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426 comments

OS Licenses (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534194)

We've purchased a couple low cost boxes with no OS's for cheap file servers and they've worked pretty well

Interesting admission indeed. I am calling the SPA right now. I'd like to see those Win2003 server licenses Michael.

Re:OS Licenses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534241)

Yeah, too bad michael didn't say that...learn to read, and learn the difference between italics and normal text.

-1, Offtopic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534247)

Moderators ...

Great! (-1, Flamebait)

pixel.jonah (182967) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534195)

Made in China? Sold by illegal Immigrants? WM is shoddy.

Re:Great! (1)

Mantorp (142371) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534231)

Made in China?

As opposed to all those US made laptops?

Re:Great! (1)

slowbad (714725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534315)


As opposed to all those US made laptops?

Good point -- I would prefer a Beijing, China computer to one
designed/specified/built in Bentonville, Ark. by Wal-Martian leaders

Re:Great! (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534432)

Guess that depeinds on if you consider China and Taiwan different or not. Seems most Dells and HPs come from Taiwan.

http://www.taiwanheadlines.com/20030929/20030929b5 .html [taiwanheadlines.com]
"Sep 29 2003... Taiwan procurements by HP, Dell to top NT$1 trillion: analysts

Frantic global purchase of notebook personal computers has prompted Hewlett Packard (HP) and Dell, the world's two leading PC brands, to increase their purchases in Taiwan.

The two companies' combined procurements from Taiwan are expected to top NT$1 trillion (US$29.7 billion) in 2004."

illegals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534417)

The illegal immigrants arrested at walmart stores were employees of a cleaning company, which Walmart outsourced to, they were not directly employed by walmart. I can tell you from experiece that they are very much top of the legal status of their employees.

Secondly, I can tell you from experience that no ameircan citizen who can collect welfare or disability(a big problem in my state)* will work for minimum wage cleaning.

On numerous occations I sat in on interviews with (allegedly "bad" parents) and it goes something like this.

Q: Do you have any health problems?
A: no, I'm fine.

Q: where do you work?
A: I don't I'm on disability

Q: Have you ever used drugs?
A: no

Q: Whens the last time you smoked pot
A: yerterday

Go XP (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534197)

I vote for XP. People can watch videos, edit their digital camcorder stuff and listen to a whole bunch of Internet radio stuff, as well as download iTunes.

With Lindows, eeeh...

Re:Go XP (0, Troll)

lowtekneq (469145) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534293)

If they went with XP the price would go up by at least $100, and all of the things you mentioned are much easier to do on OS X (yes I'm well aware that it won't run on x86) than god awfull Windows XP.

Re:Go XP (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534308)

1) Windows OEM price is $20 for XP Home, $35 for XP Professional Full Edition.

2) MacOS and "cheaper" in the same post sound like oxymoron. Steve Jobs gets a $1M raise, so Apple suckers better buy overpriced iPods, or the company is the dumpster.

Re:Go XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534319)

XP does come with a spell checker, perhaps you should reconsider.

Nah, go back to suggesting using Macs (non-monitor boxes start at, what, $1800 or so to compete with the mentioned $300 WalMart boxes?) where they're perfectly appropriate.

Re:Go XP (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534348)

I vote for XP. People can watch videos, edit their digital camcorder stuff and listen to a whole bunch of Internet radio stuff, as well as download iTunes.

Hell, yes!. How else can one get pwned for under $100 (previous Windows version required)?

Strange (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534409)

I did all of that tonight EXCEPT for download itunes. Admitly, it is the tune download that is not really available by the majors. But, if Walmart loads linux on the laptop, you can bet on it that their new download will be for Linux as well.

Regurgitated Google News? (-1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534205)

Has anyone else noticed that stories lately have been refurbished from Google News, albeit a couple hours later? If Slashdot isn't news for nerds, then it's just a rant/insight/troll board.

Re:Regurgitated Google News? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534242)

I know, this is getting bad. Seems it's just more crap, the quality of slashdot stories is lacking.

Just what I need... (5, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534207)


A Wal-Mart notebook to go right next to my Arby's MP3 player. Although perhaps the logo can be sandblasted off so that users won't die of embarassment.

Re:Just what I need... (0)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534396)

Although perhaps the logo can be sandblasted off so that users won't die of embarassment in a Cayce Pollard-esque fashion. Although even then I still wouldn't use one.

Re:Just what I need... (2, Insightful)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534402)

As long as it can boot Linux, who cares? I could easily put a Tux sticker over the logo.

Another poster was modded redundant for saying this, but come on, as long as it works in Linux and is cheaper than a "real" brand, who cares?

Re:Just what I need... (2, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534442)

I think it'd be smart for Wal*Mart to make it support both Linux & Microsoft -- just to have a better negotiating position when trying to get attractive OEM windows pricing.

Interesting to see if they need Microsoft more or less than Microsoft needs them for this product.

Obligatory... (0, Redundant)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534209)

Let's all hope that the laptop has hardware that is compatible with linux drivers =D!!!!

eh? eh? uh oh....*dodges tomatoes*

Open sores busness model (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534218)

1. Spend all life making assy software, give away for free
2. ???
3. Wrestling!

walmart has great prices (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534223)

I've been shopping walmart.com for tech books for quite awhile (they are the cheapest)! This is good news, I wonder if they will be offering Linux [top25web.com] on the laptops, or any other desktops!

Damn, I'm OLD. (-1, Flamebait)

anaphora (680342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534226)

Do any of you remember the old BBS docs about "How to fuck with ____________"? I remember reading one article, I think it was in Anarchist's Cookbook, about going in a supply store and writing BASIC programs on all of the DOS-computers back then (yes, they were DOS) that infinite looped "ANARCHY RULEZ YUUUUUU!@@!!11oneoneone". I never did it, but if Walmart sticks one of these babies on display, I just might.

Re:Damn, I'm OLD. (1, Funny)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534244)

I once walked into a department store, ctrl-alt-del'ed the winblowz screensaver (back in the days when you could), wrote a 2 line asm .com file to reboot the computer, added it to autoexec.bat, and rebooted. Endless rebooting fun, the look on the sales peoples' faces was priceless.

Re:Damn, I'm OLD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534248)

It was how to fuck with Kmart. I lost the file when my hard drive dies in '96, But I remember, bro =)

Re:Damn, I'm OLD. (4, Funny)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534259)

I'm older than that. I remember going into Radio Shack when the TRS-80 was first introduced, writing a quick BASIC program:

10 PRINT "Trash 80s suck!"
20 GOTO 10

running it and walking out. Ah, memories!

Re:Damn, I'm OLD. (1)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534325)

A better program is:

10 A$=""
20 A$=A$+INKEY$
30 PRINT A$;
40 GOTO 20

As far as I know, this short program makes the best simple textmode interactive 'screen dazzler'. Fill it with words and CR's and a few control-Gs and you've got a swirly mess that catches the eye.

I've used it for stream-of-conciousness typing excercizes. Works best on as slow a machine as you can get it to run on. A 386SX-16 or (better yet) an 8088 or '286 machine is fine.

Not sure if it works on my TRS-80 Model 100, which doesn't have batteries in it at the moment.

Re:Damn, I'm OLD. (3, Funny)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534455)

Cool program. Would have been fun to see.

When I was in high school, and using PDP printer terminals in my computer programming class (yes, this goes way back), I wrote a program that would lock out keyboard input, go into a loop of form feeding paper, and never stop until someone pulled the plug. I then named my little program "SEX.BAS" and put a warning at first when it run that this was a dangerous program, not to touch it.

I left it in our class's shared directory and waited. About 15 minutes later a cluster of male students were sitting around the terminal whispering, when suddenly the paper began form-feeding at high speed and they panicked! Ah, that was fun, preying on the natural curiosity of my fellow geeks.

Re:Damn, I'm OLD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534430)

THAT WAS YOU!?!?! YOU MOTHERFUCKER!!! I spent my high school years clearing that fucking piece of shit program off computers at my dad's radioshack!

Cool (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534227)

and just in time for Christmas!!!

We're rolling back your CPU cycles!!! (5, Funny)

dswensen (252552) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534229)

So let me guess, instead of Clippy you have a little bouncing yellow smiley face that keeps darting in and changing the numbers on all your Excel documents?

PARENT IS PREGNANT WITH HERPES (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534249)

BUTT OF CLOWN, HELLO WHERE IS MAN
SPRING OF JOY, DEEPNESS OF DESPAIR
FOREVER SHALL WE DANCE IN ASSFUCK
MOUNTAIN OF LAUGHING, BABY OF SMEGMA

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Somewhat offtopic, but... PCs have gotten CHEAP! (5, Informative)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534251)

There's a neat link at the bottom of the article to another article about $200 being the magic number for PCs.

I've always thought this would be a neat idea for corporations: Several fairly powerful servers, running everything from file sharing to groupware (on BSD or Linux, SMP, etc.). A bunch of cheap PCs with no hard drives and Knoppix-type CDs configured for the company's network. All files accessed via NFS, etc.

Talk about a) inexpensive solution and b) easy support. The computers are throwaways, and you don't have to move data from a broken one to a new one. It's all on the servers. But the computers are still powerful enough to do plenty of processing on their own.

Upgrades are a cinch - distribute new CDs to everyone.

With $200 computers (how much cheaper would they be without hard drives?) it's more than possible.

Hrm.

Re:Somewhat offtopic, but... PCs have gotten CHEAP (1)

Gyan (6853) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534265)


Umm, such Network PCs were talked about before, hasn't really caught on...

Re:Somewhat offtopic, but... PCs have gotten CHEAP (1)

MKalus (72765) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534352)

Not quite right.

Citrix for example is heavily used. Mainly in Callcentres and such but they are used. Were I work right now we have several Citrix farms as we have several call centres all across the country.

The backend is all Unix (HP & Sun, even some DEC) but the frontend is all Windows with Citrix.

Thin Clients are on their way, most likely from IBM, Flatpanel and all.

Re:Somewhat offtopic, but... PCs have gotten CHEAP (2, Interesting)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534411)

Yep,

server based computing is the answer.

Forget the CD look at etherboot, no CD no hard disk. No fscking way my users can hose the machine with software. If they break the hardware just wander down with a replacement.

LTSP is one project working on Xterms.

For my money we are still waiting for fault tolerant clusters before this really takes off. I want cheap Xterms connected by ethernet to my FT cluster. A node fails no problem another will auto take over with no downtime ot any user. Auto load balancing ie Mosix. Cheap replacable server farm baby :-)

The best bit is that it's coming, the work is now being done on more than one project :-)

Re:Somewhat offtopic, but... PCs have gotten CHEAP (2, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534426)

The computers are throwaways, and you don't have to move data from a broken one to a new one. It's all on the servers.

What about Sun's system where you have a smart card that you can insert into a computer and your desktop pops up with everything still open, i.e. no logging out and back into the network? Everything is on the server, including any state regarding your login/desktop.

I hate how Windows handles logins. At work I have to download my profile, merge it with what is on the desktop. When I log out, it uploads it back to the network. In Unix/Linux your home directory and configuration reside on the server all the time. With Sun's solution, they take it one step farther -- the workstation is basically a monitor, keyboard and mouse plugged into ethernet.

Kind of reminds me of ye olde client/server systems with a mainframe and "dumb terminals." Now they call them "thin clients," but the concept is the same.

That's an old idea (1)

anti-NAT (709310) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534438)

I was describing this idea back in 1995, and claim no originality for it. This is the NC or Network Computer model.

People talk about the TCO of a PC, such that only about 20% of the total cost of ownership is the cost of the hardware, over the life of the device.

If you break the PC down further, you end up with three functional components, without any of which the device won't operate :

  • CPU
  • RAM
  • HDD

If you then look at where the TCO costs break down over those three components, nearly all of them are incurred by the presence of the HDD. Specifically, it's all the futzing around with the operation system, applications and user data. Additionally, failure rates of HDDs are significantly higher than CPUs or RAM, again incurring higher costs.

Get rid of the HDD, make the PC boot off of the CD-ROM drive, or even better, off of the network, and a significant portion of the TCO disappears.

Some people will argue that you must have a HDD in case the network goes down. Well, what you do is spend some of the money that you save by not having a HDD and the associated maintenance costs, on making the network more reliable. It is still going to be cheaper at the end of the day.

This is a great technical solution, and has been possible at least since 1991 - you could boot PCs off of the network that many years ago.

However, it has never taken off. Why ? Pretty much Microsoft. They make a lot of money from what's put on PC HDD, and they have had such influence over the industry direction that when they came out against it, the Network Computer model never really took off.

The philosophical lesson to learn from this is

the best technical solution isn't necessarily the one that is successful

If you want your best technical solution to succeed, you need to learn to, and work out how to best market it.

I wonder if it will take off (3, Insightful)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534253)

They are rebranded machines from Asia, so expect about the same level of linux/*BSD/etc support as any other obscure lowest bidder import type of notebook (kludgy but improving). It will be interesting to see if this takes off though. Laptops are, for many people, more of a fashion accessory than a computing device (think marketroid/execubot wannabe gearheads). Walmart brand laptop wouldn't have the same fashion value as a "Ubertron Mega Wassus 90009".

Re:I wonder if it will take off (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534372)

At wallmart prices a laptop can go from a fashion accessory to a cheap alternative to dedicating a desk for the casual users.

Luckly no Mom and Pop stores will be destroyed (1)

jcrb (187104) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534254)


Of course I'm sure the locla Circuit City and COMPUSA will manage to come up with a suitable sob story. Anyone want to take bets on how long it is before one of these chains makes a press release about how Wallmart's action is "bad for the consumer and local computer stores......"

Clearly we need a South Park episode about this..

"Wallmark is bad m'kay..."

Lindows or XP? (3, Funny)

thanjee (263266) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534258)

I wonder if these will run Lindows or XP.

Does this question really need to be asked? They will run FreeBSD of course! :p

Can't wait for the notebooks (5, Funny)

GussT (726047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534260)

Let me guess they have spiral binding and come with their own pencil!

Yay! (1)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534262)

WalMart comes into a market and undercuts everyone. This can only be good, since lets face it everything is made in Asia anyway, so it's not like Americans are making any money on PCs. Maybe they can take on the 200% Dell markup.

The down side is you can only buy one if you can place the order in Spanish :)

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534349)

Hmmm... I guarantee that Dell don't make a 200% markup on laptops. Most laptops across the field will make 5-10% - maybe less, and Dell are cheap because of low inventory. Walmart will make money because they'll stick to a low model count and outsource support.

Either way, 99% of laptop parts come from the Far East whatever model you buy. And with a vast product range they can subsidize against your groceries...

Re:Yay! (1, Insightful)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534399)

This can only be good...

<sarcasm>I can't agree more; and I completely trust Walmart's religious convictions, and the decisions they make to censor [tripod.com] their product lines based on these convictions.</sarcasm>

Remember, America, the notion of free speech and free choice has meaning only so long as the citizenry has the ability excercise them. Without this ability, these rights become nothing more than wishful thinking on some pretty paper in a fancy library.

Cheap Notebooks (4, Interesting)

Detritus (11846) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534263)

I think there is a market for cheap notebooks, although I wouldn't call $750 cheap.

I don't care if it isn't able to run the latest video games. I'd like to see a sturdy notebook computer that has good battery life and a price under $500.

Re:Cheap Notebooks (2, Insightful)

IM6100 (692796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534294)

I'd like to see a sturdy notebook computer with a reflective grayscale display and a serious underclocked processor. In this day and age 'severely underclocked' could mean that it had a 400 MHz chip. A reflective grayscale display combined with 'underclocking' would give it one HELL of a lot longer battery life, and it'd give us geeks who care less about glitz a hell of a machine. I still cling to my Toshiba 2105, the last great grayscale 486 laptop.

Re:Cheap Notebooks (1)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534333)

HA! Sturdyness will be suspect, just like about everything at wal-mart. Also, they don't have the tech support infrastructure that Dell, Apple, or any of the other laptop manufacturers have.

Here's what they will be: Heavy, flimsy, laptops with short battery life that will take two months to be repaired when they break.

Re:Cheap Notebooks (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534440)

I'd like to see a sturdy notebook computer that has good battery life and a price under $500.

I just want something that I can sit in bed with and write code. Hold on, sorry. My wife tells me she wants one with a DVD-ROM so we can watch pr0n in the bedroom. It's always about pr0n, isn't it??? For $750 that's an expensive "marital aid" though.

Walmart and world domination (3, Interesting)

NightWulf (672561) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534276)

Is it me or by 2025 everything will be Walmart. I can see this orwellian type world, where 20 story tall Walmart stores dominate the landscape. And giant city sized Walmart's where the peons (everybody) work, like the middle age vassals all over again. Your overlord will be Baron Von Mildred, the silver haired 400 year old woman who greets you everyday with a smile and a cat o'nine tails. Gonna be fun!

Re:Walmart and world domination (1)

erpbridge (64037) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534292)

Ya know, now that you say that...

Who will buy who? Will Microsoft buy Wal-Mart, or Wal-mart buy Microsoft? It's only a matter of time until the two come at each other now.

Re:Walmart and world domination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534364)

WalMart has a hell of a lot more money & stock value than Microsoft, walmart would squash microsoft like a bug in a hostile takeover

Re:Walmart and world domination (1)

Bradee-oh! (459922) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534384)

Heard sometime in San Angeles, 2025 to explain things to a visitor from another time - "Now all restaurants are Walmart."

This is a Good Thing (5, Insightful)

Ridgelift (228977) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534277)

"For the same reason Dell and Gateway can get TVs, there's no reason Wal-Mart can't get computers," Baker said.

I really hope Wal-Mart decides to sell notebooks with both Lindows and Windows. It will never be mentioned in the press, but many people would buy the cheaper of the two, then chuck Lindows and replace it with a pirated copy of Windows.

Microsoft will no doubt fight this tooth and nail. They know that seeing two identical machines side by side in Wal-Mart, people will see how expensive Windows really is. Then there will be more reason to mainstream more Linux software, especially games.

Re:This is a Good Thing (1)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534296)


They know that seeing two identical machines side by side in Wal-Mart, people will see how expensive Windows really is.

Do you know how much Walmart will be paying for an OEM version of WinXP? I'm going to guess with their buying power: not much.

The whole "Microsoft tax" is way overblown.

Re:This is a Good Thing (1)

Ridgelift (228977) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534347)

Do you know how much Walmart will be paying for an OEM version of WinXP? I'm going to guess with their buying power: not much.

And how much will they be paying for the hardware? Not much either. The "Microsoft tax" is not way overblown. I run Linux; why should I pay an extra ANYTHING if I don't want it? If I have to pay for something I don't use, it's a tax.

And to restate my point, if Joe Consumer sees two identical notebooks, where the one with Windows is more and the one with Linux is less and they know their cousin can throw the latest version of Windows on it, people will buy the Linux notebook.

I didn't say it was pretty. I didn't say it was ethical. I just said this is a good thing because consumers will _see_ the cost of Windows up front, which right now is padded in the price of all the notebooks bought.

FUD. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534322)

It is well known that OEM licenses for Windows can go as low as $10. Only someone who is 1) stupid, 2) naive, or 3) a liar would posit that the full retail price of Windows that you see at Best Buy is actually added to a system price from someonelike Dell.

Re:This is a Good Thing (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534345)

I really hope Wal-Mart decides to sell notebooks with both Lindows and Windows. It will never be mentioned in the press, but many people would buy the cheaper of the two, then chuck Lindows and replace it with a pirated copy of Windows.


Maybe not as many people as you think.

I've purchased a few of the lindows boxes, and I chucked lindows before I even finished unboxing them, but I didn't replace it with windows. I replaced it with debian. And I've been very happy with them since.

Re:This is a Good Thing (1)

fastgood (714723) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534363)


I really hope Wal-Mart decides to sell notebooks with both Lindows and Windows.

If Wal-Mart were smart enough to market just a half-dozen total models per year,
they might hit critical mass of 100K units sales each -- and would not be a future
support nightmare when it comes to lack of drivers due to low individual volume.

Hidden costs (2, Insightful)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534388)

You aren't kidding.

I just built a Linux computer for my parents (dad's an older guy in his 60's) instead of a windows machine... and it's precisely because of the software cost.

A little shuttle cube, duron processor, 512 of RAM, 160GB drive, DVD/CD-RW combo drive... all for under 500 bucks. When he wanted windows, I informed him that his OS, office suite, and antivirus would almost double the cost of his computer... I did a quick assessment and realized he could do all the stuff he wanted on Linux (including utilize a USB printer and a USB scanner). I even set it up so I can administer it remotely via SSH (or even webmin tunneled over SSH if I'm feeling really lazy).

Needless to say, my mother and father are now big fans. I say good for Walmart if they want to market machines with linux and windows side-by-side... I'd like to see the sales numbers on that deal.

Re:Hidden costs (1)

spectecjr (31235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534397)

I informed him that his OS, office suite, and antivirus would almost double the cost of his computer

Wow... so you can't install OpenOffice or StarOffice on Windows? No wonder they're not gaining much ground on MS Office.

And if you want an excellent cheap AV, look at www.my-etrust.com

Re:Hidden costs (1)

The Tyro (247333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534427)

Of course you can use OO on windows, I use it myself on my windows machines. My point is that you don't have to pay the big bucks for MS software when there are other viable options available. And, as long as you're going open-source, might as well make it a complete package.

Maybe a Clevo? (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534278)

Alienware and Sager both already sell Clevo [clevo.com.tw] laptops as their own house brand (after neon spraypaint, etc.). Pretty good units, so a Walmart-branded one might be an OK computer.

There are already comments whining about Walmart quality - how much differentiation is there among the vast majority of PC's today anyhow? Sure there's always premium gear, but most of the stuff for sale in stores, whether it says WalMart, HP, or Dell on it is all low-end gear designed for price, and will probably last out its useful lifecycle.

It is surprising how WalMart is making the high-tech play; netflix, itunes, now laptops, yet they've skipped consumer electronics (no walmart-branded TV's, DVD players, etc.). Their other areas for house brands are clothing and pharmaceuticals - seems like they target areas where they think there is alot of profit, and try to take some fat out of it.

Re:Maybe a Clevo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534373)

And the good folks at Clevo responded with a hearty

HTTP/1.1 |oA3/4O|

(actually it included a couple pipe symbols and a number of symbols I don't even know the name of (and am too lazy to look up). In other words, the site is hosed.

Re:Maybe a Clevo? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534387)

Maybe not a Clevo...

Of the 3 my work bought 18 months ago, one has been returned for repair (new mobo) 3 times, one has been returned twice and the other is in the bin.

At least they were cheap I guess...

OS? i don't need no steeenkin' OS (3, Funny)

Gurudev Das (694832) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534298)

everybody is interested in seeing Windows or Linux on one of these machines, but how about no OS at all! no crashes, no bugs, heck it won't even start up providing one of the most secure environments you can get :)

Hard to compete (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534304)

It is immensely difficult to compete with a corporation that gets massive amounts of government assistance in tax incentives and loans. The idea that Walmart won in the marketplace isn't true. They beg local governments for preferntial treatment in everything from tax treatment to land zoning. These are the reason Walmarts prices can get so low. Corporate welfare for the largest retailer in the world.

How quickly we have all forgotten, from just weeks ago, Walmart's hiring of illegal aliens too.

Re:Hard to compete (1)

nolife (233813) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534408)

I agree with the illegal alien part but the rest of your story is complete bull. Have you ever been to a city/county board meeting in your area? Walmart gets no more pull then then any large developer.

10 years ago in my county, they rezoned 1000's of farm land to support high end "luxury homes". The basis was that the land value would go up and get people to the county with more money which would cause the tax burden to shift and money supply to go up. Guess what, my county taxes have gone up every year since, traffic is terrible and a decent percentage of school classrooms and buildings now have a hitch and wheels. I'm still waiting for that "benefit" to come around.

Here in the UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534307)

It'd be called an Asda laptop which - trust me here - is way better than say, a Lidl or a Spar laptop...

Hopefully Walmart won't get locked into a windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534316)

only contract in the US like the other computer sellers.

If Walmart were to start selling laptops without a microsoft tax on them, I'd be taking a look at them.

$750 cheap?!? (1)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534317)

They already carry a notebook computer for $799. It's a Northgate 1 Ghz Celeron, 14" display and DVD drive, running Windows XP Home Edition:

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?produ ct _id=2416516&cat=3951&type=19&dept=3944&path=0%3A39 44%3A3951#long_descr

Not much of a savings if they bring out their brand laptop, IMO.

Re:$750 cheap?!? (1)

Praetor11 (512322) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534380)

Why would you possibly buy something like that when you can get a Dell laptop for 799 that has a 2.3 GHz P4 Celeron with a ton more stuff.....oh and an included 2MP camera and ok printer.....

Yeah, $750... (1)

Mulletproof (513805) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534453)

Ah, but there is something that Northgate doesn't have... Massive name brand recognition and an installed consumer base of several million people already in place ^_^

Yknow (1)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534324)

I question whether Wal-Mart won't become the next target of a government anti-trust violation.

Re:Yknow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534449)

No, they wont:

They are the biggest private sector employer.
Tons of ordinary people shop there.
Their prices are incredible, whereever a SuperStore(Walmart+groceries) opens, grocery prices in the area drop 20%.

If you fuck with them you are going to have a shitload of people pissed off at you.

Oh, and they have an excellent position on unionization.

won't work (4, Interesting)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534327)

most people who purchase laptops are not purchasing their first machine. onw, where most people who buy the emachines $399 at best buy, or the microtel (?) special at wal-mart for $199 are not going to jump on a $799 laptop. in some markets, price is everything, like gasoline. but in some markets, there are other intangible factors. not the least of course is the fact that going into most laptop type environs (offices, coffee shops, college classrooms, etc.) there will be a stigma.

let me give you an example. in william grieder's book "secrets of the temple" about the federal reserve, (great book), he tells the story of bluefish. now, for those of you who don't kow much about bluefish, it is plentiful on the east coast, but not the best eating fish. but, when bluefish prices were higher, it sold more. as it price dropped, it actually sold less. why? well, it became a "cheap" fish. when it's price went back up, its sales did too. with the laptops, apple is selling tons, and they are not the cheapest. i don't think wal-mart will sell lots of laptops. people are looking for something a little more. for me, the clincher on the ibook was the screen. i couldn't deal with the cheaper laptop screens. my guess is that most laptop buyers are a little more discriminatory.

I say this in all seriousness (2, Informative)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534328)

(And as a Walmart Employee) Walmart has to be stoped.

Re:I say this in all seriousness (0, Troll)

zoid.com (311775) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534410)

>All I know about Bush is I had a job when Clinton was president.

And as soon as bush got into office you lost your job? That's really strange. Did you ever think that it's the stuff Clinton did prior to Bush that caused the problems?

Re:I say this in all seriousness (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534458)

Nope, the problems started w/ the tax cuts, and repeated tax cuts have failed to solve anything. Oooh oooh, I know, let's have MORE tax cuts!

9/11 changed everything!

Censored (2, Funny)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534338)

The testers of the new PCs say they run fabulously and are a great low-cost alternative to regular PCs. However, some noted that many of their MP3s either wouldn't play at all, or had certain words censored out.

Kwality! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7534356)

Apple eat your heart out!

Think about it...This is important.. (1)

zoid.com (311775) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534390)

PCs are now a real commodity. Think about it. Walmart has it's own brand name for the other clones. Sam's Choice Cola for example. My first PC was a 286/16 that I bought for $250 out of computer shopper. The 20 MB Kalok hard drive was another $200. The video card set me back $100 and the monochrom VGA monitor was another $150. Let's not even start to talk about the price of memory at that time. Of course my $900 TRS-80 CoCo was my favorite computer of all. Maybe these Walmart computers are Sam's Choice PC's.

Wal-Mart is the Microsoft of stores. (4, Insightful)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534406)

Wal-Mart is the Microsoft of stores. Wal-Mart is crushing American companies. They demand lower prices, forcing American companies to outsource overseas, causing losses of American jobs. If they cannot or will not cut the prices to levels that require slave labor, Wal-Mart goes to overseas companies. The result? Americans who shop at Wal-Mart are shopping themselves out of a job.

In Germany, this rocked the retail PC market (5, Interesting)

Hanno (11981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7534412)

Selling PCs at supermarkets has rocked the German PC market.

ALDI (a very popular discount retailer, similar to Wal-Mart) began selling computers a few years back, both desktop PCs and laptops. They still do so on a regular basis and just this week they had a not-too-bad all-in-one all-purpose PC for home users.

These computers are special time-limited offers, marketed in large quantities over a few days, about twice a year. So limited that when the first series was sold in 1997, one customer tried to secure his PC using a gun [heise.de].

Aldi has become so successful that its main supplier Medion has slowly become [heise.de] the #1 computer manufacturer in Germany [heise.de] (although it is unclear wether it can hold that spot - the company is struggling, too).

Several other competing supermarket chains have joined the market with their own line of bargain PCs and now there are a number of "Schnappchen PC" offers popping up in several supermarkets chains before Christmas every year. You pick up your fully-installed, ready-to-go PC right next to your milk, bread and toilet paper.

Although computer pros initially laughed at the thought of buying an ALDI PC, it turned out to be a pretty good offer. Thanks to huge numbers of absolutely identical PCs to be sold, the company preparing these boxes had time to slash prices and still do the configuration better than what you'd often get at the likes of Dell or your local selfmade-PC-shop.

The ALDI PC is targeted at home users and its first versions were quite well thought-out and sold like crazy. (See gun story, linked above.)

These days, customers aren't that mad about the ALDI PC anymore, it seems. The recent offerings were more and more prone to feature-overload. The current ALDI PC comes with everything and a kite: Next to the standard stuff it includes a universal card drive, a TV-in card, a remote control, wireless keyboard and mouse, wireless LAN and a DVD burner on top of the DVD read only drive...

But still, ALDI teared down the wall, put massive price pressure on everyone else and literally brought the multimedia PC to the masses with a PC that's actually really ok.
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