Micro Center said the Linux software would be available in its stores beginning Wednesday. In internal customer surveys, 75 percent of Micro Center's customer base showed interest in the open-source software.
"Our customers have indicated their desire to use a Linux-based operating system as either their primary or alternative OS," said Kevin Jones, Micro Center's vice president of merchandising, in a statement.
PowerSpec desktops pre-installed with Linspire have prices ranging from $199 to $499 while WinBook-brand laptops will be available mid-year at prices beginning at $699. Micro Center's "Build-Your-Own-PC" program is offering the open-source software for use by systems builders and hobbyists interested in bundling the Linspire offering with motherboards and other components.
The companies noted that each Micro Center store will feature a desktop Linux section staffed by employees expert in desktop Linux.
Linspire and Micro Center added that they will also team up to provide broad education programs extolling the benefits of Linux.
"It's clear that Linux is no longer just for the technically sophisticated computer user, but desktop Linux is now gaining mainstream acceptance," said Kevin Carmony, president and CEO of Linspire, in a statement.