"In an unusual move for a general retailer, the
Microtel computers are being offered without operating systems as
part of a test to gauge the response among tech-oriented customers
who may want to load their own operating systems, Walmart.com
spokeswoman Cynthia Lin said.
But at least one analyst said that Wal-Mart Stores and its
Internet unit are likely to find out that they should have stayed
focused on serving their core customers, who are typically less
tech-savvy and likely expect computers to come with the operating
"The techie types interested in tinkering with their computers
are far more likely to buy computer parts from the 500 million far
more geeky stores on the Web," said Steve Baker, a research analyst
with NPD Techworld, a firm that tracks consumer behavior."