Asus to ship 60 percent of Eee PCs with Windows XP

The company has said it will now ship almost two-thirds of its low-cost PCs with Microsoft's OS installed, to meet customer demand
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Asus has said that around 60 percent of its Eee PCs shipped this year will come with Windows XP pre-installed, according to reports.

The Taiwanese manufacturer announced last week that it would be putting Microsoft's operating system on its highly successful budget subnotebooks over the coming months.

The existing Eee 701 model has until now come only with Xandros Linux in Western markets. The 701 will shortly be available with Windows as an option, and the next model — the more highly specified 900 — will also come with both options, with the Windows version likely to cost slightly more, due to Microsoft's commercial licence.

On Thursday, Reuters quoted Asus chairman Jonney Shih as saying: "About 60 percent of [Eee PCs] will have the Windows XP operating system." This tallies with the words of Asus chief executive Jerry Shen, who said in a recent interview that "most [customers] are demanding a form of Windows, but others appreciate... Linux".

According to Shih, Asus is sticking with its target of shipping five million units this year, compared with the 300,000 units sold last year. Sales of the Eee have been strongest in Europe.

Reuters quoted Microsoft Taiwan president Davis Tsai as saying the implementation of Windows XP on low-cost computers like the Eee would help Microsoft "get into the next, 10 billion consumer market".

JPMorgan analyst Alvin Kwock was quoted as saying: "A Windows Eee PC is more attractive to buyers because people are just not used to using Linux-based computers."

However, an Asus spokesperson told ZDNet.co.uk on Monday: "We feel Linux has an advantage over something like Windows XP. The only knowledge that it requires is perhaps the knowledge of a mobile interface."

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