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Mandrake to Come Preloaded on Wal-Mart PCs

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the hey-this-came-with-an-operating-system dept.

Linux Business 617

surfimp writes "Here's a story from NewsForge: 'MandrakeSoft CEO Jacques Le Marois confirms the news this morning, and company spokeswoman Margaret Waters says, while a contract with Microtel has not been finalized, the company is working on getting Mandrake certified to run like clockwork on the Microtel systems. Waters is hopeful that the dotted line will be signed and PCs up for sale by the end of next week.'" Update: 06/20 17:21 GMT by T : Ooops! The Mandrake spokeswoman's name is Margaret Waples, not Waters. Apologies, and thanks to Todd Lyons of Mandrakesoft for the correction.

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♫ First musical request post! ♪ (-1, Troll)

Mr F J Musical-Troll (582606) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730222)

For L0rdkariya [] , a musical first post [] . Hey, I guess that's just the way it is.

Re:♫ First musical request post! ♪ (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730264)

quite selfless of you! you clearly serve the CLIT!

Re:♯ First musical request post ♯ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730338)

gmake trollpost all

frost pist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730224)

fp! wahoo!

first and all (0)

wrax (570032) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730236)

hey i may be first, but really its good that linux is finally getting preinstall space in major stores.

What about... (-1, Offtopic)

Moita Carrasco (571940) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730242)

What about Lothar? Nobody ever mentions Lothar!!

Re:What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730268)

I am Lothar of the hill people! Much have I seen and much have I done.

First RHAT post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730245)

Red Hat Inc. (RHAT), which provides open source software, didn't comment in its earnings news release on the narrower first quarter loss. A representative wasn't immediately available.

Excluding items, Red Hat met the consensus estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call for breakeven results in the quarter.

The company said large enterprise revenue grew to $17.1 million in the first quarter, from $16.4 million in the fourth quarter.

Similar information wasn't included in the year-ago first quarter earnings report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In that report, the company said it recently had begun to focus on expanding its enterprise customer base.

Not at Walmart, at (5, Informative)

ShawnDoc (572959) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730251)

For those that are too lazy to read the story, the computers pre-loaded with Mandrake are going to be available at, not at Wal-Mart retail stores. There's a difference.

Re:Not at Walmart, at (1)

Jonny Ringo (444580) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730354)

There's a difference.

Really? Being that its the year 2002 and technology is so advanced I often get confused if I'm in cyberspace or the reall world. What is reality?

Sounds like a movie huh?

In a time where things aren't always what they seem. One man will buy a computer from Wallmart and change a nation, but soon finds out that he's not at Wallmart at all but

Wallmart.where_the_hell_am_I ? rated R.

Link to (-1)

The Anime Troll (577873) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730362)

Google's cache []

wow (4, Insightful)

TheMMaster (527904) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730254)

I am no american so I might be talking out of my ass here, but it seems that wallmart really is trying to bring choice to ther customers, I just wonder if they'll support all OS's they ship now (mandrake, windows and lindows), if they do, and are succesfull, maybe more companies will follow...
I can't help but feel that this is "a good thing (TM)"
I'll bet dell is really wondering what they did wrong back then ;)

Re:wow (2, Informative)

BionicElf (580800) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730279)

WalMart doesn't provide support for anything they sell. Typically, there's a card in the box that you use to register with the source company (in this case, MandrakeSoft) to get support. I would assume the same practice would be followed here.

Re:wow (1)

Drakin (415182) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730320)

NO chance of Wal-mart offering support. only thing wallmart can/will do, as a company is
1) Take it back, give refund
2) Exchange it for a new one.

If this were being done ithin stores, then one may have a chance of getting some support at the store level, but via the web, they'll refer you to the manufacture, or provider.

Re:wow (5, Informative)

astrashe (7452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730413)

I think that WalMart is trying to push prices lower, and that choice is a byproduct of that. They are as feared and hated in their circles as Microsoft is in the tech world.

Small computer shops in California are selling decent PCs without OSs or monitors for under $300. The cost of the OS is becoming a more significant chunk of the total price, and if you want to push the prices way down, you've got to confront it.

For all we know, this is brinksmanship, and Wal Mart is just trying to push MS into giving them special deals on OS pricing. They've done that to other suppliers.

Re:wow (3, Interesting)

SuperCal (549671) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730469)

I don't really think that WalMart cares if its customers are getting a choice. I think what they are trying to do is to figure out wether or not they can make higher profits by avioding the MS tax(I know, I know, that term is getting old). If people will buy a PC w/o Windows and Walmart can keep some of the difference then you can bet they will stick with it. If not they won't keep linux around just to give a choice to customers.

Who's tried Lindows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730257)

Chances are, anyone that comes to /. isn't going to get near something like Lindows, but I was wondering if anyone's used it yet? I'm just curious of what it's like. Any notable features?

Re:Who's tried Lindows? (2, Informative)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730365)

I'd like to try Lindows, but you have to cough up $99 to join their insiders program, and sign a non-disclosure agreement, so I haven't. Lycoris is another distro aimed at the desktop for people who only know windows, and you can download it free. []

This is a good thing. (1)

HowlinMad (220943) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730259)

Most people that will be buying a computer from Walmart will be new to linux, so Mandrake is a good distro to start off with.

this frightens me. (-1, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730267)

I am already frightened by Mandrake. I believe it is a poor choice for Linux users. Linux has not yet become "dummy" enough for the vast majority of users and Mandrake makes it too easy to use and create problems for people.

Invididuals that buy this package are going to be open to plenty of exploits, problems, etc. It is going to create a large headache for the rest of us.

I just hope that Mandrake realizes this and moves to at least limit the possiblity of widespread issues that MS has due to the same reasons.

Re:this frightens me.(But don't let that stop you) (4, Insightful)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730343)

Have you ever used Mandrake? The default install is very secure, if I rmember right FTP, telnet, etc are all disabled by default. Anyways, is it any worse than yet another MS computer out there to be infected by nasty e-mail viruses?

I guess beign scared by change is one thing, but I'm glad Walmart and Mandrake are attempting to bring some choice.

Re:this frightens me.(But don't let that stop you) (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730368)

that's not exactly what I mean. I mean programs that are exploitable that will NEVER get updated b/c the users will not know any better.

Re:this frightens me.(But don't let that stop you) (2)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730467)

Ah.. I see...
I'm prety sure there are automatic update agents for Mandrake, but I'll have to check on that. I know there are update *programs* out there, but whether or not the users use them (just like Windows Update)

Re:this frightens me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730396)

Yeah, what was Mandrake thinking? Making Linux easy to use? How can we be 3133t if just about anyone can use the OS?

Re:this frightens me. (2)

LinuxGeek8 (184023) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730464)

I am already frightened by Mandrake. I believe it is a poor choice for Linux users. Linux has not yet become "dummy" enough for the vast majority of users and Mandrake makes it too easy to use and create problems for people.

I'm using Linux now for three years, but I think the "dummy" tools are excellent.
For example; in the beginning I used lpr, ghostscript and apsfilter for printing.
Nowadays almost every distro uses Cups, which had horrible docs a year ago. And I didn't understand one thing of it. There were a few frontends like the webbased interface, but it just didn't want to work with my Epson inkjet.
There comes Mandrake with Cups and printerdrake. Just turn on your printer while installing, or while running printerdrake, and it gives you a recommended driver setup.
No problem with cups since then.

This is just one example, but the Mandrake stuff is quite good imo.

Invididuals that buy this package are going to be open to plenty of exploits, problems, etc. It is going to create a large headache for the rest of us.

Mandrake in Walmart may frighten you, but comments like these frighten me.
What exploits do you mean?
Every piece of software has exploits. After a while there will be known exploits. As long as you install the updates it all should be fine.
Now the question is how many people will actually use the updates, but that's the same story on every OS, especially Microsofts OS's.

I just hope that Mandrake realizes this and moves to at least limit the possiblity of widespread issues that MS has due to the same reasons.

I agree with you here.
I just hope it will have no services installed, and the services that are installed, are only listening on the localhost interface.

Hardware Reliability? (1)

ebh (116526) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730269)

With all the talk about Microtel's various neat ways to avoid the M$ tax, can anyone comment about the quality or reliability of the hardware?

It'd be nice to know if this would be a candidate for my next Cheap Linux Box, or if I'd be better off going to a local screwdriver shop.

It's been like 3 stories on those Walmart PCs? (2, Interesting)

Papineau (527159) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730272)

Why so much stories on that same topic? If it's a really important topic, give it a category so I'll be able to filter them!

There's been plenty of retailers shipping PCs with Linux (or OS-less). None of the size of Walmart, I agree. But I don't know much people looking to Walmart for PCs. Neither I know people going to Walmart for a dishwasher of a freezer. A PC might have become a commodity, but there are commodities better handled by more knowledgeable businesses. And they usually have a larger selection to boot.

maiformed rant tag (1, Funny)

mrklaw (98550) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730446)

dude.. you forgot to begin your tag.. now my browser won't render it correctly!! And in netscape 4.x the whole page will be blank...

YES! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730277)

I'm not a Mandrake user (I prefer Slackware), but I know that Mandrake has an excellent desktop distro, and it's great to see a viable option being sold besides that crap called LindowsOS. I hope Mandrake squashes LindowsOS like a bug -- for the sake of Linux and the consumer.

This will really matter when... (1, Funny)

FirstNoel (113932) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730278)

Wal-mart carries "Big Game Hunter for Linux"..

Until then, Joe Sixpack won't give a crap.

Sean D.

Re:This will really matter when... (0, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730336)

I am sick of these comments, please stop.

I don't shop at Walmart on a regular basis but I do shop there for items I cannot find elsewhere easily.

I am not what you would call the "upstanding white collar citizen" but I am not "Joe Sixpack".

They have excellent deals on DVDs (old school numbers than are less than $10) and have decent deals on a wide range of other items that Meijer and K-Mart just don't carry.

Cut out the "hick" shit about Walmart. They are an extremely sucessful company that is actually **TRYING** to do something positive for their customers (I don't agree w/their choice of distributions, but that is a previous post).

Re:This will really matter when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730385)

There is no Joe Sixpack except in the mind of the stereotype-holder, you.

Re:This will really matter when... (1) (583077) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730392)

Yawn. Jeff Foxworthy can come up with 1000s of RedNeck jokes, but the Slashdot users seem to be stuck on the same tired retreads. Yawn.

Re:This will really matter when... (1)

j4ck50n (548439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730399)

Ditto, these types of comments are asinine and obviously originate from an ignorant idiot whose statements mirror those made by the types of people they are criticizing/ridiculing/stereotyping. Uhm, here's something...grow up.

Re:This will really matter when... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730401)

This will really matter when...

Wal-mart carries "Big Game Hunter for Linux"..

Hard to say who sounds more redneck, Joe Sixpack or the author. Back in the day, K-mart held the same esteem that Walmart does now, but everyone shopped there for something anyway. i.e. you live in Santa Cruz county, you make big money, you pay most of it rent/mortgage, you shop at Costco and Kmart, just like alleged rednecks.

I expect most Joe Sixpacks are just looking to get on the web, do some email/chat with Darleen DeCups, and some word/photo processing to their bargain inkjet printers (which won't be such a bargain once the ink runs out [] ) As long as it does those things, I think they'll be happy as any J. P. Gotrockets.

the way walmart is (2)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730280)

Im suprised they didn't call it wal-hat or wal-drake linux...

Re:the way walmart is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730366)

I vote for walnux.

Re:the way walmart is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730421)

The name would be "Sam's Choice Linux", in keeping with Wal-Mart's naming of generic stuff. That would actually have some entertainment value.

Re:the way walmart is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730433)

My vote is for Man-Mart


drakmart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730451)

The stupid way Mandrake names things, it would be drakmart.

Lindows and Mandrake? (1)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730281)

While giving customers a choice between Lindows and Mandrake is a nice idea, too many choices will just confuse people. A customer who can't make up his or her mind will delay his or her purchase, if not cancel it outright. Wal-Mart needs to avoid throwing the KISS principle out the window.

But ... (2)

dzym (544085) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730282)

But what about Lindows?

Re:But ... (1)

MrZeebo (331403) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730412)

You should have read the article ;-)

It states that Wal-Mart is still going to be carrying PCs with Lindows on them. So that brings us to three OSes at Wal-Mart - Windows, Lindows, and Mandrake.

Quite a spectrum of choice... now we need one with *BSD, and one with Tru64 UNIX, and one with... :)

The Marginal Census (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730283)

Shit yeah, biatches! Linux in Kentucky!


We can now record the teen pregnancies with greater ease. . .

Re:The Marginal Census (1)

j4ck50n (548439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730435)

For you too! []

Mandrake is the most palatable... (2, Informative)

Nijika (525558) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730287)

If I were to wish for the american public to have the first taste of one version of Linux, it'd be Mandrake. Mandrake in my opinion has always been the friendliest. Others have tried but Mandrake always managed to keep the install reasonable.

Re:Mandrake is the most palatable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730391)

Yes, Mandrake has a great install, but that doesn't really matter since the pc's are pre-loaded.

And I would hope that Microtel would ship an install floppy to put everything back to the original install. That would be really nice. Ship the standard Mandrake cd's and a floppy. Tell the user that if they want to put the machine back in factory condition, with hard drives formatted, etc., boot from the floppy. Otherwise boot from the cd.

Re:Mandrake is the most palatable... (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730431)

Install is irrelevant. Didn't you read the title of the story?

A braindead user can use Slackware (for example), if a competant admin has set up nice icons on a auto-loading desktop for them to click.

Mandrake Usability vs Lindows (1)

Vengie (533896) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730293)

At least mandrake lacks the Lindows "M$-interoperability" clause.....but as of yet, they make no claims dealing with ease of use.

FSCK and scandisk don't exactly look the same....
Wait till a Wal-marter gets their first kernel panic -- at least they were USED to the BSODs.

wal-mart pc's (0, Flamebait)

1lus10n (586635) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730297)

you know i have two problems with wal-mart putting linux on anything. 1. the people who buy Pc's at wal-mart are the type of people that will never get_it 2. the people selling the pc's will probally mis-inform the customers and make linux in general look bad

Re:wal-mart pc's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730313)


"where dem tings go on de penguin tingy?"
-Billy Bob Customer Jr.


Re:wal-mart pc's (1)

j4ck50n (548439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730462)

And you too! []

I can't understand their reasoning (3, Insightful)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730302)

Why carry Windows, Lindows & Mandrake? Isn't this just overkill?

Worst yet, it's going to really confuse the people that can't afford to get confused when buying a computer because all they can afford is the cheap models. This is a disservice to their loyal customers because they'll have just bought a computer from WalMart but won't understand why they can't walk down the software isle and pick up a game for the kids. So is Wal-mart going to carry shrink wrapped Linux apps too, or are they going to blindly claim that every Windows application can run on it like they did last week?

Re:I can't understand their reasoning (5, Funny)

PunchMonkey (261983) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730319)

Good point. Let's drop that Windows thing.

Re:I can't understand their reasoning (1)

GrenDel Fuego (2558) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730376)

My guess would be something along the lines of them supporting lindows to make linux users happy, and provide an alternative for people who don't want to pay for windows.

Then the linux users bitched because they didn't like lindows and it's "run as root" OS, so they added mandrake.

Of course, this is just speculation on my part.

GREAT news for Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730304)

I think this is GREAT news. I personally would have liked to see Lycoris or ELX be the alternative to Lindows. But, in the end, Mandrake is pretty easy to use and their configuration utilities (diskdrake, etc) should be very easy for newbies to use.

You guys forgot... (2, Troll)

Sanity (1431) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730305)

..the condescending [] remark about Walmart customers this time! How are we geeks supposed to maintain any self-esteem unless we can pick on someone else the way that we were picked on at high-school?

Wait (0, Offtopic)

KingKire64 (321470) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730306)

Is Walmart Still Evil?

Disney = Evil (Not on Tuesdays)
Walmart = Evil (Not on Wendesdays)

God im confused whens Microsofts day off?

Re:Wait (3, Funny)

eaddict (148006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730427)

And PriceWaterhouseCoopers isn't evil on Mondays! []

Re:Wait (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730439)

Well, if you're confused, you probably ought to take in instance on it's own merits. I.e. Walmarts evil, when they displace mom&pop stores, but not so evil when they displace WinTel boxen with Lindows and Mandrake boxen.

It's called, taking your victories where you can.

Who would've thought? (1)

URoRRuRRR (57117) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730308)

Who would've thought that Wal-Mart of all places, a place that usually deals in cheap plastic crap would turn around and start selling No OS PCs, Lindows and Mandrake?

Hopefully Middle America won't see them as non-viable systems, the Wang Computers and Amigas of our day.

Mandrake @ Walmart... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730311)

Would that be a step up for Walmart or a step down for Mandrake?

Probably best not to think that way, it is a pretty cool avenue for people get get access to a Linux loaded PC everywhere (that Walmarts aren't banned) throughout the US, which even mighty RedHat must be going "Hmmm" over.

Re:Mandrake @ Walmart... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730339)

where wal*marts aren't banned... interesting side note there... usually wal*mart BANS other smaller stores from areas, not the other way around

Re:Mandrake @ Walmart... (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730438)

They've been selling the boxed sets for years on Walmart shelves, seems like a generally positive thing to me.

It means that in any town large enough to have a Walmart, you can get a PC (even if it is a lozenge-looking HP pavillion) and a boxed set of Mandrake, and have a complete system with monitor, DVD player, CD burner for under a thousand dollars.

Yes, savvy buyers can beat this online etc (and even easier if you live near one of the various Marketpro circuses ;)), but people can't all be experts at everything -- and a lot of people buy products at Walmart because they're convenient and cheap. Having a nice box of free software there I think is a nice thing.


Support (2, Interesting)

X_Caffeine (451624) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730315)

What I'd like to know is, how are they going to wing support for these systems? While I'm sure the likes of you, Joe Slashdot Reader, hasn't had to call Microcorp Software tech support for OS help, I can assure you that Joe Sixpack keeps the number on a post-it note affixed to his monitor.

Is this how Linux will really start making money?

Passing the Savings (5, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730321)

Before people think Wal-Mart is being all altruistic, think of it this way.

Wal-Mart wants to advertise they're underselling the compitition. Easiest way to do this? Sell computers without an operating system. Of course, if you do this, you sell a computer that is a) useless to Joe User (who probably doesn't know how to install an OS without help), and b) Microsoft cries piracy (I don't have the link, but one of their white papers basically says that only software pirates buy computers without operating systems.)

Now, go to Dell. Computer comes with Windows, and Microsoft Works (or Office, or whatever). You can't tell them *not* to put it on, and odds are, they have some legal ass bullshit agreement with MS that all computers must have the OS and some office suite on them (aka, the "Windows Tax").

So Wal-Mart figures they can save $100-$200 on each computer sale by putting on Mandrake and probably Open Office. Joe User gets a computer he can do email/web browsing/document editing on. Yes, it might not run all the same software as Windows - but if he wants that, he goes back to Wal-Mart and shells out another $100 (or he learns to live with it and gets a Playstation 2 instead).

Guys like me who just want cheap ass hardware without the Windows Tax get hardware. Everybody wins. Well, except for MS, but the way they've been acting with their draconian "Use software subscription or no patches for you!" additude they've been shelling at the Corporate Level, I don't feel too sorry for them.

I want my PC (2, Funny)

rohdem (321708) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730323)

preloaded with DOS.
Thank you!

but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730324)

How does having two flavours of Linux available at Wal-Mart going to help John Q Public make an informed buying decision over Billy's Discount PC's $300 Celeron with XP installed?

and do we think licensing costs on either OS will be different enough that customers would be swayed toward one or the other?

furthermore, the story refers to a lot, and doesn't once mention brick 'n' mortar stores selling these Linux-loaded PCs.

Also, dental.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730326)

Yaeh !

Another Lesson, stupid Americans, that Frenchies are smarter than YOU !

Mandrake is the Best Distro of the World because it is French !

Put Redhat in the Trash, Burn SuSE like the Nazis burned books, keep in mind that France IS THE democracy of the World : No death Penalty, total Liberty !

France will Rule the World and you, Stupid Americans, you need to learn more about our culture, much better than American culture !



Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730358)

Bah, the French owe the rest of the world their existence. Each time you go your asses kicked, someone else had to come in and bail you out. Has France ever won a single war on their own?


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730397)


"VIVE LA FRANCE!" as long as the good ol' U.S. of A. will cover our asses!.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730475)

Well, they did manage to sink that Green Peace boat.


getter_85 (464748) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730373)

I think that post right there will stop the wide use o mandrake in its tracks.

Finally a good distro... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730341)

I'm glad to see Mandrake will be preinstalled on the Microtel systems -- it's a good desktop distro, and is easy to use.

I think the backlash from their Lindows announcement is causing Wal-Mart to consider other linux distributions that may be more stable and, at the very least, are getting less negative press.

YEAH ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730393)

Because Mandrake is French and you, stupid american, you should better use French Products instead of Crappy American Products (Redhat, Lindows, Windows, Fucking American cars...)

Wal-Mart selling IN STORES! (2, Interesting)

|<amikaze (155975) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730344)

Just a slight correction to the previous stories about Lindows being pre-installed on Wal-Mart PCs, people on HardForums [] claim to have seen the Lindows machines IN STORES>

Is it really support for linux? (2, Flamebait)

Twid (67847) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730348)

The pessimist position here is that Wal-Mart knows full well that 99% of consumers will immediately get their smart uncle Bob to come over, reformat the hard drive, and install a version of Windows. So, the installation of Mandrake is just a ploy to make their PC's cheaper than their competition and get sales.

I'm not saying that Mandrake isn't good, or that Linux isn't fun to run. I'm just saying that the average consumer is going to be upset when they find that they can't run Microsoft Word or Quicken.

- Twid

Re:Is it really support for linux? (2)

laserjet (170008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730457)

You have a point, but won't it be funny when microsoft-centric Uncle Bob comes over to install Windows WhateverVersion.3, and doesn't get his familiar windows or DOS prompt?

after all, uncle bob may not be smart enough to bring his own boot floppy with CD driver, etc. to install (or infect, as I see it) with windows...

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730349)

how many rednecks will line up for this offer....

Dude! (5, Funny)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730351)

You're getting a Microtel!

Linux Mandrake Review (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730355)

The Linux operating system was born in 1991 and was created by one man, a Finnish student coincidentally named Linux Torvalds. Since these humble beginnings, a multi-million dollar [] industry has sprung up to exploit the commercial potential of Linux, but until recently Linux has eluded mainstream acceptance. However, due to the recent economic downturn together with uncertainty over changes to Microsoft [] 's pricing policy, Linux is now being touted as a serious contender to Microsoft Windows. While there are many other alternatives to Windows, including BSD [] which is based on SUN [] 's (Stanford University Network - correction by bc) server-grade Solaris operating system, none have commanded the same level of media attention as Linux.

Linux Mandrake [] is just the latest in a long line of quirkily christened versions of Linux. Previous versions of Linux have been named Red Hat, Slack Ware, Storm and Coral. In stark contrast to the mundane names such as 98, ME or NT preferred by Microsoft, the crazy names of each Linux release hint at its renegade nature.

My foray into the world of Linux began by downloading a "CD image" from the Linux web site. But don't worry, this isn't software piracy, it's perfectly legal! Linux is shareware, meaning that it can be freely redistributed without fear of a visit by the Business Software Alliance [] . The free availability of Linux is a major reason for its popularity among cash-strapped students and self-styled anti-capitalist hackers [] .

Before installing new software, it is always advisable to read the documentation. Unfortunately, an unpleasant surprise was in store for me in the "required configuration" section of the manual [] . I was shocked to learn that Linux Mandrake only runs on Pentium processors, meaning that my hopes of testing the water with my old Gateway [] 486 were dashed. Furthermore, a whopping 32 megabytes of memory are required to run Linux! Although the advocates [] of Linux self-righteously boast the efficiency of their chosen operating system and deride the "bloatware" produced by Microsoft, it appears that their claims are blatantly incorrect. Although my humble 486 will happily run Windows 95, it seems that Linux requires far more powerful, and more expensive, computer hardware. Is this really the sign of a lean, mean operating system? Of course not.

Sadly, not even being able to install Linux is just the first of my many complaints. A brief perusal of the features of Linux Mandrake [] reveals that Linux is sorely lacking many crucial productivity applications. For example, why isn't the industry standard web browser, Internet Explorer, included with Linux? Despite the best efforts of the experts at the Internet Engineering Task Force [] to encourage adoption of the Internet Explorer standard, the creators of Linux seem to think that they know better. By refusing to adhere to recognised standards, Linux is simply undermining its own credibility.

Similarly, almost all of the world's most popular and widely used software is completely incompatible with Linux! It may surprise you to learn that your copy of Microsoft Office, Outlook Express, or Lotus Notes will not work under Linux. Those who wish to use their computer for recreational purposes are also out of luck, for almost all of the most popular games are unavailable for Linux. Although a wide range of software is freely available for Linux, these pitiful offerings are mostly unfinished, unreliable and do not bear comparison to their commercial counterparts.

Computer security is also an area that seems to have been overlooked by the developers of Linux. In these times when hacking and viruses are commonplace, it defies belief to learn that no anti-virus software [] is available for Linux. To add insult to injury, there is no Linux version of the popular ZoneAlarm [] firewall. By using Linux, you are issuing an open invitation to the hordes of ne'er-do-wells on the Internet.

The shortcomings of Linux are obvious. Without even installing Linux Mandrake, I have exposed several fundamental flaws. Surely it is not too much to expect that, after ten years of development, the creators of Linux would have addressed these problems? The real question that the prospective Linux user must ask himself is, "Why bother?" After all, Microsoft Windows comes free with most PCs and there simply isn't a need to replace it, particularly not with a product of inferior quality.

Although it is always tempting to support the underdog, Windows XP will be the deserved victor in the battle ahead. I recommend that those Adequacy readers who are hoping to upgrade their operating system patiently wait for the release of Windows XP, rather than foolishly wasting their time, effort and money on Linux.

"Sam's Choice Linux!" (2, Funny)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730379)

Hmm, does this make Madrake Sam's Choice Linux... is is the Dr. Thunder to Red Hat?

Re:"Sam's Choice Linux!" (1)

getter_85 (464748) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730424)

a generic knock-off linux distro... very interesting...

Consumer Confusion? (4, Insightful)

Capt_Troy (60831) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730390)

I'm a little worried to where this is heading. If these PCs are intended for low budget novice consumers...

A> They might be confused about Lindows (while not infringing on MSs Trademark, it is definitely misleading). How many novice users are going to buy a PC that they think will run all the screensavers and games that a Windows PC will?

B> Giving novice users a choice between Mandrake and Lindows seems strange to me. How will most novice users be able to choose the most appropriate? I think we might just confuse them out of buying a computer, or they will probably choose the Lindows box just because the name sounds familiar.

C> As far as I know Walmart sells Windows PC software (maybe Mac??). Won't user's assume that since they buy their computer from Walmart, that the software they buy from Walmart will work on their computer? Is Walmart planning on selling Linux software somehow as well?

I like the Mandrake thing, but I am a little worried that the inclusion of Lindows will be confusing to the non-technical user who is most likely to buy these boxen. The name of the distro implies that it is analogous to Windows. As far as I have read, it is not. This will only serve to make the general public hate linux because they can't run "regular" software on it.


Great! (1)

rob-fu (564277) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730400)

Mandrake has got to be the easiest distro to install and manage. Everything is autodetected, and setup flies by painlessly (that is, if you are semi-literate). Linux is getting its foot in the door, but the question is whether people will catch on. Using Mandrake to do this will help a lot, IMHO.

Off Course ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730447)

And you know why ?

Because Mandrake is French, and Because American are so stupids that they can not produce a good OS (Lindows, Windows)

Like culture and Food, French is always the best.

You need to know more about our culture, you need to speak French, because french is the nicest language of the World.

So it will be very good that Mandrake become the First OS used in the World, because we are Fed up to use crapy american OS like Windows.

Stupid American, you need to use Mandrake more and maybe you will become smart in a long time...

Much better than Lindows (3, Insightful)

colmore (56499) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730405)

This is good to hear. Lindows is a beta product, and acts like it, Mandrake is as competitive as entry level desktop Linux gets these days.

I hope someone will write a *really* good users manual, one that involves the words "terminal" "compile" and "man" as little as possible.

Wal-Mart Shopping List (5, Funny)

rirugrat (255768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730409)

Hmmm...let's see...

Powerbait Rubber Worms (check)
Sam's Pork Rinds (check)
Nascar Queen-size bed sheets (check)
George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine (check)
Unix box (check)


Did Bill Gates piss Sam Walton off? (2, Insightful)

elsegundo (316028) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730410)

I'm just curious why Wal-Mart all of the sudden has this affinity to sell computers without MS OSes or competing OSes....

Re:Did Bill Gates piss Sam Walton off? (5, Funny)

The Ape With No Name (213531) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730436)

Sam Walton is long dead. But if anyone could piss off the dead, it'd be Microsoft.

Re:Did Bill Gates piss Sam Walton off? (-1)

Jon Katz on Tuesday (578508) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730456)

Well since Sam Walton has been dead for a while - probably not.

I wonder what would happen.... (4, Interesting)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730414)

If Walmart struck a deal with AOL to develop a Lindows friendly version of AOL (or a Linux version) and preinstall it on their machines. The cheapest PC is $299. With those prepaid subscription rebates Walmart and AOL could give these machines away.

at last (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3730425)

Lindows is redundant.

what will be truly interesting (2)

paradesign (561561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730428)

is whether Lindows OS or Mandrake will sell better. It will show which OS is more appealing to the non-geek (i use that term lovingly) consumer.

Mandrake preloaded (1)

VistaBoy (570995) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730437)

Isn't EVERYTHING being pre-loaded on Wal-Mart PCs?

Um? (1)

sheepab (461960) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730440)

If I am not mistaken (and I am wrong quite often) werent Microtel PC's that were being sold at WAL-MART preloaded with Lindows? With the earlier story [] about Lindows changing their marketing slogan, and now this, Im beginning to wonder if maybe there is something going on?

this will not last long (1)

uberlinuxguy (586546) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730450)

I used to work for wal-mart in their electronics department. This whole "NO MS" phase they are going through shouldn't last to long. I give 4 months, tops.

The only way this will succeed... (2, Funny)

bigfatlamer (149907) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730458)

Is if they also pre-configure them with StarOffice or OpenOffice, with all the icons changed to look like MS Office XP icons, install Opera as the default browser, change the icons as above and set it up to mimic IE, install GIMP and change it as above to look like MS Paint, port Real Player and WMP to Linux and then somehow set it up so it crashes more often.

I only have a few questions you should ponder (3, Interesting)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#3730472)

When the customer buys the PC and goes to the computer software section and picks up MS Word for their kids, cause they need to type up papers (or games to play, etc...), and it doesn't install on their new shiny boxes, what are they going to think?

When they want to get online, and put in the AOL CD they got in the mail, and nothing happens, what are their impression of Linux?

Software is what makes windows big. Its how they stomped Mac. Is your average Wal-Mart shopper going to be able to know to pick up linux software, and will they be able to install it by themselves?

I'm not going anti-linux, pro-ms, I'm just getting you people to think before patting yourselves on the back.
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