Earlier this week the ASUS Eee PC celebrated its first birthday (with a full birthday party and cake at LAPTOP Magazine). It was one year ago that the Taiwanese company began selling its first sub-notebook (which would form a new category known as netbooks). The little Eee PC 701 not only would spur on a whole Eee brand for the company and line of different sized Eee PCs, but it would push the competing notebook manufacturers into the netbook market as well.
As the Eee PC, and arguably the first consumer netbook, turns one we checked in with ASUS CEO Jerry Shen who has spearheaded the company’s Eee brand and its push into the netbook market. A year later, Shen isn’t fearful of the onslaught of netbooks hitting the market from the likes of Samsung, Lenovo and Dell and only thinks the market is just starting to take off. Why? Well he shared the following in the hour long interview…
We have heard that return rates have been higher for Linux-based netbooks. Can you share information on sales of the Linux Eee PCs versus Windows XP versions? What about return rates overall for Eee PC netbooks?
I think the return rate for the Eee PCs are low but I believe the Linux and Windows have similar return rates. We really separate the products into different user groups. A lot of users like the Windows XP, but in Europe a lot of people want the Linux option. Actually in Linux we support the Easy Mode and in Q4 of this year we are going to start selling Windows XP with an Easy Mode.
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