If you happen to walk into a Best Buy this week you may spot some new software peeking out from the shelves, as Canonical recently announced it has entered into an agreement with the retail chain to sell boxed copies of its popular Ubuntu operating system at stores across the nation.
For the low price of $19.99 you’ll get a copy the Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 Linux distribution. Of course, the exact same version is available at no charge from Ubuntu’s web site and you can even get it on CD from Amazon.com at $12.95, but the Best Buy offering includes 60 days of phone support and an installation guide. With this, Canonical hopes to reach users who are unaware of Ubuntu, cannot download the software, or need a helping hand with the process of installing an operating system.
This is not the first time a Linux distribution has been available as a boxed product, though, as both Red Hat and SUSE Linux have been available at retail stores in the past to no avail. Whether Ubuntu’s user-friendliness and relatively low price point will help it succeed where others have failed remains to be seen.