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Linux Store preps Net access appliance

Open source software to power $199 device

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The Linux Store is set to move into the Internet Appliance market with a $199 personal Net access box based on the open source OS. The company is not yet releasing specs. for the device, but it did say it will bundle a full suite of Internet tools, plus a word processor and a spreadsheet. The box will be released in the second week of August, and will be sold through The Linux Store itself, ISPs and US retailers, though it declined to say who, if anyone, it has signed up to take the product. The company's plan is to prove that Linux can make it as a mainstream client OS alternative to Windows. The flaw in that plan, however, is that for an Internet appliance, aimed at consumers with little or no IT knowledge but a desire to get onto the Net quickly and easily, the OS is, to a degree, irrelevant. For users who do want to did a little deeper into the system, The Linux Store points to the huge stack of Linux apps available on the Net, it will be interesting to see how many consumers can figure out how to install and/or compile them. ®

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