Wal-Mart is now offering a $500, Linux based notebook computer. It comes with the Open Office office suite, a 1Ghz processor and 128MB of RAM.
Should consumers or businesses buy it? No. Why? While Linux is fine for techies who know what Linux based applications to install and where to find them, Linux is still not main stream enough for most consumers to get the most bang for their buck. Games, mainstream business programs and peripherals, for the time being, run much better and are more plentiful for Windows based computers.
News Factor writes The low-end laptop strategy may be misguided, said Forrester Research analyst Simon Yates, who told NewsFactor that most computer buyers, including Linux fans, are looking for more functionality, not less.
“They are trying to attract the entry-level market, but have come up short,” Yates said. “With a 1-gig processor and 128 megs of RAM, users can access e-mail and surf the Internet, but they can’t enjoy most of the entertainment applications, such as music, multimedia content and games, that they want.”
And, said Yates, most Linux users like to experiment with their machines and are not price-conscious consumers. “It may appeal to college students who need basic Internet and word processing functions at the lowest cost available, but I don’t see this as gaining a large following,” he said.