Walmart Releases Linux-based Laptop
Walmart.com has released the $498 Balance laptop, which runs the Linux-based operating system Linspire.
The laptop comes fully equipped with the operating system, Internet suite, and Microsoft-file compatible office suite, and can be used with both dial-up modems and broadband connections.
Wal-Mart and Linspire worked together to offer a laptop that would give customers the best user experience at the lowest price possible. The Balance notebook is the lowest-priced laptop currently on the market to include a complete operating system and office suite — comparable machines cost hundreds more even without an office suite or software included.
The Balance laptop is compatible with other office and Internet suites like Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, and can be used with more than 1,000 printers and hardware components. With the included office suite OpenOffice.org, users can open, edit and exchange files such as word processing documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) or presentations (.ppt) in a familiar, comfortable environment. The laptop’s included Mozilla Internet suite comes with a fast-functioning browser and email program that can display Web-based forms, PDF documents, images, and multimedia files. The suite’s included instant messenger program works with AOL, MSN and Yahoo! logins.
Besides being affordable, the laptop is also easy-to-use, even for those new to Linux-based operating systems. The computer’s Linspire operating system has a comfortable, familiar interface and software that is comparable to Windows. “Hot keys” on the keyboard give users one-touch access to email and the Internet. The laptop also comes installed with multimedia tutorials that Linspire worked with Wal-Mart to create for users who purchase the laptop, and a Quick Start guide to make set-up easy.
Because it is based on Linux, the Linspire operating system is immune to security threats targeting Microsoft Windows software including viruses, Trojan horses and spyware. The machine’s built-in firewall gives an extra level of protection from outside threats, and the included Internet suite’s standard spam and pop-up blockers make surfing and emailing hassle-free.
The $498 price also includes access to software programs via the CNR Warehouse , an Internet-based software download center that allows users to install any of more than 1,900 software programs with one click. The CNR Service is available free to those who purchase the laptop from walmart.com, with guaranteed software updates available for three months after purchase. Once programs are downloaded, they are completely owned by the user and can be shared on multiple Linspire-based PCs with no activation codes required.
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