Wal-Mart Offers $498 Linux Laptop

December 21, 2004

Walmart.com has released the $498 Balance laptop, which runs the Linux-based operating system Linspire. The laptop comes fully equipped with the operating system, Internet suite, and Microsoft-file compatible office suite, and can be used with both dial-up modems and broadband connections. Wal-Mart and Linspire worked together to offer a laptop that would give customers the best user experience at the lowest price possible.

The Balance notebook is the lowest-priced laptop currently on the market to include a complete operating system and office suite -- comparable machines cost hundreds more even without an office suite or software included.

Hardware specifications:
-- 1.0 GHz processor
-- 128 MB RAM, expandable up to 512 MB with included SODIMM slot
-- 14.1" LCD screen

Included software:
-- Linspire 4.5 operating system
-- OpenOffice.org - full-featured Microsoft file-compatible office suite
with word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs
-- Internet suite including email with spam blockers, Internet browser,
and built-in firewall
-- More than 1,900 free software programs for download, with guaranteed
software updates for 3 months

The $498 Balance notebook with Linspire is an extremely affordable Linux-based computer perfect for use as a second or third home machine. Users can connect to the Internet and create, edit and share documents within minutes of bringing the laptop home without paying extra charges for software or licensing fees. Wal-Mart and Linspire partnered to bring a full-featured laptop to consumers at the lowest price point possible.

Linspire™ is Linux-based operating system and delivers significant advantages over Microsoft® Windows®, such as reliability, virus-free security, dramatic cost savings and advanced features. Linspire is also "Plug & Play" ready, so you can plug in your USB or Firewire devices, such as scanners or digital cameras and Linspire will quickly recognize them and load necessary drivers in just seconds.

The Balance laptop is compatible with other office and Internet suites like Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer, and can be used with more than 1,000 printers and hardware components. With the included office suite OpenOffice.org (www.linspire.com/openoffice), users can open, edit and exchange files such as word processing documents (.doc), spreadsheets (.xls) or presentations (.ppt) in a familiar, comfortable environment. The laptop's included Mozilla Internet suite (www.linspire.com/mozilla) comes with a fast-functioning browser and email program that can display Web-based forms, PDF documents, images, and multimedia files. The suite's included instant messenger program works with AOL, MSN and Yahoo! logins.

Besides being affordable, the laptop is also easy-to-use, even for those new to Linux-based operating systems. The computer's Linspire operating system has a comfortable, familiar interface and software that is comparable to Windows. "Hot keys" on the keyboard give users one-touch access to email and the Internet. The laptop also comes installed with multimedia tutorials that Linspire worked with Wal-Mart to create for users who purchase the laptop, and a Quick Start guide to make set-up easy. View the interactive tutorials at www.linspire.com/walmartstart and a sample Quick Start guide at www.linspire.com/qsguide.

Because it is based on Linux, the Linspire operating system is immune to security threats targeting Microsoft Windows software including viruses, Trojan horses and spyware. The machine's built-in firewall gives an extra level of protection from outside threats, and the included Internet suite's standard spam and pop-up blockers make surfing and emailing hassle-free.

The $498 price also includes access to software programs via the CNR Warehouse (www.linspire.com/warehouse), an Internet-based software download center that allows users to install any of more than 1,900 software programs with one click. The CNR Service is available free to those who purchase the laptop from walmart.com, with guaranteed software updates available for three months after purchase. Once programs are downloaded, they are completely owned by the user and can be shared on multiple Linspire-based PCs with no activation codes required.

To purchase the Balance notebook for $498 with Linspire, please visit www.linspire.com/498 .

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