ASUS announced that their new EEE 900 PC sporting Windows XP (Vista won't run on it) will cost $50 AUD less than its Linux counterpart. I am no economist but I can figure out quickly that a computer that comes with Windows XP Home and Microsoft Works pre-installed is going to be more expensive than a computer with a free operating system.
The Linux EEE does come with a larger hard drive (20GB) than the Windows XP version (12GB) but does that offer an explanation of the higher price? If you figure that the larger drive boosts the cost $50 for the Linux PC and the OS boosts it $100 for the Windows version, then they would cost the same. Methinks there's something rotten in the State of Washington.
It would make more sense to sell the Windows EEE at a higher price if the assumption is that the Windows version will sell better than the Linux one. Another possibility is to sell the unit without an OS and let the buyer decide for themselves.
Actions like these not only call motives into question but also raises the question "How afraid of Linux is Microsoft?" I think Microsoft should allay any fears of being pushed into bankruptcy by Linux anytime soon since humans seem to have an innate fear of that which is free or open.
I am not sure what the prices for the new EEE PC 900 are for North America but for now Australians will pay more for freedom. "Freedom comes at a price." No truer words were ever spoken.