Although it's just beginning
to trickle out
to consumers, it already looks like the Eee PC is going to be a hit
-- and just like all potentially game-changing devices, the Eee has a backstory featuring fits of inspiration, handshake business deals, pressure-packed development, and, of course, some late interference from Microsoft. Forbes got the whole tale from Asustek CEO Jonney Shih and other executives, and it's good one: inspired by the interest in the OLPC
, Jonney decided to develop an inexpensive laptop for adults, and Intel enthusiastically jumped onboard when it realized the market for all its Classmate PC
tech could be much bigger than educational sales. A late offensive from Microsoft -- which realized that Asus was about to sell between three and six million Eees in the first year without Windows -- resulted in the option to boot XP, but Jonney still pushed to perfect the Linux build on the device, saying, "We want to create a revolution. We can't afford to put out a bad product." In the end, it seems like that Jobs-like push for perfection paid off, since we've yet to read a bad review of the Eee -- now if only Asus would ship a few more.