LinuxWorld: VA to introduce low-cost Linux PC

LinuxWorld: VA to introduce low-cost Linux PC

Summary: Hoping to capture the hearts of low-end Linux lovers, VA Linux Systems plans to unveil a sub-$1000 (£620) PC at LinuxWorld Expo.

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The computer, which contains a 400 MHz processor, will be aimed primarily at college students. It will include a bundle of Linux applications and a Red Hat-based operating system. It also will include the Enlightenment windows manager. The company will release additional details on Tuesday.

VA CEO Larry Augustin acknowledged that the market for desktop Linux is minuscule. Microsoft's Windows currently runs on more than 90 percent of all Intel-based desktop computers. And many people who install Linux themselves on a desktop PC do so on a machine that already has Windows.

Augustin said VA's new machine is designed for people who are just becoming interested in Linux and are looking for a low-cost PC -- people such as college students.

Right now, Linux mainly powers large servers, though many companies have their eyes on markets, such as smaller appliances and databases. "What's the piece that's really missing? It's the desktop," Augustin said. He also said the company is considering shipping a Linux laptop in the future. "We'll definitely have something there eventually," he said.

VA Linux Systems joins a growing number of companies that are offering Linux on the desktop. Dell Computer and Compaq Computer jumped into the game recently, and some direct PC makers also sell the machines.

VA also will unveil a revamped Web site where people can buy its computers, including those it introduces at the show.

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