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R1500 Linux PCs by next month?

By   |  October 20, 2004

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.


7 Responses to “R1500 Linux PCs by next month?”

  1. Andrew Cooks
    October 20th, 2004 @ 12:00 am

    These days it seems every second high school kid has a connection to buy hardware at wholesale prices. Though even if you import the hardware yourself, you won\’t get a complete system for R1500. Not even before Vat.

    I can\’t help but wonder if Novell is planning to subsidise the hardware. And if they are, what makes them think that those subsidised machines will keep running Suse Linux? In fact, at R1500, you can probably put a legal copy of Windows on it and resell it at a profit.

    Thanks Novell. I\’ll take two new Gentoo boxes. 😉

  2. Karl Fischer
    October 20th, 2004 @ 12:00 am

    I think it\’s great, it will enable more people to buy machines at cheaper prices. to think maybe in two years time we\’ll have PC\’s cheaper than Cellphones. Then South Africa will be totally Liberated :)

  3. Patrick
    November 26th, 2004 @ 12:00 am

    Any idea if these machines are available anywhere yet?

    Not yet. We\’re still trying to find out specifics. As soon as we do we\’ll publish an update to the story.- Editor

  4. Nelson Canha
    January 27th, 2005 @ 12:00 am

    If this is possible, are they using low grade metal for the atx cases, and rubber instead of plastic for the rest. I deal with pc\’s and find it difficult for Novell to bring them out so cheap.

    I\’ll have a field day selling those things, but how many comebacks will there be. I see in the USA somewhere, they are selling Linux pc\’s cheap. Saw it while doing a search.

  5. Jeremiah Matogo
    February 11th, 2005 @ 12:00 am

    I think SA is a bit behind on this. In my country (Kenya) we were getting brand new P4s for the equivalent of R1500 a year ago. And seeing that Linux is free, I don\’t know why it hasn\’t hit here yet! All the same I think it\’s very possible, will truly put SA ahead. Cheers

  6. kmf
    October 24th, 2005 @ 12:00 am

    Is he ?
    Well I\’m very happy to see this it only took a YEAR.

  7. Collin Motsewakhumo
    June 29th, 2009 @ 12:17 pm

    I would rather buy a second linux box for the same price as the legal Windows copy. R1 500 only gets you the Windows copy, what about the Office suite?, the anti-virus? Programming software and their compilers?etc. By the time your windows box is complete I would be boasting with 4 Gentoo boxes.

    Remember FREEDOM, you are either FREE or DOM; huh?

    I will still be allowed to try other linux distros, tweak my machine and customise it to my liking right from the kernel to other peripherals without breaking my bank. A PC will no longer be a luxury to have but a necessity of vital importance.

    Schools can buy 10 such boxes without a problem. A school with a roll of 300 learners each learner paying a meager R50.00 or even less for schools with a larger roll or subsidised. The possibilities are unlimited..

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