We've reported before on the more OS-neutral approach of the Asus Eee, compatible with Windows XP (and possibly even a light Vista), but coming pre-loaded with Linux. Imagine my surprise when I saw a nice shaded "Start" button staring back at me.
The funny thing about the Eee is that it's not actually running Windows -- but you'd never guess. The software designers have used a version of Xandros (a debian Linux variant) and made it look surprisingly Windows-like, renaming Linux programs into their Windows equivalents.
Exploring the menus a bit further, you see your Windows favorites; "Run", Log out, Programs ... and then xterm? xkill? The illusion is not complete. Wander too long and you'll fall down the rabbit hole into the "Advanced Mode;" which looks more like your standard kde install:
There's also terminal goodness. A bit of playing around will reveal that there's some oddities in permissions and locations of some standard command line tools. So who's this a win for?
It may be Linux, but your average user will think it's a version of Windows. Microsoft will get rightly upset about the ripoff of their XP look-and-feel. Xandros, one of the distributions paying IP royalties to Microsoft, has some cash in their pocket but no branding.
Finally, Asus gets this weird OS which is not the flopping fish of Windows, but is neither fully the flightless waterfowl of Linux (to stretch both a saying and a pun past their design specs). BoycottNovell.com has some further information about Asus and their choice of Xandros.
...Of course, you can also load OSX 10.5 / Leopard on the Eee and make the Windows/Linux/Linux looking like Windows argument moot.