Sears Sells Latest Sub-$200 Linux Desktop PC

For the second time since October, a sub-US$200, fully equipped Linux desktop PC is available for sale to U.S. consumers.

Starting Thursday, Sears.com is selling a Mirus Innovations Inc. desktop machine that runs Linux from Linspire Inc. for $299, minus a $100 mail-in rebate, Linspire said in a statement. Another $15 discount is available through this Saturday, for a final price of $184.99. Shipping is an additional $16.50.

The new Linspire/Mirus PC includes an Intel Celeron 420 1.6GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, a 56K modem, a CD-RW burner, a media card reader, keyboard, speakers, mouse and Linspire's Freespire 2.0 Linux operating system. The machine also comes with CNR Basic Service, which gives users one-click online access to free and commercial Linux software to fit their needs. It does not include a monitor.

San Diego-based Linspire said it teamed with Walnut, Calif.-based Mirus to build a machine that would provide low-cost computing capabilities and open source-software for consumer and business customers.

"Our system builders have been forging new ground in the low-end Linux PC market for over 5 years now," Larry Kettler, president and CEO of Linspire, said in a statement. "This latest system from Mirus Innovations is the most robust hardware and software configuration, and offers the best value for under $200 to date."

The new PC has Freespire Linux 2.0 pre-installed and offers improved out-of-the-box file format and multimedia support, including MP3, Windows Media, Real Networks, Java, Flash, ATI, nVidia, Wi-Fi and others. Freespire 2.0 also includes legally licensed proprietary drivers, codecs, and applications in its core distribution for an improved user experience. Freespire is a community-influenced, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed for all users.

Last October, an Ubuntu Linux-equipped PC went on sale in selected Wal-mart stores for $200, built by Fremont, Calif.-based Everex.

This story, "Sears Sells Latest Sub-$200 Linux Desktop PC" was originally published by Computerworld.

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