Wal-Mart: The Penguin's Goose Is Cooked

Linux fans felt as though Wal-Mart's decision to retail inexpensive computers  that use Linux for their operating system meant that the free, open source software would finally break out into general public. Oh yeah, and Ron Paul's going to be President.

"This really wasn't what our customers were looking for," said Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Melissa O'Brien.

To test demand for systems with the open-source operating system, Wal-Mart stocked the $199 "Green gPC," made by Everex of Taiwan, in about 600 stores starting late in October.

Walmart.com, the chain's e-commerce site, had sold Linux-based computers before and will continue selling the gPC. This was the first time they appeared on retail shelves.

Paul Kim, brand manager for Everex, said selling the gPC online was "significantly more effective" than selling it in stores.

Wal-Mart sold out the in-store gPC inventory but decided not to restock, O'Brien said. The company does not reveal sales figures for individual items.

The sales of the desktop might have been hampered by a lack of an included monitor. But in any event, it appears the general public would still rather steal Windows than use a copy of Linux for free. 
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