The Channel logo

News

By | Kelly Fiveash 10th July 2008 15:01

US retailers start pushing $20 Ubuntu

Today fanboys, tomorrow Microsoft the world?

Canonical has begun selling Ubuntu, its free, open source, Linux-based distro through Best Buy and Amazon for around $20 a pop.

Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04, which has been packaged by ValuSoft, is being sold online at Amazon.com and Bestbuy.com, and through Best Buy's retail stores.

Customers happy to be $19.99 lighter of pocket will be handed a boxed-up version of the “Ubuntu Linux”. The bundled package includes printed documentation and 60 days of unlimited support.

We asked Canonical, the corporate body behind the Ubuntu distribution, why it has decided to start selling the software when it is legitimately available to anyone as a free download.

A spokesman at the firm confirmed the retail deal and pointed us to a statement on the Canonical blog.

“The aim is to provide Ubuntu to users who want the software and support conveniently presented in a boxed set,” it said. “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.”

Ubuntu’s raison d'être to date has been all about reaching out to as many people as possible by freely distributing the software to Linux lovers.

Canonical's spokesman said the company's sharing-caring vision remains intact – kinda.

"Download it for free, get the CD from shipit for free," he explained. "Or you can go to Best Buy and get a box with a manual and 60 day support for $20. There is no contradiction between the two. It's just another distribution channel." ®

comment icon Read 99 comments on this article alert Send corrections

Opinion

WWI French tank picture via Shutterstock
Vinod_Khosla

Chris Mellor

A VC with startup agenda slams established suppliers. Surprised? Neither were we
ZenPad_RealRacing
Boy writes a letter to Santa. Pic via Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Cornwall's win over BT should be a cautionary relationship tale

Features

Eclipse image via Shutterstock
The Azure Portal: Microsoft is betting on cloud for its future business
container_ship_hamburg_shutterstock_648
Michael Dell. Pic by Joi Ito
Cool Texas dude is just your average billionaire