Desktop Linux: Look Beyond Wal-Mart
Yes, you can purchase a $200 Linux PC from Wal-Mart this holiday season. That’s great news for consumers and the open source movement. But a lot of bloggers, including The VAR Guy, need to remind readers that it might be wiser to look elsewhere for affordable, reliable Linux PCs. One prime stop should be ZaReason.com. Here’s why.
Sure, Wal-Mart is selling the gPC from Everex, a $200 system that runs gOS — a specialized operating system based on Ubuntu Linux. For that $200, you get a basic PC, keyboard, speakers, mouse, loads of Web-enabled apps and OpenOffice. It’s not a gaming system, but thousands of folks are discovering gPC is a solid option for basic web surfing and productivity apps. Although exact sales figures are hard to come by, several reports suggest that Wal-Mart’s initial stock of gPCs sold out rapidly.
Wal-Mart has replenished its supply of gPCs. And The VAR Guy just might buy one for the holiday season. However, he won’t likely hand his money to Wal-Mart. Instead, he’s spotted gPCs for sale on ZaReason.com. For those who don’t track the open source sector closely, ZaReason is a small-but-reliable pioneer in the Ubuntu Linux desktop market.
There are several reasons why ZaReason — rather than Wal-Mart — might get The VAR Guy’s money. First, ZaReason allows you to customize the gPC, potentially loading up on extra RAM, a WiFi card, monitor and product literature. Second, ZaReason is responsive and welcomes customer interaction. The VAR Guy sent the company a quick email with a few questions about the gPC, and he received a clear, concise reply within three hours.
So, why hasn’t The VAR Guy purchased a gPC from ZaReason yet? Two words: Dell and Apple. Dell is offering a $100 discount on its Ubuntu Linux desktop, and the price caught The VAR Guy’s eye. And The VAR Guy also spotted a few refurbished Mac Minis and iMacs on Apple’s Web site.
Decisions, decisions. For now, The VAR Guy’s wallet remains closed. But when he opens it up, he doesn’t expect to hand any cash to Wal-Mart. There are far better deals online. And ZaReason deserves special consideration because of the company’s support and laser-like focus on the Ubuntu Linux customers.