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Shen says Eee will not go over 10-inch screen size and will offer Windows 7 by mid-2009

ASUS can be credited with founding the netbook market with its Eee portable. The success of the Eee then forced most all other notebook makers to enter into the netbook category with products of their own.

It's now been a full year since the Eee debuted and the netbook class couldn’t have come at a better time now that the economy is doing poorly and netbook sales are a large part of what is keeping the computer industry afloat. Laptop Magazine interviewed ASUS CEO Jerry Shen on the future of the Eee and what we might see by the Eee's second birthday. Shen says that to date four million Eee netbooks have been sold and he expects to reach five million Eee's sold by the end of 2008. That number is for Eee notebooks only and doesn't include the Eee Box according to Shen.

Touch-enabled Eee netbooks have been rumored for a while and Shen told Laptop that touch sensitive Eee systems would be available by early 2009. Real details on touch-enabled Eee's are not available. Shen did say that ASUS is exploring different form factors for the touch Eee. One possible form factor is a convertible tablet and the other is a standard notebook style with a touchscreen. The convertible design would make more sense for many users.

Several new Eee SKUs are coming to market to allow the Eee shopper to find a machine tailored to their individual needs according to Shen and more products will be introduced in January 2009 at CES.

When it comes to the most popular Eee models, Shen says that during the first quarters of 2008 the 7-inch Eee was the most popular. Entering into Q3 the 9-inch and 10-inch Eee models were selling very well including the 900, 901, 1000, and 1000H. The original 7-inch size still sells well according to Shen.

Laptop Magazine asked Shen if we would see 11-inch or 12-inch Eee notebooks and he said that when you get into sizes higher than 11-inch it becomes a notebook. Therefore, he doesn't expect ASUS will release an Eee with a screen over 10-inches in size.

ASUS doesn’t feel that the Eee is cannibalizing the sales of its more expensive laptop models. In fact, Shen says the opposite is true. The popularity of the Eee has raised consumer awareness of ASUS leading to better sales of other notebooks.

Some reports have claimed that return rates for Eee models running Linux are higher than returns of those running Windows. Shen says that he believes the return rates are about the same between Linux and Windows models. He also points out that ASUS offers Linux under Easy mode and that in Q4 2008 it will offer Windows XP with an Easy Mode as well. Easy Mode makes operating XP easier by giving a simpler interface to new users.

When asked about Easy Mode for Vista, Shen said he doesn't believe that ASUS will offer Vista on the Eee. However, Shen says that Eee's will be available with Windows 7 by the middle of next year. Some of the Eee models running Windows 7 will offer multi-touch capabilities, one of the few details known at this point about Windows 7.

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Xp in "Easy mode"
By Desslok on 10/21/2008 12:13:52 PM , Rating: 2
How do you make XP easier to use?

RE: Xp in "Easy mode"
By Mr Perfect on 10/21/2008 1:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
Probably the same way you make any OS easier. Have it boot into a screen with bright, cheery icons, hide all of the controls, and get rid of the right click menus.

That's more or less what the did with Linux easy mode.

RE: Xp in "Easy mode"
By quiksilvr on 10/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Xp in "Easy mode"
By Mr Perfect on 10/22/2008 1:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
Why ditch Microsoft Windows and keep using Microsoft Office? That would seem like only the illusion of choice. OpenOffice would be the Open Source way!

RE: Xp in "Easy mode"
By jadeskye on 10/23/2008 12:05:09 AM , Rating: 3
+1 for bioshock quote ^^

RE: Xp in "Easy mode"
By GaryJohnson on 10/21/2008 11:05:16 PM , Rating: 4
Right clicking is a much overlooked usability problem for one fingered people.

Windows 7
By i4mt3hwin on 10/21/2008 12:28:32 PM , Rating: 2
So basically ASUS is saying that Windows 7 will definitely be out by mid 2009? Has Microsoft commented on this at all?

RE: Windows 7
By dubldwn on 10/21/2008 12:32:24 PM , Rating: 2
Really. That's more important than the Eee news. What happened to late 2009/early 2010?

RE: Windows 7
By danz32 on 10/21/2008 3:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'm personally guessing July 7th, 2009 (I like the sound of 7/7 for Windows 7). My understanding is that its alot different with Steven Sinofsky with the lead. They have set a deadline for release and if a given feature won't be done it time it will be cut.

RE: Windows 7
By Carl B on 10/21/2008 4:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
Honestly I think that they may be referring to Windows Mobile 7, rather than the desktop OS. I mean I might be wrong, but we do know there's going to be crossover with that platform. Since Mobile 7 is the OS publicly set to come out next year, it's the only one I could envision Asus' CEO going on record with in public.

RE: Windows 7
By ultimatebob on 10/21/2008 2:41:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah... I highly doubt it. Hell, Windows 7 doesn't have a public beta yet! I'd be amazed if it was released by mid 2010, let alone mid 2009.

RE: Windows 7
By TomZ on 10/21/2008 4:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 has been available to hardware partners for a while now, and Microsoft plans to give out a release of Windows 7 at PDC that starts in about a week-and-a-half from today.

Asus is a good laptop maker
By vision33r on 10/21/2008 12:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
Most people don't know that ASUS actually manufacture their own notebook and parts. Unlike Dell, Apple, Lenovo, HP, these big brands all rely on Compal, Foxconn, etc to build their designs.

ASUS designs and builds their own that's why often their quality and design is consistent and have good value.

RE: Asus is a good laptop maker
By Oregonian2 on 10/21/2008 12:43:40 PM , Rating: 2
For some I'm sure what you say is true, but I've always thought of ASUS as "one of those" along with Foxconn, etc. as opposed to system sellers like HP and Dell. Particularly because their name is most strongly associated with things like motherboards, cards, and the like -- not "desktops", "laptops" like HP and Dell. Even in the joining and splitting with Gigabyte, central was the high volume manufacturing business.

I don't know that "building your own" makes a difference so much as demands made by the customer (like say, Apple's demands for quality control when their stuff are made by the Chinese companies that do so, even if it doesn't have the manufacturer's name on it). Being sold "directly" by Asus does improve "value", you're right about that, it removes a distribution "layer" for things that don't require it for support and system integration. Also probably doesn't hurt that the netbook designs probably are based on Intel designs (as reference designs, complete with circuit board patterns and software drivers).

RE: Asus is a good laptop maker
By Suomynona on 10/21/2008 6:04:22 PM , Rating: 2
Speaking of Apple, you are aware that ASUS manufactured some of the early Macbook models? Sit down and give one of their notebooks a spin and you'll immediately notice how solid the construction and design are unlike other lesser known brands like ACER. In the US where American companies hold more sway people might just think motherboards, but outside the US ASUS is well known for all their products.

RE: Asus is a good laptop maker
By Oregonian2 on 10/21/2008 7:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
I knew they were an ODM, but one can't be sure who did how much of a design. At least among the MB crowd that I visit with when I need a new one, ASUS has or had a good reputation for "quality". I use quotes because in the PC business, it's all relative. Basically it's at best marginal quality and "high quality" means "less low". I don't mean to be negative, but just saying how it is. It's that way because it's all built to squeeze every last pico-cent out of it, and that being of highest priority. And Second, and third. Also why the $400 video (5G) iPod I used to have required hard-resets half-way often, and why how to do that was a VERY common FAQ in the related forums. And that's with a super-high end super quality Apple product. Fortunately they go obsolete before they go crash-boom-splat most of the time.

Can the Eee run Windows 7 well?
By joey2264 on 10/21/2008 2:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
I was under the impression that Windows 7 will have the same system requirements as Vista. If so, how will the Eee be able to run the operating system well?

I assume, at the very least, that Asus will have to equip these with dual-core Atoms, if not a low-end dual-core Core-based CPU.

RE: Can the Eee run Windows 7 well?
By vapore0n on 10/21/2008 2:35:06 PM , Rating: 2
the eeepc 1000h currently runs vista with aero with a score of 2.1 on the xperience chart

Its not instant porn gratification performance, but the eeepc is not meant to be that either.

The only thing that is not working is the ACPI, in which Asus needs to put out the Vista drivers.

Id imagine once the dual core atoms paired with a more energy efficient bridge and nvidia card would whoop Vista.

And didnt Balmer already state the obvious? That W7 is a glorified upgrade to Vista?

RE: Can the Eee run Windows 7 well?
By noirsoft on 10/22/2008 10:05:05 AM , Rating: 2
And the Acer AspireOne runs Vista with a 2.7, due to the Intel G945 graphics. The next lowest mark is the Atom CPU at 3.0. Not meant as a comparison to the Asus, just pointing out that netbooks run Vista quite well already, so in a year's time we should be seeing even better numbers.

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