LCDs. The super cheap ones are also making a comeback. Sign up for a year and get a cheap PC. With the hardware often costing next to nothing for the manufacturers, this makes a lot of sense. For the industry... who knows.