Wal-Mart to close out dirt-cheap 'Green' Linux PC

The world's largest retailer was willing to stock the Linux-based $199 Everex Green gPC starting last October. But customer demand for the product has been lackluster, and yesterday the retailer announced its test run for the gPC is now over.

Wal-Mart elected not to restock the original gPC, but interested customers can head to Walmart.com to purchase the gPC2 for $199 without a monitor.

Everex officials indicated its own online sales have been significantly higher when compared to retail stores at Wal-Mart's own brick-and-mortar locations.

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Today, Everex is known as a budget PC maker that has sold millions of low-priced PCs around the world. But when the company launched in 1983, it positioned itself as a "Cadillac" brand of PC compatibles, selling only the highest-grade and the fastest desktop computers on the market -- often for retail prices that stretched into the stratosphere, often over $3,000. Bucking the bargain-basement "clone" trend for as long as it could, Everex was among the first to produce a '386-based PC clocked at the then-astounding speed of over 20 MHz.

Fast-forward two decades: Only a small handful of companies have been willing to sell low-budget, entry PCs and notebooks pre-loaded with Linux, and Everex is one of the companies better known for doing so. Each Everex offering uses the Good OS, an Ubuntu-based operating system that has a strong emphasis on Google applications and other Web 2.0 technologies.

Companies trying to sell low-budget PCs typically choose Linux instead of Microsoft Windows since there often times is no licensing fee to use the software.

Although free and open source software -- Linux being the best example -- has found a home in recent years on high-volume servers, casual PC and notebook owners have not been purchasing Linux-based PCs to any appreciable degree, with collective market share believed to hover still below 1%. Dell has one PC and three notebooks shipping with Ubuntu Linux fully configured, but has yet to release sales figures.

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