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Does the $200 Linux PC Matter?

A lot of people are sending me links to the $200 desktop running Ubuntu Linux that Wal-Mart is offering. While it's a fairly low-end box, it packs some decent power for short money. The Everex Green gPC TC2502 (how's that for an intuitive name) has 512MB of RAM, an 80GB drive and a CD burner (the DVD is unfortunately read-only).

What's most interesting is just how much usable software one can get for free, and gPC has it all -- Mozilla, OpenOffice and every Google app that ever came out of Mountain View.

The bad news is there's no built-in wireless, and reviewer Gary Krakow of MSNBC found it rough around the software edges. The worst news is that Wal-Mart may not be planning to carry it in all its stores (though my local Wal-Mart has plenty).

I'm hoping for broad distribution and a good, hard marketing push. We'll know if Linux is an alternative only by having loads of people (and not just Linux geeks) give it a whirl.

I'm very tempted to pick one up for my sons, who yearn to be Linux geeks. But before we all get too excited, keep in mind that for an extra $100, Everex will give you a machine with twice as much RAM and Vista pre-installed. And before you get too excited about that, keep in mind that neither come with a monitor or a wireless card.

Posted by Doug Barney on November 05, 2007


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