Why there's no more Linux at Wal-Mart


This sounds like a no-brainer, but one man, Joel Mclaughlin, theorizes that the low-cost Linux PCs have disappeared from Wal-Mart is because the boxes were too complex for the average Wal-Mart customer.

And he’s right.

It’s not that they’re hard to use — developers have made great progress in the last few years making Linux into a true easy-to-use OS. The problem is that the rest of the world tends to be Windows with OS X compatibility. Almost no consumer software exists for Linux, at least not in the way that the average user thinks of it.

Mclaughlin uses a great example of Quicken. Most users can’t tell you what version of what OS they’re running. If mom and dad want to keep track of their finances, they’ll use something they’ve heard of, like Quicken. That disk won’t install anything on a Wal-Mart Linux box.

In the end, Mclaughlin rightly argues that it’s up to Linux devs to come up with not just a great OS but a great ecosystem, and if Linux for consumers is going to grow, then that really needs to happen.

Why Walmart isn’t the place for Linux [GearDiary]