Tesco sell computers with Ubuntu pre-installed – Linux on the up?

October 21, 2007

Tesco sell computers with Ubuntu pre-installed - Linux on the up?Tesco, the UK’s biggest retailer, has started selling entry level PCs with Ubuntu pre-installed. Could this brave move give Linux based operating systems a much needed boost in the UK?

Tesco is the world’s third largest grocery retailer, and also sells everything from clothes to electrical equipment. In their latest Tesco Direct online catalogue they have a selection of personal computers on offer. The top range of course offers the ubiquitous Windows Vista as the inbuilt operating system. The mid range towers on offer still have Windows XP built in. It’s actually the two lowest priced machines on offer which have Ubuntu pre-installed.

Here are the links:-

eSys Intel Celeron PC Base Unit
eSys AMD 3600 PC Base Unit

This fact, which could potentially have a big effect on the mindset of UK retailers was only noticed in passing by John Levin on the Ubuntu-UK mailing list. I only saw it as it made it’s way in to the blogosphere courtesy of an Ubuntu based blog written by Dave Walker.

The machines on offer come with Ubuntu 6.06 which is a release well over a year old, but it’s still an intriguing development nonetheless. As Dave Walker correctly points out the big problem will be the support required for any new converts who buy a cheap PC from Tesco expecting to instantly know what they are doing. Any Linux virgins will surely struggle to grasp all of the nuances of the system, especially if they’ve solely been used to Windows in the past.

Pairing a cheap entry level computer with Ubuntu makes sense in terms of cost, with the price of Microsoft’s operating systems taken out of the equation. The problem is it also pairs up possibly first time PC owners with an operating system they potentially will never have heard of.

I take my hat off to Tesco though, this is a good move, offering a choice which, up to now, has sadly been lacking in the UK economy PC market.

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12 Responses to “Tesco sell computers with Ubuntu pre-installed – Linux on the up?”

  1. Ammy Short:

    Great news for PC users.

    I think the people are surely going to benefit form this Ubuntu preloaded PCs.

    The overall security and user friendliness is much more up to date than in any average Windows PC.

    Yours Sincerely.

  2. Zeth:

    Why such a old release of Ubuntu????

  3. Nick Bentley:

    6.06 was the last version with long term support (18 months iirc)

    This is great news, If only people were not scared of anything other than windows

  4. cybervegan:

    In my experience, users who have never had a computer before find Ubuntu (and most other mainstream distro’s) perfectly easy. It’s the ones who think that Microsoft invented computers and have been using Windows since win98 that have the problems.

    In my spare time, I reclaim old scrap business computers, reinstall with Ubuntu, and donate them or sell them very cheaply and I have very many satisfied customers – no problems with viruses, malware or spyware; no random crashes or annual reinstalls to keep the system stable.

    Tesco selling Ubuntu based PC’s can only be good news.


  5. Richard Steven Hack:

    The ad shows “Cache” is 1GB! Say what? 512MB of RAM and 1GB of “Cache”?

    Somebody got it wrong…

    Maybe they meant 512K of cache and 1GB of RAM, but at the price point of the machine, I’m not sure that was likely either.

  6. Ian:

    6.06 is fine. My mum’s running it on her PC and I’ve seen no need to upgrade it yet. She’s happy with it.

  7. Ralph:

    6.06 is what I am running right now on an Acer notebook as my main work machine. It works great. I’ll probably wait to the next long term support release before upgrading, as I have too much installed and too much to do right now.

  8. Nish Vamadevan:

    Its great to see a retailer who isin’t speciliced in Computer Equipments seeling PCs preloaded with Linux Operating System…

    But I don’t see this continues cos unfortunatly the ratio of customers who walks into a Tesco Store and having the knowledge of Linux Operating System is VERY low!

  9. geoff cowan:

    I have a duel boot with windows and ubuntu running and I would like to say to tesco go for it windows is to unstable for most people ubunto is the best I have tried but you should upgrade to the new 9-10 and if tesco sold better laptops with ubuntu 9-10 on it I would buy one.

  10. Consumer Sales:

    Hey there, You have performed an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and in my opinion recommend to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this web site.

  11. Robert Steele:

    It’s a shame that Tesco Bank don’t support Linux with their online banking system. I can’t use my linux machine to access my tesco credit card online account. I can still do my online banking with RBS but it’s a bummer that Tesco have gone for a windows/mac only platform.

  12. Robert Steele:

    Well I take my hat off to tesco as they have fixed the linux problem. I can access my account now with my ubuntu computer.

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