Asus' Eee Linux PC to become Windows machine

Asustek has said that nearly 66% of upcoming Eee PCs will be shipped with Windows XP, summarily putting the Linux-based Xandros operating system the sub-notebooks used to exclusively feature into the minority.

The company officially launched the Windows XP-based Eee at CeBIT in Hannover, Germany only a week ago. There, it also showed off the next generation Eee with a 9-inch screen and larger touchpad.

Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih said that the company is holding to its target 5 million units for this year, as it sold 300,000 of the 7-inch Eee PCs in the single quarter they were available last year.

Analysts believe Windows is simply more attractive to buyers because they are familiar with --and therefore not intimidated by-- the operating system. While having a Linux-based operating system on the Eee has not proven to be much of a detriment, it appears that the demand for Windows is simply too high to ignore.

Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation was quoted in Infoworld yesterday as saying "If you think about what makes a desktop platform successful, the fact that Windows comes pre-installed on most computers when they're purchased on the marketplace obviously [is a] big advantage. And you're starting to see companies do the same with Linux. You're starting to see companies like Asus and their Eee PC. It's a small subnotebook that costs, I think, less than $400. It comes pre-installed with the Linux platform, and it really enables them to target a whole new demographic that they've never been able to effectively sell into before."

Though he goes on to list several other devices which come pre-installed with Linux-derived operating systems, Asustek's move to effectively switch the Eee over to a Windows-based unit will counteract much of the progress the Eee has made in dispelling the collective apprehension toward the OS.

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