Wal-Mart ends test run for Linux-based computers in stores

Computers that run the Linux operating system instead of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows didn't attract enough attention from Wal-Mart customers, and the chain has stopped selling them in stores, a spokeswoman said Monday. "This really wasn't what our customers were looking for," said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien.

To test demand for systems with the open-source operating system, Wal-Mart stocked the $199 "Green gPC," made by Everex of Taiwan, in about 600 stores starting late in October. Walmart.com, the chain's e-commerce site, had sold Linux-based computers before and will continue selling the gPC.

This was the first time they appeared on retail shelves.

Paul Kim, brand manager for Everex, said selling the gPC online was "significantly more effective" than selling it in stores. Wal-Mart sold out the in-store gPC inventory but decided not to restock, O'Brien said. The company does not reveal sales figures for individual items. Walmart.com now carries an updated version, the gPC2, also for $199, without a monitor. The site also sells a tiny Linux-driven laptop, the Everex CloudBook, for $399.

View: Full Article @ SMH

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft wants to freeze the Vista incapable lawsuit

Next Story

Microsoft preps four Office patches

34 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Yes Linux has application managers, and yes linux has a apt get command line thing you can type in. But what people want is to go to a website, download a setup file double click it and have it work.

(warwagon said @ #12)
Yes Linux has application managers, and yes linux has a apt get command line thing you can type in. But what people want is to go to a website, download a setup file double click it and have it work.
You mean first type in search parameters into google. Then wade through a several results until they find one that is free (and not give them a crippled demo while trying to sell them the software). Click the "I agree" to the license terms they didn't read which may also install adware. Then click through a few pages of installer.

And, in the end, never know that if a bugfix or improvement is released, because apps in Windows don't have a central manager to keep things updated - it's every app for itself (minus Microsoft Update, which is a good idea, just limited in scope).

If that's what customers what, who am I to make them switch. Let them be happy in Windows-land.

It's not smart for a company to sell a computer and right next to it have shelves and shelves of software that it can't run.

Is anyone surprised by this? When people go to Wal-Mart for a PC, they want music, photos, videos and games. Pretty much everything they sell, all in one area. Why the hell would their customers want Linux instead? It's more trouble than it's worth.

I see that you haven't tried it recently. I run Ubunru Linux on my system only and I can do all of those things without any problems. There are even versions of Ubuntu, like Mint and Ubuntu Studio, specially configured for multimedia needs.

Linux is much more than it was and is becoming real competition for Windows and Mac OSX.

(Foub said @ #10.1)
Linux is much more than it was and is becoming real competition for Windows and Mac OSX.

I don't know what you are smoking but linux is not even close to becoming any sort of real competition for the desktop against neither mac or M$.

(James Riske said @ #10.2)
I don't know what you are smoking but linux is not even close to becoming any sort of real competition for the desktop against neither mac or M$.

Yet another person who hasn't tried Linux lately..... The only thing that Windows has over it are games, and all Macs have are looks. I had said, "Becoming real competition...." Maybe you should take a reading comprehension course?

(Foub said @ #10.3)

Yet another person who hasn't tried Linux lately..... The only thing that Windows has over it are games, and all Macs have are looks. I had said, "Becoming real competition...." Maybe you should take a reading comprehension course?

You're actually comparing a Linux distro to Leopard (or even Tiger)??

(LTD said @ #10.4)
You're actually comparing a Linux distro to Leopard (or even Tiger)??
:laugh:

Try it and see. Now that Macs are PCs you can even install Linux on them. You have an even bigger choice now. You can even set Linux up to look and act exactly like either of them.

I have tried linux recently and not so recently a lot.

and IC an tell you, it's still not a very good user OS.

sure if you have techie friends or do NOTHING more than surf the web it's ok.

butother than that ... not really, config tools varies from either too complicated to too simplified (a big Ubuntu problem where the config tools areso limited you can barely change the desktop backround(it's an exaggaration don't get too excited)).


The increased treliance on Linux apps to be installed with package managers are also nto a very good thing. sure the linux guys will say "oh but everythign gets updated through one program and blah blah bla". it also limits you to only programs in the package manager, and makes it a real mess to find just that program you want, especially if you're lookign non specifically. at leats when surfing the web you get screenshots and descriptions and all that on the site.

I remember when I could just dump the Opera bin file in a directory and it'd run on pretty muchany distro... not so anymore...

Despite packagemanagers there's still dependency hell.and many apps are only pre compiled for a few select distros, and with distros divergin more and more and the common package thing becoming less and less of a reality...


Linux looks impressive for the geeks who care abotu hiding their desktop behidn a thousand useless desktop plugins, and does the job on pre-cofniger single or near single purpose work computer, and for regular users who just surf the web and maybe grab some photos of a camera andwrite some mails. steop outside those boundaries, and non geeks may easily find themselves needign help from the geeky.

Anyone tried out the Dell laptop with Ubuntu on it? I really want to get that... since I've never been able to get it to install properly on any of my laptops.

"This really wasn't what our customers were looking for"
Your customers just prooved that the saying 'thick as s**t' does have a marketing style

"Computers that run the Linux operating system instead of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows didn't attract enough attention from Wal-Mart customers".

Well gee, they didn't really have to put Linux in the store to find this out. But you have to give Wal-Mart credit for trying especially since Linux is about as far from "mainstream" as you can get.

Not mainstream? I'd have to disagree. Linux may not be heavily embedded in the western home market, but it is extremely competitive in the lucrative business market... unless you don't think sites like Neowin are "mainstream". Plus in emerging markets, open source software (like Linux ) is competing very well as acceptable and even superior alternatives to MS products... and with as anti-consumer and anti-industry as Microsoft has been shifting towards over the past decade, it can only help bolster competing products like Linux.

(lbmouse said @ #7.1)
...
unless you don't think sites like Neowin are "mainstream".
...
C_Guy was talking about using as a desktop, not as a server, where Linux has proven itself very capable.

As far as usability, I think that modern Linux can be used by a grandma without usability problems. Most of what holds Linux adoption back is Microsoft-inertia.

(markjensen said @ #7.2)
C_Guy was talking about using as a desktop, not as a server, where Linux has proven itself very capable.

As far as usability, I think that modern Linux can be used by a grandma without usability problems. Most of what holds Linux adoption back is Microsoft-inertia.

Exactly what I was going to say. Even though i'm a LAMP developer i'm about as interested in Linux as a desktop as a swift kick to the danglers. The Linux desktop offerings need to improve VASTLY to really compete with any of the Microsoft or Apple offerings.

(markjensen said @ #7.2)
C_Guy was talking about using as a desktop, not as a server, where Linux has proven itself very capable.

Linux is making very measurable progress in sub-server emerging markets (both peoples and products). I just don't feel that decision making process of Dick and Jane Smith in Whitetown, USA should be the only measurement for "mainstream".

(markjensen said @ #7.2)
As far as usability, I think that modern Linux can be used by a grandma without usability problems.

Interesting read. But me, I'd complain right away if I saw OpenOffice. Office 2007 FTW. :D

That being said, I have to agree with the rest of the article on how well Ubuntu does out of the box.

(rm20010 said @ #7.5)
Interesting read. But me, I'd complain right away if I saw OpenOffice. Office 2007 FTW. :D

That being said, I have to agree with the rest of the article on how well Ubuntu does out of the box.

That's all right. I'd complain if I looked at the sticker price on a copy of MS Office at the store. And need to purchase Windows on top of it! :P

(markjensen said @ #7.2)
C_Guy was talking about using as a desktop, not as a server, where Linux has proven itself very capable.

As far as usability, I think that modern Linux can be used by a grandma without usability problems. Most of what holds Linux adoption back is Microsoft-inertia.

My mother is a great-grandma and she's using an Eee PC from Asus with Xandros Linux on it and she loves it.

"This really wasn't what our customers were looking for". Apparently it was, if they sold out. And I do believe people are looking for alternatives.

ill bet reason they sold out is 'price' not cause they had linux on them ;)

and i would not be suprized if a decent percentage of people bought them and then installed windows to them.

<joke>Now if only hardware were free...</joke>

Obviously hardware can't be free like software. Software is only a concept, after all, whereas hardware is made up of different materials that can be touched and seen. Technically numbers are merely abstract objects that represent an amount of concrete objects, so the 1s and 0s that make up the software are merely concepts as well. My brain hurts now...

I was going to buy one of those gPC's at a local store around here a little before Christmas. None of the 6 stores within 50 miles of here had one in stock, but all had, had them. Bought one of the ones with Windows Vista Basic on it. Already knew how bad that stunk, so blew it off and tried to install that gOS Linux on that machine. Wouldn't install for nothing!!

Wiped everything clean and installed XP Pro and Linux Blag70000 on it. Runs as sweet as a 1.5ghz computer can run. Video on it is rather weak, but doesn't matter much as I'm not a gamer anyway. Not a bad "customized" computer though.

Definitely not a bad idea to do this. Someday!!

(rm20010 said @ #3.1)
Does every one of your posts have to take some shot at Vista? Seriously.

Vista is such a good target since it's a steaming pile, let the man have his shots.

Seems that most of the demand was through online orders. They sold out of these almost immediately upon offering, and had to get Everex to hurry and supply additional units to meet demand.

These weren't in any local WalMart in my area. I checked their store stock locater and there was nothing within any sort of reason (250miles or so).

So, really it's non-news? Here in The Netherlands, you can get a lot better deals online that aren't available in the actual store. Glad it is catching on, the story appears to say otherwise though! :worried:

(Neobond said @ #2.1)
So, really it's non-news? Here in The Netherlands, you can get a lot better deals online that aren't available in the actual store. Glad it is catching on, the story appears to say otherwise though! :worried:
Not "non-news". I was considering posting it in BPN when I saw it in a google news search.

I think that WalMart would just prefer higher-margin items on their floor (where there is a premium on floorspace). Online, stock can be in a dark corner of a warehouse. Relatively cheap that way.

Well to be fair people bought these computers because they were cheap and nifty not specifically because they had Linux running on them, but Im glad to see that the computers of tomorrow might be running free OSes instead of Windows or Mac, I just hope this catches on.