Asus, whose chief executive Jerry Shen is a renowned Linux fan, caused a stir when it brought the Eee PC 701 to market in October 2007 with Linux as the only option. However, by March 2008 Asus was showing off the Eee PC 900 loaded with Windows XP at the CeBit computer fair in Hannover and had started production of an XP version of the Eee PC 701.
Asus informed iTWire today that familiarity of consumers with the Windows platform has caused a shift in sales since models pre-loaded with XP had been made available.
"At the time of launch Linux volumes were higher as it was the only offering," a spokesperson for Asus wrote in an email to iTWire.
"ASUS recognised a demand for a Windows-based netbook. As such, the shift now is more towards Windows due to customer demand for Windows XP being that consumers are more familiar with the Windows platform," the spokesperson added.
The Asus spokesperson said the company would not disclose the actual ratio of Windows XP netbooks to Linux currenly being sold.
It is becoming harder to find Eee PC models pre-loaded with Linux at major retail outlets, although some smaller specialist computer stores and chains still stock them.
Meanwhile Eee PC sales have continued to grow rapidly in Australia, according to the company's spokesperson.
"ASUS has seen increases quarter to quarter. Models that are in demand and that we are seeing the highest sell through are the 10” versions."