Asus says two-thirds of the Eee PC systems it will ship this year will be equipped with Windows XP instead of Linux:
The Taiwan company's branded business last year launched a 7-inch child-friendly Linux-based personal computer priced as low as $200, and new models with Microsoft's Windows XP will be priced around $390 to $400.
"About 60 percent of them (Eee PCs) will have Windows XP operating system," Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih said at a news conference.
The Eee PC has won Asustek much recognition worldwide and Shih said his company was keeping its previous target of shipping 5 million units this year versus 300,000 units shipped in 2007.
Sales have been the strongest in Europe, followed by Asia Pacific and China, said Lillian Lin, Asustek's head of marketing.
"There is a huge untapped computer market out there, and we want to get into the next 10 billion consumer market (with these lower cost computers)," said Davis Tsai, President of Microsoft Taiwan.
Industry analysts said the move would be beneficial to the Taiwan company, and Windows' software prices on low-cost models should be cheaper than that of the operating systems used on mainstream notebooks.
"A Windows Eee PC is more attractive to buyers because people are just not used to using Linux-based computers," said Alvin Kwock, analyst at JP Morgan.