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Re: Walmart Linux computers - what's the experience?

  • Subject: Re: Walmart Linux computers - what's the experience?
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 07 May 2006 05:16:28 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <1146962113.398089.52520@u72g2000cwu.googlegroups.com> <1146968402.660035.317090@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [ Cyberwasteland ] on Sunday 07 May 2006 03:20 \__

> hakro807@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
>> Hi!

How do you do?

>> I noticed that Walmart offer a few computers with Linux and I believe
>> they have done so for a few years. Does anyone here know how Linux have
>> been recieved among the costumers? Who is the typical costumer, how
>> many boxes have been sold, is the customers happy with their choice,
>> have many switched (back?) to Windows. If certain applications have
>> been missing, what were these etc.

Linux  was  received warmly by the customers, who clearly bought it for  a
reason.  Other than gaining actual /ownership/ of their data, there was an
improvement  in reliability, resilience, and flexibility. Cost was just an
arbitrary  bonus, if not a side effect. The typical customer is that which
was  utterly  disappointed  with commercial platforms (e.g.  data  losses,
persistence  of  viruses),  which  until recently, seemed  like  the  only
choice.  Others just felt ripped off or were denied easy access to data or
extension of existing software.

The  number of boxes sold can only be estimated by WalMart themselves, but
_do_  remember that most Linux boxes 'in the wild' are sold with  Windows,
which  in  turn  lives side-by-side with Linux or is ultimately  wiped  to
accommodate or give its place to Linux.

I  am aware of very few people who returned to Windows. They are a  *loud*
minority  who  did  not  want to invest in the migration  and  handle  the
learning  curves  involved.  All others are quiet and pleased  with  their
current  choice.  Less fortunately, only few of them register their  Linux
boxes  online  or  choose  to share their experience  and  knowledge  with
others.   This  means  that  the  scale  of  Linux  adoption  is   grossly

As  for  missing applications, there are none. Some people would  just  be
unwilling  to /explore/ for the suitable equivalent/alternative. Photoshop
was  names the most requested and longed-for application for Linux. Anyone
who  has  used the GIMP extensively knows that Photoshop plug-ins work  in
the  GIMP  and  that  GIMP, once taught properly (there  are  no  frontal,
face-to-face courses), can achieve everything rather easily. The interface
difference  deceive  many, so there is also a port called GIMPShop,  which
bridges a certain gap.


Take Photoshop as merely an example here. No application is truly missing.
You just need to have a look around.

>> Also please feel free to point to other retailers who sell desktop
>> Linux systems.

Where do you live? Google Groups is all I can judge by...

>> As I don't live in the US I haven't been able to follow the experiment
>> to closely and therefore would appreciate any input/comments you guys
>> can give, anything you may find useful.

I suggest you explore the Web to have more of your questions answered and
doubts eliminated.

>> Of course I have tried to google for an answer, read "professional"
>> reviews  but haven't been able to find any real statistics about how
>> the average customer thinks about it.
>> Best of regards
>> /Håkan
> Why don't you ask Wal-Mart?
> <aside>
> They have Wal-Mart in Sweden now?

I think it was used merely as an example by the OP. Wal-Mart, despite their
gigantic size, are not a  big Linux seller. Most Linux boxes are bought  as
Windows workstations, e.g. from HP and Dell.

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | "Computers are useless. They only solve problems"
http://Schestowitz.com  |  SuSE GNU/Linux   ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  5:00am  up 9 days 11:57,  12 users,  load average: 1.12, 0.78, 0.83
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