The Eee PC has been lauded for promoting a free, open-source Linux operating system, and current Eees all come pre-installed with a Xandros-based distribution. However, the tables may turn drastically as the year goes on. eWeek reports that Asus expects a whopping 60% of all Eee PCs shipped in 2008 to come with Windows XP pre-loaded instead of Linux.
Last week, the Taiwanese computer maker officially announced a Windows XP-based version of the Eee PC, saying the machine would also come bundled with a copy of the Microsoft Works productivity suite. Microsoft Works includes word processing, spreadsheet, database, and calendar applications, providing a replacement for the free OpenOffice.org software that comes on the Linux Eee.
Asus didn't reveal pricing for the Windows model then, but now
EeeWeek eWeek says the company will peg it at "around $390 to $400." That would make this system about the same price as the $399.99 Eee PC 4G, although considering neither Windows nor Works is free, Asus might cut down the hardware a little in order to stick around the same price range. Nonetheless, Asus expects Windows-based offerings to account for three million of the five million Eee PCs it plans to ship worldwide this year.