$200 Linux PCs sell like hotcakes

It’s been a while since I did a post extolling the virtues of dumping the over-priced, bloated, and freedom-inhibiting Microsoft Windows for the free, lean, feature-rich Linux operating system. Today I celebrate having been Windows-free for 31 months, and to be honest I don’t miss Windows one single iota. My free version of Mandriva Linux does everything I need. I can type Word documents, create spreadsheets & databases using the OpenOffice free office suite. I can play all the common types of movie or music files using a plethora of players, I get free operating system upgrades (not just updates – but upgrades) every 6 months or so, I can have a 3D-desktop running without having to pay for a “premium” version, and I never have to worry about Microsoft’s restrictive licensing practices.

In other words, I have complete freedom with my computer and operating system. I own what’s on my desk – not Microsoft.

Linux has moved along in leaps and bounds over the past few years. What used to be difficult to install and set up by newbies can now be done on most distributions easily through software installation interfaces. Maintaining my system really is a dream. I’m far from being a geek – in fact I had never knowingly used Linux before I wiped Windows from my hard-drive and dove in the deep-end with Linux. It really surprised me just how easily I got everything up and running (and individually tailored – something I could never do with Windows).

One of the best things about Linux is that most (if not all) distros (that’s what the thousands of different versions (distributions) are called) come with a huge amount of free software included – and usually a good selection of software for each task. No bare-bones out-of-the-box Windows system and then having to pay for Office, anti-virus, a firewall for me. Everything I needed either came on the installation DVD, or was easily available for free from one of the many free software repositories that are available to Linux users.

Anyway, enough of the spiel – if you want to give the free Linux operating system a go, either visit the Mandriva link above, or choose from the thousands of distros available online from DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD. Alternatively (once new stock comes in), you can always pick up a $200 Linux PC from your local Wal-Mart. Apparently Wal-Mart underestimated the popularity of Linux, and their initial order of 10,000 sold out in only 2 weeks. But more are on their way:

Wal-Mart’s $200 Linux PCs sell out

Right after Halloween, Wal-Mart introduced Everex’s Ubuntu Linux-powered TC2502 gPC for a list price of $198. Two weeks later, they’re sold out. Everex tells DesktopLinux that more will be coming though.

Wal-Mart only bought an initial run of approximately 10,000 units. For once, Wal-Mart’s vaunted supply chain management system failed to predict just how popular an item would be. Wal-Mart offers a similar Everex model with more base memory and Windows Vista Home Basic called the Everex Impact GC3502 Desktop, for $100 more. Wal-Mart still has plenty of those.

Customers want the Everex TC2502 Green gPC and they want it badly. While there are a few units still available in Wal-Mart stores, you’ll need a lot of luck finding one. A search in your editor’s area, Asheville, NC, found there wasn’t a single one within a hundred miles.

But, there are more TC2502s coming. According to Paul Kim, Everex’s director of marketing, while “there are only a few units left on the Wal-Mart shelves we’ve noticed customers are having difficulty finding them since they’re so spread out. Walmart.com sold out within 48 hours and is trying to restock now.”

However, “We were originally reserving a second batch of gPCs for post-Black Friday [sales], but [we've] decided to release early because of the high demand,” Kim said.

Read the rest at: Wal-Mart’s $200 Linux PCs sell out

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