New Day Dawning for Desktop Linux?

November 16th, 2007 - 9:11 pm ICT by admin  

Has the time for desktop Linux finally arrived? One relevant data point is that Wal-Mart has sold out of the Everex gPC, a Google-friendly, Linux-based PC priced at $199.

Wal-Mart says more units are on the way for the holiday season, but right now the retailer’s Web site indicates the machines are sold out. The gPC has been one of the top performing desktop computers on over the last few weeks, a company spokesperson said, but Wal-Mart did not release actual sales numbers.

The gPC runs a version of Linux called gOS, and uses a 1.5-GHz processor from Via Technologies, an 80-GB hard drive, and 512 MB of RAM.

Cloud Computing, Branded Google

The gOS is actually a customized version of Ubuntu, a Linux distribution that is considered a breakthrough for Linux on the desktop. “Ubuntu really seems to be rising as the user-friendly Linux OS of choice,” Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT, said in a recent telephone interview. With the success of the gPC, that prediction could be coming true.

Built on the newly released Ubuntu 7.10, which might be the first Linux distribution to offer Mac-like 3D graphics meant to appeal to consumers, the gPC comes with standard open-source software such as Firefox and OpenOffice. But one interesting twist is that the computing experience is not desktop-oriented but rather focused on the “cloud,” the universe of applications available online.

And for gPC users, that cloud is branded “Google.”

“We recommend Google for just about everything … Gmail, Gtalk, Calendar, Maps, Docs and Spreadsheets, and more. We’d like to welcome you to the idea that Google already is your ‘operating system,’” said Paul Kim, Everex’s director of marketing. “Our dream is to combine Linux with Google and put it into the mass market.”

Wedge for Linux

The combination of Google applications and…

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