Asus plans to start selling Eee PC models preloaded with Windows XP in the US in April. According to Laptop Magazine, you'll be able to pick up an Asus 4G with XP at Best Buy for $399 on April 9th. That's the same price Asus is currently charging for the 4G model with Xandros Linux, which means that one of the following is true:

  1. Asus has managed to bring down production costs.
  2. The company is selling so many units that they can cut their profit margin and still make money
  3. Microsoft has decided to offer up Windows XP for the same price Asus is paying for Linux, ie: free.
I'll let you decide what's actually going on, but I'll give you a hint. It's certainly not option 3.

Anyway, Laptop Mag went and did a mini-review of Windows XP on the 4G, but to be honest, there's not much new to report here. Asus has included Windows XP drivers since day one, and folks have been loading Windows XP onto their Eee PCs for just as long. The one difference is that the geekiest folks who load Windows on their own use programs like nLite to shrink XP and remove unnecessary components and services so that the operating system will take up less space. On the unit that Laptop Magazine tested, Windows took up a good 1.8GB out of the box, and after installing just a few applications, the testers were almost out of storage space.

There is one other nugget of information worth mentioning. Apparently Microsoft is bundling its Works suite with the Eee PC. So you can probably gain a few more MB of storage by uninstalling that and replacing it with free Office-compatible programs like AbiWord and Gnumeric. Or if you're not particularly concerned about storage, you could install the bulkier, but fuller-featured OpenOffice.org.

2 comments:

youta said...

They are already selling it here in Russia from March. It comes with WinXP SP2 and 4400mAh battery and costs 10K roubles (about $430).
http://www.eldorado.ru/cat/detail/71020705/

Duhg said...

Couldn't it also mean that some hardware is now inferior? Like for instance the L2 cashe difference between the 300$ model vs. the 350$ model?

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