Canonical and Valusoft bring Ubuntu plus support to Best Buy

If you walk into a BestBuy this week you may spot some new software peeking out from the shelves.  Yes, Ubuntu is now available as a spiffy boxed set in stores and on-line.

We’ve been working with ValuSoft who are a distribution company that specialise in the US retail channel. The boxed set comes with an Ubuntu 8.04 CD, a Quick Start Guide and 60 days of support from the ValuSoft team, trained and backed by the Canonical support guys. The support covers installation and getting started using Ubuntu and is priced at $19.99.

 

The retail box in Best Buy

The aim is to provide Ubuntu to users who want the software and support conveniently presented in a boxed set. Making it available through Best Buy is an opportunity to reach users who are unaware of Ubuntu or who are bandwidth restricted and don’t want to download Ubuntu themselves

The Valusoft and Canonical teams have worked hard on the packaging to show how Ubuntu has a program for the common activities that users need such as “Web Browsing”, “Productivity Suite” and “Email”. This makes it much easier for a consumer to work out if Ubuntu is right for them. I think the teams have done a great job presenting Ubuntu simply and concisely.

Bringing Linux and free software to new categories  of users is fundamental to our mission at Canonical. Valusoft. By adding a 60 day support service, ValuSoft are making it easier for consumers to install and get started with Ubuntu. Installing an operating system of any kind is still a scary task for many people so offering a ‘helping hand’ is a great reassurance for the new user and will help tremendously with the success of the product in this category.

We’ve very happy to be working with ValuSoft to make Ubuntu available to a wider range of users. And if you’ve been thinking about  a great  way to introduce someone new to Ubuntu then you could always hop to your local Best Buy for a brand new Ubuntu in a box!

Steve George

Director, Corporate Services

20 comments

  1. Vadim P.

    Hm, why isn’t the Canonical blog on Planet Ubuntu?

    Surely it doesn’t go more off-topic than some posts on there :)

  2. Tom

    Is it still 8.04? Or 8.04.1? If 8.04 people without broadband need to download days of updates over dial-up ;) ( How is the dial-up support in Ubuntu anyways? .. I think that is something very few Ubunteros still use .. so it might be not that great.. maybe? )

  3. Stephen

    My only problem with a situation like this is that I believe ubuntu will require more than 60 day support. I am sure what they are paying for the most is the 60 days worth of support but honestly, I really don’t think that is enough for the average user.

  4. Zenman

    If this is successful, can we expect Kubuntu (or Xubuntu) to make similar appearances? I wouldn’t want to risk Windows-izing Ubuntu (with so many versions) on the store shelf, but the same concern about dial-up folks not having the option to just *download* another desktop applies. It certainly would be nice, and this is very great news: Ubuntu and Linux need more exposure like this.

  5. Steve's photo slgeorge

    @Tom

    It’s 8.04 at we only just released 8.04.1 so the boxed sets in store were produced some time ago. Lots of people still use dial-up, as Ubuntu’s used all over the world and not everyone has broadband yet!

  6. Tom

    FF3 still complaining about the SSL cert .. you should disable htttps or fix it.

  7. Roger

    Cool box, I want one! Can we get hold of these in the UK? They’d make great hints, I mean ‘presents’, for geek friends :)

  8. Liam Proven

    Is there any bonus or benefit to paying for it? For instance – and I’m guessing you’ve not done this, or you’d have mentioned it – does the boxed, paid-for copy come with preloaded codecs for Flash, MP3, DVD, Java and all that sort of thing? You know, the one biggest problem facing every novice Ubuntu user…

  9. Leandro Doctors

    Hi,

    I think it’s a wonderful idea. It would be even greater if the DVD edition was also available this way. Remember that translations (e. .g., the Spanish one) are only provided (off line) on the DVD edition…

    Cheers from Argentina

  10. Chris Lees

    Stephen: Ubuntu usually comes with zero days of support. :-) 60 days is enough to install the OS, get any necessary drivers working, etc; and then you can stand on your own two feet and use community support or take out commercial support.

    Unfortunately it’s only Best Buy in the US, not Best Buy Electrical in Australia :-)

  11. Sebastian

    This is what makes it possible to use Ubuntu from the start after buying a computer. This means a new user do not “have to”
    1 Buy windows + cd-burning app.
    2 install windows
    3 download and burn an Ubuntu image
    4 install Ubuntu.

    Mark ones blogged something about the stupidity of shrinkwrapping software, which is very true for advanced users. But I think it is an important move in presenting a viable alternative for someone with zero linux experience.

  12. Sebastian

    What would be even better is if Canonical got more than one support company to offer something like this, to really show that there is an open market here.

  13. Vadim P.

    The photo pic got a bit bashed here: http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/10980/

  14. LeftyRighty

    Do you guys see the reviews? Not only do most of them look like they are filled with fake scripted crap but its kinda odd that this is the first and only review for most of these reviewers and all of them have been put up after only 5 days its release? A little questionable to me.

  15. roszyk

    I purchased the “Official Desktop Edition” due to a hardware failure (repaired with parts from friends) that left me unable to restore Win XP and unable to download anything. The install went perfectly. My old P4 w/512 mb ram runs better than it ever did and I’m impressed with the applications available (XARA Xtreme rocks!!). I could have waited a week or so for a free CD but this got me going today. I’ glad it was available.

  16. Vishnu Rao

    Two observations from me:

    1.Showcasing Ubuntu on the Bestbuy shelves give some visibility to Ubuntu (and Linux).

    2. I would be willing to buy( just to show my support to commercial desktop linux, I already run Hardy Heron) Ubuntu from BB, if it came with all the codecs to play mp3, dvd etc. i.e if it came as a complete OS, and not a crippled one. This is for for the average Tom and Joe, who does does not know how to add the medibuntu repository or add repository to install google desktop etc.

    3. How bout talking to HP, Lenovo, Acer the other top pc makers to have Ubuntu pre-installed?

    Canonical, good move to have BB sell Ubuntu OS. But a complete OS please.

  17. Sanjuro

    The Box mentions Windows far too often. Ubuntu has it’s own Pride. Ubuntu is not a priceless Version of Windows or just an alternative if Windows is too borked to run. :/

    IMO the Design of the CD’s from ShipIt is far more superior to that of those BestBuy-Boxes.
    The People will be disappointed, if their Computer crashes, which happens as well with Ubuntu (Not that often though as Windows but it does crash). They will as well be disappointed, if they have to spend/waste Hours to get an unsupported WLAN-Stick running, their strange Soundcard working or going through Hell trying to install Ubuntu on a RAID 0. They’ll think you lied to them and will likely never touch any GNU/Linux again.
    But if you promise them Freedom to use the Software and their Computers as they want, as well as having the opportunity to become a part of the wonderfull community around Ubuntu if they like, you won’t have to lie to them and they will most likely be satisfied with what you promised them.

    Make a Box with a better Design, that doesn’t jump Ass-first into your Face (German Saying) without promises Ubuntu can’t fulfill (we are not Microsoft!), make it more sovereign without referencing Windows all the time and put a nice Booklet with around 50 Pages in, that explains the true Advantages of Open Source Software and the Community.
    Then I’ll buy that Box for even 20 Euro’s (32.85 USD).
    I don’t need 60 Days of Support. I’ve got the Community. Only Mark himself, sitting in front of my Computer, fixing my Problems with Ubuntu personally, could do a better Job than our Community… well ok… actually I think even Mark couldn’t do better.

  18. Mark

    Ubuntu customers who have not yet agreed to the Microsoft Windows End User License Agreement (EULA) may also be able to get a refund from their PC manufacturer for the Microsoft Windows OS that was pre-installed on their computer. Mr. Serge Wroclawski, another Ubuntu user, explains in detail at linux.com how he laboriously convinced Dell to refund $52.50 for his unused Windows OS license.

  19. Giovanni

    Is this just the 32-bit version or will the 64-bit version be included as well. I have 4GB of RAM that I would want recognized and not lose 1GB by using the 32-bit version. I would love to have the 60 days of support to fine tune my computer. Canonical should sell support in increments smaller than 1 year.

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