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Ubuntu's Best Buy

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From the 'why get something for free when you can pay for it' files:

Go to just about any open source conference and you're bound to see free (as in Beer) Ubuntu Linux CDs being distributed. It's also available for Free by simply downloading it online. Ubuntu also has a Free shipping service where they'll ship a copy of Ubuntu to anyone that wants it.

BUT if you don't want Ubuntu for Free - you can now pay for it at your local Best Buy.

That's right, Ubuntu is now available as a boxed software set by way of US distribution vendor ValuSoft. The box set includes the latest Ubuntu 8.0.4 Hardy Heron release as well as 60 days of support and a Quick Start guide and is priced at $19.99.

According to Steve George Director, Corporate Services at Canonical (lead commercial sponsor of Ubuntu):
The aim is to provide Ubuntu to users who want the software and support
conveniently presented in a boxed set. Making it available through Best
Buy is an opportunity to reach users who are unaware of Ubuntu or who
are bandwidth restricted and don't want to download Ubuntu themselves.

This of course is not the first time Linux has been sold on retail shelves in the US. In fact I will admit that I personally actually purchased a boxed Linux distribution from the store shelf of US retail store in 1998 (I had bandwidth problems...).

There was a time when Red Hat Linux (when Red Hat Linux still existed before the Fedora/Enterprise split), TurboLinux and Mandrake could easily be found on store shelves. For various reasons that seemed to have faded away by 2002 or so. It'll be interesting to see if anything has really changed in 2008.

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