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Linux Business

Linux PCs Discontinued at Wal-Mart Stores 278

Posted by Zonk
from the we-barely-knew-ye dept.
eldavojohn writes "The $200 Linux PCs discussed earlier last year have been discontinued for sale at Wal-Mart's physical locations, though they will remain for sale at walmart.com. All this despite the systems repeatedly selling out. From the article, 'Paul Kim, brand manager for Everex, said selling the gPC online was "significantly more effective" than selling it in stores.'"
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Linux PCs Discontinued at Wal-Mart Stores

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  • Normal (Score:5, Informative)

    by LingNoi (1066278) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @02:05AM (#22712620)
    Don't Walmart bring products in and out all the time, I fail to see the "omg linux failure" here..
  • Re:No worries, mate (Score:3, Informative)

    by ILuvRamen (1026668) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @02:06AM (#22712634)
    but if you're going for the cheapest machine you can find, I'm sure the manufacturer factored in what like $30-50 for the windows license on it. As for me, I don't want Linux running as slow as Vista so I'd buy a midrange PC instead of the cheapest. It's not like you're going to spend hundreds on software afterwards like a PC so why not spend some $ on a dual core system with some ram and give that penguin some caffeine :D
  • Re:No worries, mate (Score:5, Informative)

    by kaos07 (1113443) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @02:10AM (#22712662)

    Just go get the cheapest Windows PC you can find (they have a sticker that says "Vista Capable" or "Vista Ready") and install Linux. It's cheaper than buying a dedicated Linux machine.
    Actually the cheapest PC available on Walmar is $278. Exactly the same as the Linux model but comes with Vista Home Basic.
  • Re:Normal (Score:5, Informative)

    by kripkenstein (913150) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @02:16AM (#22712692) Homepage

    Don't Walmart bring products in and out all the time
    That is very true. In addition, the point of the article is that on-site sales were poor, but on the other hand online sales were successful enough for Wal-Mart to continue selling Linux PCs, currently the gPC 2 and the CloudBook.

    Bottom line, walk-in customers at Wal-Mart weren't into these products, but more tech-savvy people that buy online form a sufficient market for Wal-Mart to serve. What is important about the latter fact is that it means Wal-Mart will be ready to supply demand should desktop Linux become more mainstream.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @02:59AM (#22712872)
    I can tell you that if Wal*Mart pulled the product, it was because of very frequent returns. (And ANGRY ones at that) The people that bought these computers were going for price alone. I believe that some folks look at a computer as nothing more than an appliance, as hard as that may be to grasp for some techies. They have some sense that they are probably not getting the best computer in the world for that price, but simply that there is a box labeled 'multimedia pc' and is within their price range is reason enough to turn off their critical thinking and make an impluse buy.

    Some people that called had 'discovered' that the computer was not running windows, and when informed of the difference, they were willing learn. Others 'discovered' that they had been 'duped' (even though the box is clearly labeled) and were calling to confirm their mistake with the intention of returning it if we could not give them a copy of windows (fat chance).

    I for one inferred due to various facts that Wal*Mart employees at many locations were upset in general about the amount of returns on our gPC. Also, inre other comments, it is laughable that a W*Mart employee would know or care about any products there. The computers, gPC or not, were tossed onto a display by overworked/underpaid people and left there. If they made their way out the door even missing parts, W*Mart pretty much expected Everex to replace them. Returned products, gPC and otherwise, were almost without fail (from our perspective) not processed in any way and put on the shelf without even a system restore being done. All employees I dealt with were no more aware of even how they would wipe a system if they cared to... (The inevitable call when it was resold was very common.) Who could blame them? Have you read how Wal*Mart does business/treats employees?

    I can tell you that although cheap, it was not the Everex product. This failure was entirely on Wal*Mart. It was their fault because they are not a value-added retailer! Even the apalling service at Best Buy or some other place (where they train employees to be manipulative, at least they TRAIN them!) would lead to fewer returns and more success.

    This would be GREAT news if i still answered the phone for these folks.
  • Re:No worries, mate (Score:2, Informative)

    by DKlineburg (1074921) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @03:43AM (#22713024)

    You're right about that being the cheapest way to get a linux machine. I think the objection to that would be on principle more than anything else -- people won't want to pay the Vista license fee if they're not gonna actually use Vista. In fact, if you're trying to get value for money its a little annoying to know that your PC could have been cheaper if you didn't have to pay for s/w you're not going to use.


    If you are going to be running Linux anyway, one might assume that you are above average PC user. That being said, why don't you build your own? There are a lot of places you can get a custom built one with no software installed. I live in WA State, and there is a local shop a few cities away, but they also ship. They will put in exactly what you want, or make suggestions if you don't know. They give a warranty on the hardware, and do offer software if you want it. I think they might even offer a Linux distro (Redhat?). Either way, you buy exactly the parts you want, minimal build fee, and no Vista license fee. Just a thought, if you like Linux, look around for a "build your own" store.
  • Re:Once again... (Score:3, Informative)

    by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @04:36AM (#22713250) Homepage
    Or they ordered X of them and sold X, since the article clearly says they sold out.
  • by JetScootr (319545) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @07:15AM (#22713814) Journal
    The "Linare" linux distro on it did NOT include gcc (or any compiler), the only drivers for its modem and NIC were partial source for WINDOWS drivers. Their tech support was one guy who was obviously NOT in the US. He had to "call his supervisor" cuz he didn't know what Linux was or why windows drivers wouldn't work with it. After several phone calls, he email me a broken rpm file. I loaded Knoppix, got it working fine and overwrote "Linare". A coupla months later, the power caps popcorned.
  • by thedbtree (935701) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @07:36AM (#22713948)
  • Re:Once again... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:35AM (#22714414) Homepage
    The exec's used skewed information.

    Almost ALL locations that had them in the stores only stocked 1 or 2. They also did not display them so they were tucked away when they had them. Most of the time they were sold out and the local store manager never had it set up to restock very often so therefore the sales pace in store was slow. Mostly from raw incompetence. I watched 6 local stores around here trying to get one because I was too lazy to buy online and ship to local store. They NEVER had them in stock.

    Typical retail games and retail executives making decisions based on bad information created by their own management team.
  • Re:No worries, mate (Score:2, Informative)

    by pdusen (1146399) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @08:46AM (#22714544) Journal
    Um... Windows OEM PC == $$$ for M$? How can you miss this?
  • by JetScootr (319545) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @01:25PM (#22719044) Journal
    I id'd the Walmart PC I bought as a "Linare" of the variety they sold from their website at one time. What I posted was absolute truth, not flamebait or trolling. I didn't say "down with Microsoft" or "up with Linux" or "I hate =insert company name here=" or any crap like that. Apparently your experience was difference; both yours and mine together may help others decide what they want.
    As for your comments on my post:
    1. I personally downloaded...
    I couldn't, cuz no working drivers were included with the Linare Linux box, neither for the modem or the built in NIC card.
    2.It is quite plausible that there was no gcc....They were only as far away as their repository though.
    See my reply to your comment 1. The repository is really really far away if your modem don't work.
    3.Their tech support may actually be one guy...
    My complaint wasn't so much that there is only one guy, but that he didn't know what Linux was or how to support the box. in other words, the vendor couldn't pass it off as "he's a new guy" or my phone call was "misdirected". The vendor had failed to provide even a marginally acceptable level of support for the product.
    Your request for someone to mod me down is unreasonable.
  • Lack of demand (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cajun Hell (725246) on Tuesday March 11, 2008 @07:42PM (#22723466) Homepage Journal
    This article [guardian.co.uk] quotes a Wal-Mart spokesperson as saying it was due to lack of demand. Hey, don't blame me, I'm just posting a link and summarizing it.

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