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Summary:

InfoWorld reports today that Windows XP will double the price of the Asus EEE PC. While it’s true that PCs with Linux installed in lieu of a Microsoft Windows operating system are less expensive, the XP license effectively doubles the lowest end model. OEM licenses of […]

701fInfoWorld reports today that Windows XP will double the price of the Asus EEE PC. While it’s true that PCs with Linux installed in lieu of a Microsoft Windows operating system are less expensive, the XP license effectively doubles the lowest end model. OEM licenses of Windows are typically less than what a consumer would pay off the retail shelf. Best Buy currently offers a full version of XP Home for $199, so Asus should certainly be paying less than that; this is a real shame.InfoWorld goes on to say that in mature markets, the high end EEE PC will cost $1,000 while that same laptop in emerging markets will cost $500. Surely, that’s not because the XP license is costing Asus $500, is it? If it is: I will personally buy an EEE PC and donate it to an underprivileged child.This does raise an interesting business question, however. We’re starting to see some very low cost computing devices. When you can get the basic hardware on a retail store shelf and offer it for a few hundred dollars, should the OS effectively double the price?

  1. The more I read about this, I think the InfoWorld article you link to has an error about the price. I think it’s mixing NT and dollars. In this InfoWorld article, by the same author, http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/10/30/Asustek-low-cost-laptop-coming-to-US_1.html the price difference between the Windows and Linux version is said to be $1000NT or less than $40US. That makes a lot more sense that $500US.

    However, there is a version of the Eee PC with 8GB Flash, 1GB Ram (sounds like Vista-capable numbers maybe) that’ll sell for $1388NT or about $425US.

    Now _maybe_ ASUS is thinking about charging twice as much in the US retail channel, but I doubt it. I think some numbers simply got mixed up in the article. At least that’s what I hope.

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  2. Loren, I have to believe you’re right or there’s some other error that will be rectified in the article by InfoWorld. There’s simply no way that an OEM license of XP should be doubling the price on the higher end EEE PCs.

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  3. The article also indicates that the XP version will have Office 2003 installed. Now, there still no way that you should have to pay $500 for the OS and office suite when the Linux equivalent is free, that might account for part of the difference.

    I’m also hoping that this price refers to the 8GB model, since Windows XP will reportedly eat up 66% of the 4GB of storage on the standard unit.

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  4. Surely, whatever the shelf price is, its just a matter of what the market will bear, whether ASUS are selling the base versions at a loss and whether they actually want to sell any XP versions yet.

    Steve.

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