Walmart Brazil – the best place to buy a Linux box online?
One the frequent criticisms made by lovers of free and open source operating systems is the great difficulty of buying hardware either with Linux pre-installed or that doesn’t involve paying the ‘Microsoft Tax‘ (i.e. a common complaint from those who want to purchase a computer without a copy of Windows pre-installed and without paying extra for the licence either so that another operating system can be used).
There are 2 ways around this: firstly, spend ages looking for a supplier who sells hardware with Linux pre-installed and; secondly spend ages looking for a supplier prepared to sell you a ‘naked’ machine, i.e. hardware sold without an operating system. In the UK, you can buy a Linux box directly from a specialist supplier such as the Linux Emporium and get a naked system from a volume supplier like Novatech. Dell did start selling Ubuntu machines a couple of years ago, although this now appears to have petered out (news passim).
News has arrived at the lab today that consumers in Brazil are spoilt for choice when it comes to buying Linux boxen online: Walmart Brazil has a range of no fewer than 179 machines available with Linux pre-installed – that’s 12 pages full if one filters their product range by operating system.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has dipped its toe in the open source pond: in 2007 Walmart in the USA was selling Linux machines for $200.
Hat tip: Roy Schestowitz