• United States

Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: Linux on sale in aisle 10

Aug 27, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* Wal-Mart starts stocking SuSE Linux

Everyone knows the familiar Wal-Mart smiley face, but shoppers in the superstore’s computer aisle may have seen another grinning visage staring back at them lately — Tux the Penguin’s.

That’s because Wal-Mart recently started selling SuSE Linux-based PCs, preloaded on Intel-based hardware from Microtel Computer systems. The desktop PCs feature SuSE Linux 8.2, which includes the Konqueror, a KDE-based desktop environment, as well as the Netscape Web and Mozilla Web browsers, OpenOffice, and other standard Linux desktop applications.

For around $300, the PCs aren’t a bad buy. The PCs can be customized with CD burners, ADM Athlon and Duron, and Intel Pentium and Celeron processors of varying speeds (all in the gigahertz-range).

And if that’s not enough to convert penny-pinching Windows devotees, Wal-Mart is also selling NeTraverse’s Win4Lin application, for around $80. The software allows users to run any Windows-based program on a Linux desktop. Used with machines that are loaded with a Linux and Windows operating system partition, Win4Lin allows Windows applications to be accessed while the Linux operating system is booted, without requiring a dual boot of the two operating systems.

Wal-Mart started its Linux offerings with the controversial Lindows operating system (the company was sued by Microsoft for its name, which Microsoft claimed sounded too much like Windows). Whatever your opinions are of Wal-Mart, it’s hard to think of a more effective vehicle for bringing Linux to the masses than the world’s largest retailer.