The $139 Linux PC

Posted by caitlyn on Aug 2, 2007 8:26 PM EDT
O'Reilly Linux Dev Center; By Caitlyn Martin
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In recent comments to my review of Vector Linux 5.8 SOHO keyfitter wrote:
There is a reason why they are using Win 98 in 2007. I think it’s called, being cheap!.
I wonder if these people realize they can buy a brand new computer for $139.

Granted the hardware is a bit dated by today’s standards but it’s probably light years ahead of what they are running Windows ‘98 on. Of course these computers come preloaded with Linux: Vector Linux 5.8 Standard to be precise. That’s fine. Without having to worry about installation or hardware compatibility someone who buys this system gets a nice, ready to go, user friendly Linux system with a warranty. The return policy is listed as “no matter what” short of physical abuse. What they don’t get are Windows virii and malware. They do, of course, have to learn a new OS.

Why not offer the same system with Windows? It would nearly double the price. People forget that they pay an average of around $100 for the privilege of having Windows on their new computer. Of course Windows Vista wouldn’t run on a 1.5GHZ system with only 256MB of RAM, would it? Vector Linux 5.8 Standard will run quite nicely, though. A memory upgrade wouldn’t hurt particularly if you’re interested in a lot of multimedia applications (an extra $39 for 512MB) but it isn’t strictly necessary.

Have a few more dollars? How about one with a 3.33GHz Intel Celeron processor for $269?

The point is this: with new systems for $139 it doesn’t pay to be cheap and run an old piece of junk and ancient software. From what I’m told these systems are selling well. Hopefully Linux is picking up a few converts, ones I hope will be satisfied with their new OS, along the way.

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