Linux

New preloaded Linux computers for sale now at Sears and Wal-Mart


The success of the $199 Everex gOS-based desktop at Wal-Mart has spurred two more releases of low-end, Linux-based computers at two retail giants. Wal-Mart's follow-up to the Everex is the $399 gOS-based Cloudbook laptop -- sporting Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google News, Google Maps, YouTube, Firefox, Skype, Facebook and OpenOffice 2.3.

At Sears, consumers can get a new Linux desktop PC for less than $200 (with a $100 mail-in rebate). The Mirus/Linspire includes: an Intel Celeron 420 1.6-GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, a 56Kbit/sec. modem, a CD-RW burner, a media card reader, a keyboard, speakers, a mouse and Linspire's Freespire 2.0 Linux operating system -- but no monitor.

What do you think of these new offerings -- a harbinger of even better things to come? Is anyone planning to try one of these out?

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Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

22 comments
roy.evison
roy.evison

That firm seems to have ceased trading. Fair trading laws do not exist in the UK. It is almost like the chicken and the egg, you do not see it so you can't have it. If the high street has cornered the market in hoovers then you buy the device that cleans your carpet, oh it's a 'hoover'. They might have a better device/software in the backroom but you are tied into a deal. Go away user. Roy.

Jaqui
Jaqui

since they don't offer them in Canada for either chain.

brian.mills
brian.mills

I went to Wal-Mart last night (one of the better Wal-Mart stores in the Kansas City area) and decided to browse through the electronics department to see if they had any of the Linux PCs for sale. Didn't see a single one. I was highly disappointed. Maybe next time I'm there and don't see any, I should complain.

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

Hopefully it will continue to grow. They need to expand into some decent performance machines. If they continue to only offer machines of this quality, it will get the Linux name out but it will be thought of as a cheap low end OS. Maybe we will see higher end systems in the near future though.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

This is the kind of thing that will Bring Linux to a wider audience. This is good news, it will be 'seen' by many, and if demos are available, it is even better.

brian.mills
brian.mills

I think it's great that Linux is getting some mainstream market exposure. I'd consider buying one myself, but I really don't have the money to buy a computer that's not nearly as good as what I already have, and already run Linux on. I know the target for these computers is consumers who have been previously unable to afford luxuries such as a home computer, I'd like to see some more robust pre-loaded Linux systems at these retail outlets. Maybe then the people who are in the market for a new system and are fed up with Microsoft will be more likely to give Linux a try. Maybe get Dell to sell some of their Ubuntu-loaded systems at Wal-Mart, or get System 76 to sell through standard retail outlets as well as online. It's still good to see more Linux offerings in the places where the average consumer will be looking to buy a computer.

roy.evison
roy.evison

Dear Jaqui, there's no one selling Linux preloaded computers in th UK and few in the EEC, despite Walmart being over here. Who would buy a new computer, of which half the cost was for the o/s and then expect to install a different operating system. We don't like buying six bolts when only one will do, so why this highstreet robbery. Roy.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

and I haven't seen one either. Columbia, SC ain't Kansas City, but it a state capitol with a major Army post and a large university. Every time I mention the lack of Linux on the shelves, someone points out, "Well, you have to go to their web site."

Oktet
Oktet

who is providing the tech support for these lovely linux boxes, after you buy them or is there a disclaimer: RTFM or man xxx. -Just Wondering- PS, I love linux, but I would not buy a linux box for that price i would probably build one for less or use my old hardware to run a linux box.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

and can be purchased from Dell or HP as high end workstations, or servers. Dell also has the mid-range going on. So adding the low cost systems is really an excellent move, and will help offset Windows with low-income families as well. If programs like these do well, I would say that MS has some real trouble coming in a few years!

handydan918
handydan918

"This is not the year of the Linux desktop. Everything will continue as it has. Convergence will have no effect on market share." Repeat this, and click your heels three times, Mr.Ballmer... Because Kansas is about to go bye-bye.

Jaqui
Jaqui

I'm currently in a campaign to get them all to have a bare metal option. after all, you know that with their absolute lack of intelligence [ from picking windows in the first place ] they would never be able to pick or install a decent linux distro. I'm very particular about how my boxes are set up, including partition structure and filesystem used, I want bare metal because they would never make it right and I'll have to install the os myself anyway.

rhomp2002
rhomp2002

I just hope that now CompUSA is going out of the big box scene that the rest of the stores pick up the slack and this time also push Linux computers at all levels. This is a big step up from what was the situation before. I was just able to pick up a Linux computer from a website for just over $500 that had Intel dual core of a good quality, 2 GB and 250 GB storage. Already seeing online for a little less. I would love to see these computers in the stores with Linux on them. That would plug a middle of the road computer at a good price and really shake up the markets. I would also like to see Dell and HP along with Lenovo make it a little more open to get to the Linux computers they already have. I had to really look hard on all 3 of their websites to see the Linux computers they were offering. You have to be looking for Linux in the first place to find them. The choice should be out there when you first start looking at what is available to pick Linux, FreeDos or Windows and then go on from there. Then I would be supporting the big companies a whole lot more. As it is they are supporting Linux just to use that as a PR tool and then burying the option so you have trouble finding it. Not good.

adelacuesta
adelacuesta

Unix has been running on the high end servers and being linux as a derivative. You may be surprised that the powerful webservers are running on linux (LAMP). It was all about marketing for the masses. Who will advertise something 'free'.

roy.evison
roy.evison

This sounds good but I doubt it is available in the UK, or at least subject to high shipping costs. Linux loaded computers are available in Europe but not here so you are forced to either build your own or waste money on something that is Windows pre-loaded.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The system arrives with a blank, unformatted hard drive. There's no pre-installed software of any kind, although software may be included on CD / DVD / other media.

roy.evison
roy.evison

Dear jaqui, I detect a certain lack of faith! Is n't the whole point that people have a lack of choice in the computer world unless you build your own? What does 'bare metal' mean? Currently using Debian from a minimal installation- is that the sort of thing you are getting at? Flexibility has always been an advantage of Linux/Unix but do like ease of use with the likes of yast: installing packages and altering the bootloader is a major pain under Linux or maybe I'm just one of the thick ones. Roy

Sagax-
Sagax-

When Walmart has success with the current offerings, they will expand their offerings of Linux PCs. Walmart is the retail leader. Everyone watches what they are doing. Few will abandon a successful product line to them.

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

And one day we will take over the world ha ha ha ha ha ;) misspell in a two line post, how sad :(

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

most manufacturers seem to hide their Linux offerings pretty well. They also tend to recommend Win OS's, and this has been going on for years. It will take low cost systems to bring Linux into the 'light' for most home users. If it is successful, then there will likely be more offerings, and less 'hidden' items in the future. But, the low cost systems are a key to this whole ordeal, and it is with decent timing that they are being offered. Personally, I would like to see Fry's carry low cost Linux systems as well, since I am sure that they sell more comps (around here) than BB, circuit city, etc.. I think that Wal-Mart has the ability to sell these systems and bring Linux into the light. When/if it proves to be successful, then others will follow.

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

It is not about servers, it is about home users. To make a run at Windows market share you need the home users as well. If you are IT and buy your computers, and then call them servers, from Sears and Walmart, well, you probably shouldn't be in IT. Pond Scum, I agree completely that the low end systems are great, but Dell really hides the Linux offerings. They really don't show any savings for using it and advertise "Dell recommends Windows Vista" all over the damn place. I just think we still need to get it on more systems, low end and high end. Yes it is progress, I just think the next best step would be high end computers in more retail outlets such as Walmart, Sears, and maybe even one day Circuit City and Best Buy.

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