Newsflash from ASUS - the company is predicting that the XP Home version of the Eee PC will outsell the Linux-based version by 3 to 2.
Two versions of the XP Home based Eee will be sold - the Eee PC Surf XP which has 4GB of NAND flash storage and 512MB RAM and is priced at $408, and the Eee PC 4G XP which incorporates a 4GB SD card, a better battery and a built-in 3-megapixel camera for $473. Compare this to the Xandros-based Eee PC which comes with 2GB of of flash storage and is priced at $261.
ASUS expects to ship in the region of 5 million Eee units this year, but the fact that the company expects 3 million of these to be XP-based must come as a poke in the eye to all the Linux enthusiasts who saw the Eee as bringing Linux to the masses.
Once again this proves just how desirable Windows is for consumers, even at the cheap end of the spectrum. Even when faced with a situation where a Linux distro provides adequate functionality and next to zero cost, having Windows installed, even when this adds a fair chunk of change to the price, is still seen as a selling point.
Linux might be "dead president friendly" but the lure of Windows is hard to resist. Partly this is down to the fact that consumers haven't been "educated" about Linux and so they are more likely to look for Windows, but it also comes down to the fact that there's a larger profit margin in more expensive devices. Adding Windows is a good way to puff out the price and scrape a little more profit.