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Walmart Offers Sub-$500 laptop With Linspire 589

LehiNephi writes "Cnet reports that Walmart is offering a sub-$500 notebook running Linspire. The specs are less-than impressive: a 1GHz VIA C3 processor, 128 MB RAM, 30GB hard drive, and a plain vanilla CD-ROM. Seems overpriced for what you get, but cheap nonetheless. And yes, it does run Linux."
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Walmart Offers Sub-$500 laptop With Linspire

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  • Not bad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maxchaote ( 796339 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:18PM (#11141761)
    Not a bad value for those of us who do low-intensity work like back-end web development and don't have huge libraries of MP3s.
  • by deft ( 253558 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:19PM (#11141778) Homepage
    The parent is probably going to be modded down as a troll or looked down on, but it really is a valid question... as most people will probably want to install windows so they can use the programs familiar to them.
  • by wcitechnologies ( 836709 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:21PM (#11141788)
    I wonder if they include a disclamer for Linspire... a big red "DOES NOT INCLUDE MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP" on the box somewhere.

    I'd almost wager that 80% of the people who buy these (or who buy a computer from WalMart in general) are n00bs, and will try returning the devices because 'there's no microsoft word or internet explorer on it'.
  • by Akai ( 11434 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:21PM (#11141795) Homepage Journal
    WalMart is both the symbol and actualization of what is wrong with the USA. Remeber how much you love WalMart when that's the only job available to you, and the wages from your WalMart job are so low you can only afford to shop at WalMart.

    Warts? They are more like sucking chest wounds.

    Anyone who shops at WalMart is party to the destruction of the american middle class, the 40 hour work week, and employer paid health care.
  • by krbvroc1 ( 725200 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:21PM (#11141797)
    But can it run Windows?

    Well, with 128MB of RAM according to the specs, I wouldn't try iy. At least not a recent version of windows.
  • Call me when... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jacobcaz ( 91509 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:22PM (#11141805) Homepage
    ...I can pick up a dozen laptops for under $500 along with my gallon of pickles [] for $2.97.

    Seriously, I feel bad for whoever is putting these together for WalMart. They just got a hugenormous client (WalMart) who will be both the best and worst thing that ever happened to them.

    Where I work we split our time between trying to provide excellent service to our non-WalMart customers while keeping WalMart happy because they account for such a huge chunk of our revenue it's not even funny. And that's pretty normal for any company WalMart does business with.

  • low spec? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rkww ( 675767 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:23PM (#11141807)
    This has a faster processor, bigger disk and more RAM than a standard PC from three years ago; what applications have turned up since then that require more than this?
  • by krbvroc1 ( 725200 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:24PM (#11141821)
    I'd almost wager that 80% of the people who buy these (or who buy a computer from WalMart in general) are n00bs, and will try returning the devices because 'there's no microsoft word or internet explorer on it'.

    Actually, put a 'W' icon linking to Openoffice or AmiWord and a 'E' 'Internet' icon pointing to Firefox and I bet they wouldn't know the difference.
  • Not too shabby. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ssand ( 702570 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:24PM (#11141824)
    Keep in mind this is a notebook, and not a desktop. One for that price really isn't too bad, and would be excellent for someone doing basic computer usage. The biggest issue I see is that it is not windows. That's no big deal, however it can be for those who are not tech savy. With the draconian return policies of software, I can see unsavy users buying software thinking it will run, and finding out they can't.
  • Not awesome? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by StevenMaurer ( 115071 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:24PM (#11141825) Homepage
    I don't know about the author, but I remember the days when twin pentium 90's and 128 Megs of RAM were considered awesome....

    That was about 10 years ago.

    Sure, this thing isn't going to be a screaming game machine, but honestly, how much horsepower do you need for text editing, email, and some casual browsing, anyway?
  • by StevenHenderson ( 806391 ) <stevehenderson@g ... com minus distro> on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:26PM (#11141836)
    As South Park so eloquently pointed out... :)
  • by yamcha666 ( 519244 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:26PM (#11141839)

    Seems someone has been watching a bit too much South Park.

    *Referring to South Park Episode # 8-09*

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:28PM (#11141861)
    Here Here!!! I would love to be party of killing employer paid health care... and government health care... if we did, maybe there would be wal-marts selling insurance and health care.

    Some people have no friggin concept of the economy and capitalism whatsoever. As if the great founders of America implanted a economic system based around freedoms and capitalism... but they had NO IDEA there would be someplace like Wal-Mart!!! I mean... we just can't compete!!!

    Complete ignorance. People like you put us on the fast-track to protectionism and an isolated economy just so we can give the high-school dropout and union job with full benefits and garuanteed pay raises every year. Nevermind the complete loss of any motivation to outperform your peers and better yourself.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:31PM (#11141887)
    It is because neither cares if they have friends. They have customers. To a company, customers are infinitely more important than friends.
  • by bm17 ( 834529 ) * <> on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:36PM (#11141932)
    If I were I teenager and my parents got me this computer, I would be plenty pissed off. If not immediately, then as soon as I tried to buy gaming software for it.
  • Re:Not bad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rainman_bc ( 735332 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:39PM (#11141956)
    Hmmm, don't know about you, but as a web developer, sometimes I'm called upon to do some photoshop work - hardly waht I'd call low-intensity...
  • by cduffy ( 652 ) <> on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:40PM (#11141965)
    "Most people"? Naaw. My girlfriend's father is "most people". He doesn't know or care what the OS is or the applications' names are as long as he has email, web access and bare-bones word processing -- and he's out-of-date enough that Windows XP and Office XP will be every bit as foreign as Linspire and OpenOffice.
  • Re:Incredible (Score:3, Insightful)

    by chrisopherpace ( 756918 ) <cpace.hnsg@net> on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:40PM (#11141969) Homepage
    1.) It is cheap- under $500. This is rare. 2.) It runs Linux. Yes, believe it or not, this site does lean towards OSS and *NIX.
  • by phasm42 ( 588479 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:49PM (#11142035)
    Mod parent up. If this becomes common, people are going to remember Linspire/Linux==slow because it's always installed on slow computers.
  • by TrailerTrash ( 91309 ) * on Monday December 20, 2004 @07:54PM (#11142084)
    Agree 100%. The people I went to high school with never went to college, because the union would get them US$40K a year jobs with full benefits right after high school. They scoffed at college.

    Now (25 years later) we are finding that we (the US) have overpriced our labor to the point were we are non-competitive in any basic industries. Now my former classmates are unemployed, or on strike for years at a time, and up a creek. The slightly more enlightened among them are at a community college trying to make up for lost time.

    Wal*Mart charges a low price and pays a low rate. Don't like it, go to school and get a job doing something other than stocking shelves. No other jobs in Podunk other than Wal*Mart? Move.

    Grow up, people. Wal*Mart only controls the job supply if you let it. Train yourself for something other than stocking shelves or waving UPC's over scanners. Especially since we're automating that function, too.
  • by OldBaldGuy ( 734575 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @08:09PM (#11142201)
    Please watch the stereotypes. I shop Walmart. I also went to private schools until grad school, where I got my Ph.D. in Statistics. I don't hunt, although I do ski and scuba dive. I also employ programmers for things I design.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2004 @08:31PM (#11142396)
    The foundations of chemistry and physics existed in early Greece -- crude by our standards now, of course, but existed nevertheless. Algebra came from Arab culture, ancient Egypt/Babylon and not to mention the advances in math and physics in ancient China -- which westerners like to ignore, of course, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 20, 2004 @08:35PM (#11142442)
    You must really be young.

    It reminds me of West Virginia coal mines of the 1920's and 30's and their company-owned towns. Your monthly wages never exceeded your monthly costs for rent, food, clothes and your kids 'education' in the company owned and run stores and schools, so you we always in debt to the company.

    People originally flocked to Walmart because the low prices allowed them to keep more of their income from their middle class jobs and spend it on other things besides food and clothes. But, as Walmart drove the middle class jobs out of town, many found that they could no longer afford to shop any place else.

    Now that most of the Walmart merchandise has "Made in China" labels on it, Americans have completed the task of sending their remaining jobs and income overseas and in doing so are funding a Marxist dictatorship bent on our own destruction. America, truly a "company store" again. Add to that the fact we that sending what money we have left to Mid-Eastern Oil producing states so we can drive SUV that get 12 mpg and proof of our insanity is complete.

    Pr0n, booze, drugs and Walmart. What a sad commentary.
  • How ironic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by poptones ( 653660 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @08:44PM (#11142497) Journal
    Because when I first saw the price and specs on the thing the first notion that popped into my head was trying one of them and putting ubuntu on it.

    Then I saw the other machine that has an "Athlon 4" CPU in it (whatever that is) for fifty bucks more and comes with built-in wireless networking. "Oh boy," I thought, and headed over there to check that one out. And of course, the one that has wireless networking comes with XP.

    Gonna be real easy "taking over the desktop market" when you can't even get installed in a machine with wireless networking support...
  • by nuggetman ( 242645 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @09:13PM (#11142736) Homepage
    Need I remind you the last kid that asked for an iMac wound up with his dad designing the "HipE"
  • Re:Not awesome? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 74nova ( 737399 ) < minus distro> on Monday December 20, 2004 @09:23PM (#11142806) Homepage Journal
    Really you can pay $200 more for a laptop that goes three times as fast and lasts twice as long. Or pay double and get something that lasts 4 times as long. I really don't see any advantage to buying this laptop. A used celeron laptop would probably be a better deal if you absolutely can't spend more than $500 on a laptop
    you point is valid. however, i dont have $1300 for a good laptop. if all i needed was a mobile machine to do day to day stuff with, this would definitely do it for me. everybody knows that to a point, you get more for paying more. buy a 24pk of coke and its $.02/oz cheaper than the 12pks. hell, if you told dell you wanted 100 of those laptops you suggest, youd probably get them even cheaper! oh right, you probably dont have $120,000.

    its all a matter of perspective. to some people that want/need a laptop but dont need a lot of power, cheaper is always better. also, i think there is something about $500 for a laptop. people see that to get a dell desktop is about $500, but to get a walmart laptop ('hey, walmart is a well-known brand' they think to themselves) is now the same price. okay, maybe you need the $550 model to get windows to make that a little more fair. my point is that $500 for a laptop is mad cheap, regardless of the quality. that amount of money has not gotten you a laptop new for some time(if ever). the battery life is terrible, however, ill give you that.

    well, crap. i typed all that and just now saw your recommendation for a used celeron. that is a viable solution, theres a 1ghz dell on ebay for $400 right now.
  • by kd5ujz ( 640580 ) <<william> <at> <>> on Monday December 20, 2004 @09:33PM (#11142870)
    This is targeted at the typical walmart costumer. They will buy the $499 laptop, if the 549 laptop was $500, because the $499 is cheaper.
  • by zors ( 665805 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @09:53PM (#11143005)
    Because we all know that societies that forbid competition thrive far more than capitalist ones. After all, thats the real reason that capitalist societies are in the shitter, especially in technological areas. and quality of life. right?

    Healthy and fair competition is the best thing for society, in nearly every arena.
  • by falsified ( 638041 ) on Monday December 20, 2004 @10:43PM (#11143435)
    No, he means crippled. If someone chooses to install Windows, let them.
  • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <> on Monday December 20, 2004 @11:39PM (#11143888) Homepage
    Well, what are people going to do with their Linux-Installation:

    a) Wipe it out and replace it with Windows
    b) Throw the computer into the trashcan
    c) Continue to use Linux because it gets the job done

    I think c) is perfectly ok, b) is rather unlikly and if they do a), what do you expect? Either WinXP will run even more slow or it will be a faster, if its slower, no lose, people will figure its not Linux fault that the computer is slow, if XP is faster, then well, Linux IS actually slow and people will remember it, because its the truth. Can't see anything bad with that.
  • by blanks ( 108019 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @12:16AM (#11144146) Homepage Journal
    No, you will forget that we will still have the choice to work at mcdonalds or blockbuster, the other 2 predatory corporations that all share the same business plan. Move into small towns, destroy the economy, remove jobs, and basically take over any type of industry that might have existed in the past.

    Yes you can save money, but their is allways a price, be it quality, ethics, or price.

    Personally My ethics are not so cheap as to be willing to give them away so easily to save a few bucks.
  • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:06AM (#11144462) Homepage Journal
    It's a protection racket.

    I agree. However, the insurance companies can only do what they do because the chain of responsibility that turns the legislators into power brokers for the insurance companies enables them to.

    I see the chain of responsibility in this order:

    1. The people
    2. The political parties
    3. The legislators
      • The lawyers
      • The insurance companies

    The insurance companies have what amounts to a license to mint money. The legislators gave it to them.

    The lawyers also have a license to mint money, and the legislators gave it to them as well.

    The political parties only produce candidates that will toe the line and produce pork.

    The people give the political parties the the power to do this, and they have not moved to take it away.

    The legislature has in turn very carefully made it very difficult (with the single exception of California as far as I know) for the people to have any power whatsoever in changing how the system works. They do this by distracting the gullible majority with bullshit issues like drugs and "obscenity" and useless, unproductive wars in third-world countries, while they avoid dealing with healthcare and tort reform as if it was the plague. And of course, to them, it is the plague, because of the level of political pork that arises from the back room intercourse they engage in with the insurance industry. Screw that up, and they could lose income and the cushy job. And they know it.

    The tea went into Boston harbor for far less reason than all of this adds up to. American citizens are the ones bending over; so who can really blame the legislature if they go for a quick sample of ass? Stand up for yourself, vote the incumbents out of office -- no matter who they are -- next time around and send a coherent message. Or don't, and pay through the nose for your healthcare.

  • by slowbad ( 714725 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @01:07AM (#11144463)
    that .1ghz also equates to about double the performance of the "1ghz" VIA C3 chip

    Hardly an exaggeration ... a year ago, for $55, NewEgg sold a Celeron MB populated with a
    VIA 'GigaPro' C3 that would have taken 17 years with Prime95 to complete a single test.

    Sandra identified the C3 chip as Samuel or Ezekiel.
    It certainly would require a miracle of Biblical proportions
    for a VIA 1GHz to beat a Pentium 166MMX ...

  • by kormoc ( 122955 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @02:20AM (#11144809)
    Yup :)

    I had a old computer thta had the 8 gig barrior was it? and I had a 6.2 gig drive in it and a 80 gig drive as a file server, the bios couldn't see it, and windows couldn't see it, but linux happily used it fine.
  • by carlmenezes ( 204187 ) on Tuesday December 21, 2004 @03:09AM (#11144991) Homepage
    Sorry to sound like a wet blanket, but there have been past stories about how walmart pressurizes it's suppliers to lower costs to the point of even bankrupting them. So, what I'm wondering is, who is it this time? Sure, it's great to have a laptop for less than $500, but hey, is some poor guy suffering to provide this pricing? or not? Anyone?

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