R1500 Linux PCs by next month?
From as early as the second week of November consumers in South Africa could be buying brand new Linux-loaded PCs from their local supermarkets for just R1500,00. Novell SA MD Stafford Masie said during a presentation at this year\’s South African Oracle Users Group conference that the company also hopes to more than double the sales of SuSE Linux over the next year.
Masie said the plans to put cheap pre-installed Linux PCs into retail stores was part of the company\’s programme to sign OEM deals with local and international vendors in South Africa. He said the programme was moving along very successfully since its public launch last month. he said Novell\’s OEM team had signed up local manufacturers and distributors including Rectron and Mustek as well as most multinational brands.
\”This is part of a programme to give more people access to technology. The PCs will be complete sets of hardware and software. The software will include everything users could want from desktop applications to software development tools.\”
He said that by installing Linux, the cost of the software on each PC would be kept down to little more than R400. This would include manuals and a full suite of software. Support will be available through the national support centre.
Although Masie didn\’t explicitly say which of the retail stores would be carrying the machines he did mention the likes of Pick \’n Pay and Makro (South African supermarkets).
Masie also said the company hopes to more than double its current sales of SuSE Linux in 2005. Current sales stand at around 200 000. Masie believes the company will up this to around 500 000 copies in 2005.
In another prediction, Masie said he believes that over the next three to five years more than 70 percent of the desktops being run by the public service in South Africa would be running Linux.