[sf-lug] $199 Linspire Desktop at Sears

jim stockford jim at well.com
Wed Jan 30 20:50:32 PST 2008

    on the front page of zareason.com is a computer
for $199 that sports an ubuntu flavored linux OS.

    i'm interested in their cloudbook ($399) because
of its fits-in-your-overcoat-pocket form factor. same
price as OLPC G1G1 (though no little kid also gets
a cloudbook with your purchase).

On Jan 30, 2008, at 7:20 PM, Sameer Verma wrote:

> Rick Moen wrote:
>> Quoting Blake Haggerty (Blake.Haggerty at Sapphire.com):
>>> I am just wondering if anyone was aware of Sears selling Linux 
>>> Desktop
>>> Machines? Anyone ever used Linspire?
>> Few people in the conventional Linux community use Linspire, because
>> it's marketed at an entirely different market, and only rarely is
>> even available in slightly crippled editions (e.g., for download)
>> without paying for either a shrinkwrapped retail copy or an OEM 
>> preload.
>> Last time I got ahold of a copy, which I believe was Linspire 5.0
>> (complete with Baby Boomer-focussed advertising campaign calling it
>> "Linspire Five-O").  It was a rather underfeatured KDE-based desktop
>> distribution built on Debian, bundled with a number of "value-add"
>> proprietary desktop utilities specific to Linspire.
>> It seems as if their business model relies mostly on a "razor blade 
>> and
>> razor" sales model:  They want you to backfill the rather thin supply
>> of applications by buying them from the online "Click'n'Run Warehouse"
>> e-commerce site.
>> (I vaguely recall that almost all such software is also available
>> without expense from, e.g., the Debian mirrors.)
> Reminds me of what my professor used to say in graduate school. He 
> would
> say, and I quote approximately, "If you take away the fence from around
> a sheep pen the sheep will still stay in formation". Debian mirrors
> aren't going to help the folks who shop at Sears (or Walmart).
>> Going by what I remember of it, I think Xandros Desktop OS was, at 
>> least
>> at that time, by far a more impressive entry in the category of
>> "proprietary supersets of Debian aimed at novice desktop computer 
>> users
>> and trying to look and act as much like MS-Windows as possible".
> I've seen their handiwork on the Asus Eee PC. They have worked hard to
> make it look like Windows XP. Maybe I'll bring one to the meeting this
> Sunday.
> Sameer
> -- 
> Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
> Associate Professor of Information Systems
> San Francisco State University
> San Francisco CA 94132 USA
> http://verma.sfsu.edu/
> http://opensource.sfsu.edu/
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