It’s here — the $199 computer

If you’re reading this blog, you probably already own a computer. But if you don’t — perhaps you’re using oneDog
at the library or looking through your neighbor’s window — you may be excited to know that Wal-Mart is now selling a computer for only $199. It even comes with its own hard drive. It’s got everything you need, really, except a monitor, but is a monitor really necessary?

The cheap price reflects Wal-Mart’s buying power as the world’s largest
retailer and is an aggressive gambit by a Taiwanese company that has
carved out a niche at the low end of the computer market. To get to
$199, First International Computer had to forgo software made by
Microsoft Corp. or Apple Inc. and try the little-used open-source
computer platform. [Link]

They also had to forgo the motherboard and settle for the more economical fatherboard.

Wal-Mart has sold an open-source computer before. In 2002, it tried to
sell a $199 PC that used the Lindows operating system. But the PCs were
poorly reviewed, and there were compatibility issues working with
peripheral devices, such as printers and digital cameras.[Link]

As Wal-Mart came to realize, Lindows was such a big laste.

To ease some worries, the PC has a 1-year warranty and a 24-hour help line.[Link]

To save money, tech support will be available only in Hindi. More languages will be added in the future, including Punjabi in 2008, Tamil in 2009 and Telugu in 2010.

Photo by cogdogblog

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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