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Wal-Mart, Warehouse, $299, Wow - June 17, 2002

Today, we announced the first place in the world where you can buy a computer running LindowsOS - Walmart.com (lindows.com/walmart). The complete line-up of computers running LindowsOS ranges in price from $299- $599. Some in the press may write about this development because it's not every day a new operating system becomes available on computers. They may write that it's a major milestone for nine-month-old Lindows.com to partner with the world's largest retailer. Perhaps they'll mention how it's a sign that Linux® technology will play a larger roll on consumer desktops in the future. Or maybe they'll commend Wal-Mart and Microtel for giving consumers choice in spite of pressure from a monopolist not to do so. All of which is true.  

However, there's actually two more significant developments from today’s announcement that likely won't get coverage. The combination of lower cost PCs and affordable software will reinvigorate the technology market by spurring new uses and new demand for personal computers. At the same time, complete digital delivery of software will permanently change the software industry as we know it.  


First computers pre-installed with LindowsOS

For about the cost of a game console with a couple controllers, a shopper can now buy a sufficiently powered computer for most tasks in a business, school or home. This means a lot more people will buy them for a lot more uses. Schools can now afford a row of computers in each classroom. Every household can afford the benefit of computing to better their lives. No longer will computers be a planned family purchase costing thousands, but rather they'll be more like TVs where every household has at least one and many have multiple units. And no business - no matter what the size - will be disadvantaged by their inability to afford computers. The combination of an efficient computer manufacturer and the removal of a $100 per-machine Microsoft tax have made it possible to rollout a line of computers affordable for any budget.

But an even more significant dimension of today's announcement is the Click-N-Run Warehouse, which radically changes the software business. Previously outfitting a computer could cost over a thousand dollars, requiring a considerable amount of technical experience and time. The software industry has not changed the ways it does business since pre-Internet days. In spite of a radically different computing landscape (Internet, low-cost PCs, etc.), the lack of competition has kept consumers from experiencing the full benefit of innovation and the economic benefit that comes from it.  


Click-N-Run Warehouse stocked with over 1,000 programs

Click-N-Run is a novel delivery system and pricing model for software where a consumer can pay a single payment of just $99 for a membership to a warehouse of over 1,000 products - which they can own permanently. All the LindowsOS computers from Walmart.com can be plugged into a DSL, cable modem or modem line and get instant access to a library which normally could cost thousands of dollars. Each computer comes with a trial account which allows for any 3 programs to be loaded from the Click-N-Run Warehouse to experience the technology. From there, unlimited access for a year is available for $99.

LindowsOS is delivering on the much heralded promise of complete digital delivery of software and making it point-and-shoot easy with Click-N-Run. All of the programs in the Click-N-Run Warehouse can be downloaded, installed and ready to use with a single mouse click. 

No registration process. No serial numbers or activation codes. No configuration hassles -- just 24/7-access to a library of software titles from a wide-range of categories.  In this area, LindowsOS users are experiencing powerful technology,  not available to Microsoft or Apple customers.

We're excited about this major step for Lindows.com to partner with Wal-Mart and Microtel to bring affordable computing to middle America. Users purchasing these computers will be experiencing the future of software delivery today as they browse and deploy hundreds of programs via the Click-N-Run Warehouse.

Michael Robertson

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