Anything But Microsoft Retail Store Pushes Linux, Open Source

Yet another good reason to go to Toronto. Hey, if their geek community
can sustain something like this… <laugh>

From Manny Amador’s post to openminds_ph:

Anything But Microsoft Retail Store Pushes Linux, Open Source
By W. David Gardner, TechWeb News

The Linux and open source software movement has a retail store ” possibly
the only one in North America ” and it is offering a low-cost, very
lightweight laptop computer that is devoid of Microsoft software.

The Sub300 store could be called a Mecca for the Anything But Microsoft
crowd. The store’s president, Marc Silverman, says most people who contact
the store do so because of an intense dislike for Microsoft.

“A lot of people are sick of Microsoft and Bill Gates,” he said in an
interview. “They hate that their computers crash once a week. They hate
viruses. They hate paying so much for Microsoft software.”

On Friday, Silverman announced that his Toronto-based store will begin an
intense marketing campaign of its Ultralite Laptop for $799.
The 2.9-pound laptop has the Linspire Linux operating system and
OpenOffice software including word processor, spreadsheet and data base

“We are avoiding the ‘Microsoft tax,'” said Silverman, adding that
Microsoft software can add from $200 to $400 to the cost of a PC or
laptop. He said customers have been drawn to the store and its offerings
for a variety of reasons, most of which are based in a dislike of
Microsoft products.

Many are driven to seek out the Sub300 store because they are frustrated
by the high number of spam, viruses, worms and other computer cyber
pestilences that attack Microsoft software. Others like the low prices.
Silverman believes still others will be attracted to the firm’s extremely
lightweight Ultralite Laptop. In addition to the Linux operating system,
the laptop features a 1GHz VIA processor, 256 MB RAM, 40 GB hard drive,
PCMCIA slots, Ethernet and USB links, as well as a 12.1-inch TFT display.
The laptop is made in Taiwan for Sub300. (Because of currency differences
the store is known as Sub500 in Canada.) Silverman and the store’s
co-owner, brother David Silverman, believe that stores specializing in
Linux and open source software have a bright future. “Linux-based software
is only now beginning to reach the desktop and PC market,” he said. Marc
Silverman said visitors have come from the U.S. and even from as far as
Germany to visit his store. Located next to a school in Toronto, the store
is often visited by high school students. Silverman said when they use
Sub300 computers, they don’t realize they have no Microsoft software on

Silverman said he believes the Sub300 store is the only store specializing
in Linux and open source software in North America. He said there is a
similar store in Australia. Supporting U.S. sales, Sub300 operates a
warehouse in Buffalo, N.Y.

E-Mail from Manny Amador