Asus CEO Jerry Shen spoke to LaptopMag about the success of the Eee PC, the notebook that kicked off the UMPC market, and gave a few details of when users can expect to see the touchscreen Eee on the market. Shen said that to date, the company had sold nearly 4 million Eee PCs and was well on the way to meeting its target of 5 million by the end of 2008.
We all knew they were on the way and while rumor suggested sometime in Q1 and Q2 of 2009, there wasn’t much else to go on. Unfortunately Shen wasn’t so keen to share many details when it came to form factor, although LaptopMag reports Shen said the company is exploring a convertible mode and a regular laptop form for touch-enabled Eee PCs.
"We are considering a tablet one and also a different alternative and form but we cannot talk about the details," said Shen. "We plan to talk about it in Q1 of next year."
More interestingly, aside from telling us we’ll never see Vista on an Eee, Shen said the new Eees will run run Windows 7 as early as mid-2009 while Microsoft remains adamant the operating system is set for a late 2009 or early 2010 release.
In regards to Vista on the Eee line, Shen replied, "I think we could, but we don’t plan on putting Vista on any of the Eee PCs. I think in the future in the second half of next year we will put Windows 7 on Eee PCs. For now it will be Linux and XP and then Windows 7 and not do Vista."
Shen said the company would be announcing several new products at CES 2009 in January and dropped hints about an Asus mobile phone incorporating the Eee brand ideas.
Check out LaptopMag for the full interview.