Good product, strange sales department?

For a while now, I was following the happenings around Eee PC, an entry-level laptop computer designed by ASUS. The computer doesn’t have a hard drive, relying on solid-state storage instead. Obviously, there’s a trade-off here; solid-state storage is very fast and has no moving parts (so reliability, boot time and shutdown time should all be very good), but solid-state storage is still expensive, so the first model came with only 2 GB of storage, which was eventually expanded to 4 GB:

eee4g.jpg

Early models came with Linux (a derivative of Xandros) preinstalled, but the hardware was Windows-compatible, so Windows XP could be installed if necessary.

Now, I just realized that ASUS came out with a new model, featuring more storage space and a larger screen:

eee900.jpg

Great move, but there are some questions I’d like to ask (although I am not sure of whom).

First, how come that ASUS Web site lists only a model with 12 GB of storage space, while there are at least three resellers (including Amazon.com) that carry the 20 GB model, which the manufacturer doesn’t even mention?

Second, what, if any, are the choices for the operating system going to be? The manufacturer says the new 900 model with 12 GB of storage comes with Windows XP Home (and Amazon.com concurs). The 20 GB model, however, comes with Linux. Does it mean that ASUS is no longer interested in shipping systems with Linux preinstalled and Linux installation on the 20 GB model is the resellers initiative?

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