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Wal-Martís $200 PC - sold out ( 10,000 sold...running Linux Ubuntu )
ZDNET ^ | November 13th, 2007 | Adrian Kingsley-Hughes

Posted on 11/13/2007 11:19:21 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach

About two weeks ago, Wal-Mart began selling $200 Linux-based PC.  The initial run was around 10,000 units.  Now Wal-Mart is sold out.  Has Linux now found a niche?

Wal-Mart’s $200 PC - sold outThe system sold by Wal-Mart was an Everex’s TC2502 gPC and is the first mass-market $200 desktop PC.  The spec of the system is very low - 1.5 GHz VIA C7 CPU embedded onto a Mini-ITX motherboard, 512MB of RAM and an 80GB Maybe a more relevant question is not whether Linux has found a niche, but whether Windows has outgrown the average user?hard drive - but this doesn’t matter because the system does pretty much everything that your average PC users wants.  With the gPC you can surf the web, send and receive email, work with word processor and spreadsheet documents, chat with friends, keep a blog updated, edit photos and pictures, even burn DVDs thanks to the built-in DVD burner.  About the only thing that your average home user won’t be able to do with this PC is play games on it.

One thing that interested me about this PC is that it is shipped in a tower case when the components would fit into a much smaller case.  I wondered why this was the case until I came across a write-up on Wired:

Even at the low end, however, image is everything. The gPC is built using tiny components, but put inside a full-size case because research indicates that Wal-Mart shoppers are so unsophisticated they equate physical size with capability.

That “Wal-Mart shoppers are so unsophisticated” bit is a tad worrying because I do wonder whether someone who equates case size with capability should be put in charge of a Linux system.  The reviews seem pretty positive though.  Maybe Wired have underestimate the kind of person who shops at Wal-Mart.  Positive reviews far outweigh negative ones.  However, the comment that stood out was this:

when you want to jazz it up, just spend 10 bucks for a new linux distro

Interesting comment, eh?

Now here’s what’s interesting about this PC.  It doesn’t have what it takes to run Windows Vista, but it has more than enough power to do pretty much everything that users want from a PC.  As hardware costs have plummeted, and the power that can be squeezed from components increased, the cost of having Windows installed on such a PC becomes too high a proportion of the cost of components.  For example, if you wanted to load Windows Vista Home Basic onto this system (not that I’d suggest that you tried - the PC just couldn’t cope with Vista), you’re adding between $60 and $90 to the cost of the PC (depending on what the vendor pays for an OEM license, if you do it yourself, expect to pay the higher price in this spectrum).  In fact, Wal-Mart do sell a similar system with Home Basic pre-installed (this system has an extra 512MB of RAM, a SATA 150 drive instead of an ATA 150 hard drive, and comes with a keyboard and mouse) for $298.  Add Microsoft Office to that cost and the price of software doubles the price of the hardware.  By installing Linux and OpenOffice, the total cost of the PC is kept as low as possible.  While the price of hardware has fallen dramatically, the price of Windows hasn’t.  This could be Microsoft’s Achilles’ Heel.  This low price point will appeal to many.

Has Linux finally found a niche in which it can compete against Windows or will the interest in these kinds of systems be limited?  I think that Linux might well have found a good niche.  Sure, these low-end systems will never appeal to those who want power at any cost (and who don’t mind if their systems belch black smoke to achieve that power) but for people looking for a very cheap PC at a rock bottom price (this system is so cheap that I doubt you could build one for as good a price if you added shipping charges for the components into the deal), this must be a pretty irresistible deal.

Maybe a more relevant question is not whether Linux has found a niche, but whether Windows has outgrown the average user?

Thoughts?


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: linux; ubuntu; walmart
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1 posted on 11/13/2007 11:19:23 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: ShadowAce

ping!


2 posted on 11/13/2007 11:20:07 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

CHeap sells. But OTOH it does expose a lot of people to linux.


3 posted on 11/13/2007 11:21:43 AM PST by Hydroshock ("The Constitution should be taken like mountain whiskey -- undiluted and untaxed." - Sam Ervin)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

$200 ? wow

Everex.. used to see that name on stuff way back when..


4 posted on 11/13/2007 11:22:25 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICEís toll-free tip hotline ó1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
About the only thing that your average home user won’t be able to do with this PC is play games on it.

This has to be temporary. Can run a Word Processr, but not a game?

5 posted on 11/13/2007 11:23:20 AM PST by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some FReepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: All
Related:

Wal-Mart's Little Linux PC That Could

**********************EXCERPT***********************

Ubuntu has gained a lot of attention for its capabilities as a desktop Linux distribution for the masses. But it probably took a Wal-Mart to get it attention for the right reason: an affordable OS that can do what people need it to do.

Even though Wired cited research that sneered at the "unsophisticated" Wal-Mart shopper buying the Everex machine because it's crammed inside a big case, Everex seems ready to keep those buyers using an OS not called Windows, by providing 24-hour tech support via a toll-free call.

That's an important piece of the puzzle. If Everex can keep buyers happy and returns out of the initial batch to a minimum, they can push another 10,000 out to shoppers. Maybe more. We have to wonder what the magic number will be that prompts some kind of response from Microsoft.

6 posted on 11/13/2007 11:23:25 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

darn.. the power of capitalism.


7 posted on 11/13/2007 11:23:56 AM PST by Ancient Drive
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

With the gPC you can surf the web, send and receive email, work with word processor and spreadsheet documents, chat with friends, keep a blog updated, edit photos and pictures, even burn DVDs thanks to the built-in DVD burner. About the only thing that your average home user won’t be able to do with this PC is play games on it.

I’ve never been a gamer,, the rest makes it sound like its worth checking out, next go-around..


8 posted on 11/13/2007 11:24:16 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICEís toll-free tip hotline ó1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRGeT)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
How many were bought as primary computers and how many were bought by geeks who already have Linux installed in their toasters?
9 posted on 11/13/2007 11:24:27 AM PST by KarlInOhio (May the heirs of Charles Martel and Jan Sobieski rise up again to defend Europe.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Last year Wal-Mart and “MEGA-churches” were going destroy America and the world—did we miss something!?!?


10 posted on 11/13/2007 11:24:48 AM PST by BlabItGrabIt (Sometimes nothing is a real cool hand...)
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To: Onelifetogive
Must mean the High end games...I’m sure solitaire runs fine!
11 posted on 11/13/2007 11:24:59 AM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (No Burkas for my Grandaughters!)
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To: Onelifetogive
Can run a Word Processr, but not a game?

It should be able to run games. It just won't run games written for Windows.

12 posted on 11/13/2007 11:26:23 AM PST by KarlInOhio (May the heirs of Charles Martel and Jan Sobieski rise up again to defend Europe.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Thoughts?

I personally believe the majority of the people who buy them are going to pump them full of warez and put them in the family room for the kids.


13 posted on 11/13/2007 11:26:44 AM PST by Petronski (F-R-E-D! Fred! Fred! Fred!)
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To: NormsRevenge

My first computer was an Everex. I paid more than this system costs to upgrade the HDD from 20 to 30 MB.

Yes. I am a dinosaur.


14 posted on 11/13/2007 11:26:51 AM PST by gridlock (Recycling is the new Religion.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Soon 9000 knuckle dragging mouth breathing slugs will return their PC’s to Walmart because they “don’t get that linus thang”


15 posted on 11/13/2007 11:26:54 AM PST by Domandred (Eagles soar, but unfortunately weasels never get sucked into jet engines)
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To: BlabItGrabIt

This is obviously a ploy by Microsoft to get everybody turned off of Linux when all these machines crap out at once!.........


16 posted on 11/13/2007 11:27:03 AM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
...research indicates that Wal-Mart shoppers are so unsophisticated they equate physical size with capability.

So many jokes, so little time...

17 posted on 11/13/2007 11:27:25 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: BlabItGrabIt

I’ve been running Gutsy Gibbon Ubuntu for a few weeks now (and Feisty Fawn) before that and have NO complaints. The new compiz video interface is sweet, and I have never had a system crash. Oh, and it is totally free to download and takes about an hour to overwrite your Windows system.


18 posted on 11/13/2007 11:27:30 AM PST by canadianally
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To: gridlock
I paid $400 for a 40MB HDD once, by mail order!.............& I thought I was getting a great deal!..............Is Computer Shopper still around?............
19 posted on 11/13/2007 11:28:25 AM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: gridlock

FR is dinosaur-friendly : )


20 posted on 11/13/2007 11:28:38 AM PST by stephenjohnbanker (Pray for, and support our troops(heroes) !! And vote out the RINO's!!)
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