BestBuy is now offering Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) in a shrink-wrapped box for $19.99. This is the only packaged Linux that BestBuy currently sells. I haven't seen the package or visited my local BestBuy store in several months but I am happy about this decision.
Shelf space is at a premium in retail stores so it says something for the Zeitgeist of the future of Linux. And sure, there have been shrink-wrapped Linux CDs before and you can usually get a CD or DVD of the latest version of some distribution attached to one of the glossy Linux magazines at a bookstore but this is different.
It just feels different this time.
It feels like this may be the first in a well-received retail Linux offering. Linux may, at some point, get its very own shelf at BestBuy or CompUSA. It could happen.
I checked out the BestBuy website at www.bestbuy.com to see the box and the description, etc. I am impressed with the accurate marketing information given. The technical system requirements are spot on.
The only issue I have is that the online information doesn't tell you what's in the box. Is there a book? Is there any info whatsoever to help out a new user? Telling someone to look at a website doesn't really cut in my opinion. You need some documentation.
There should be a small install help manual with screenshots of a typical installation and a note somewhere that says, "If all your hardware doesn't work, don't panic. Allow the system to update itself." Many users state that after software updates were applied, everything worked fine.
At this time, there are 23 reviews and most give 4 or 5 stars to the software with pros and cons of trying new software. One guy gave it 1 star and of course this is the person that's quoted in national blogs and articles. He states that he bought Vista and everything worked fine for him. To him I say, "That's great and sorry Ubuntu didn't work out for you." Not everyone buys a Ford or Chevrolet--some prefer Saab or Mercedes. To each his own.