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