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Local mag claims Aussie Eee PC buyers will pay extra for Linux

'Generous' Microsoft charging less for Windows XP?

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In a move that's going leave local Linux buffs alleging Asus has been handsomely rewarded by Microsoft, the computer maker is to charge less for the Windows version of the Eee PC 900 in Australia than the version using the open source OS.

The Linux-loaded 900 already matches the Windows XP version on price in many countries by incorporating 8GB more Flash storage: 20GB to the other's 12GB. Since most Eee users aren't looking for a storage powerhouse, most of the - we'd say - would rather have a 900 with 12GB of storage and pay less for it.

Down Under, the only way to do that is to... buy the XP model. According to an APC magazine report, the XP version will cost AU$599 ($564/£288/€366), while the Linux model will be priced at AU$649 ($611/£312/€396). The pricing plan was revealed at the elfin laptop's Sydney launch this week.

In all other respects, the two models' specs match those elsewhere.

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We checked with the Asus Australia website, but it's not yet listing the 900. However, unaffiliated Aussie website Asusnotebook.com.au has the XP version listed at AU$799 ($752/£384/€488), with the Linux model retailing for AU$649. Local retail chain Dick Smith has yet to list either machine on its website.

The Eee PC 900 is due to arrive in Australia at the end of the month.

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