Next gen Eee PC with XP cheaper than with Linux!

eeepc.pngThe second generation of the geek friendly ASUS Eee PC mini-laptop will hit Australian shelves this month, but Linux lovers are set for a double blow - not only has the price gone up by $150 dollars to $RRP649, but the XP version of the Eee is actually cheaper!
APC had the rundown on this strange state of affairs - pointing out that the Eee PC 900 loaded with XP will cost only $599, which means that even with the Windows XP license, it's $50 cheaper than the Linux version. The Linux version gets 20GB of storage to compensate, in comparison to the 12GB in the XP version. But still, rather odd.
I'd been hanging out for the 2nd gen Eee because they've kept the same small form factor but increased the screen real estate by about an inch to 8.9 inches by moving the speakers away from the sides of the screen. But I have to admit, I'm wondering whether I should snap up a $500 first gen unit rather than ponying up for the 900.
Here's our original review of the first Eee PC - it rocked our socks. :)
Got an opinion on whether the new Eee will be worth the extra $150 - or whether to go for the cheaper XP version? Let us know in comments.

EDIT: It seems I fail at basic subtraction - the XP version of the Eee 900 is $50 cheaper than the Linux version, not $150 as I originally wrote. Apologies!


Comments

    It's a bit misleading:
    "pointing out that the Eee PC 900 loaded with XP will cost only $599, which means that even with the Windows XP license, it's $150 cheaper than the Linux version."

    Eee PC 900 with Linux = $649. Doesn't that make it $50 cheaper and not $150? The original Linux Eee PC was $499 which would be $150 less than than the $649 Linux Eee PC 900.

    Yep, I worded it badly! The new Linux Eee costs $150 more than the original. But there's only a $50 price difference between the new Linux and XP version.
    Thanks for pointing that out. :)

    The Asus site (http://www.asusnotebook.com.au/) has the Linux version listed at $649 and the XP version at $799.

    In the US, the XP version and the Linux version of the Eee901 are priced the same. I suspect very strongly that a dirty marketing deal has been done between Microsoft Australia and Asus to shoulder the Linux version out of the Australian market, especially the schools market. But Asus don't have a monopoly on Ultra-Mobile Sub-Notebooks (UMPCs). If they artificially distort their pricing like this, other manufacturers will fill the gap. As for me, I thought the Eee 901 would meet my needs. Now, I feel it doesn't. Sorry, Asus! I'm looking elsewhere!

    time for some tin foil hat talk ... i wonder if microsoft have actually made a deal and subsidised this. given that EeePCs where often given to basic users and having linux on there would dramatically increase the acceptance, i know if i worked for microsoft i would have tried for a deal like this i mean XP is a product they will leave dead shortly and long would have paid for its R&D anyway so giving away licenses will cost them next to nothing.

    This really sux! Originally it was reported that they would cost the same with the Linux version having 20GB storage (vs 12 GB for XP) to compensate for the Microsoft license. Now we find that the Linux version will be $50 more. Did MS force Asus to make the Linux version more expensive? They have to make Linux more expensive than Windows - that has been the MS mantra this past year. Maybe Lifehacker can ask Asus Australia why they have done this.

    I take it back. I've checked out the Australian Asus site (http://www.asusnotebook.com.au/) and it is XP that is $799 whilst Linux versions are $649. APC got it wrong! XP is $150 more expensive than Linux. Ha!

    I got a press release from ASUS overnight which confirmed the pricing we ran in the story:
    $AU599 for the 12GB XP version and $AU649 for the 20GB Linux version.

    what about buying the XP version and not agreeing to the EUA??? then get you money back for not installing XP?

    You'll find alot of stores especially that computer super store mall type thing at capitol square in Sydney are now running out the 1st gen EEEPC's at around $350-$390 various models etc

    This feature of security may please the incumbent Sol Trujillo, but what about the rest of us?If someone gets his/her mobile phone stolen or lost, will this feature be added optionally and that's mean shelling out top dollars for such necessity.Only the few fortunate have the comfort of added extra security for nix knack.

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