After the DIY options, and initial hints, official word is out that there'll be a touchscreen Eee PC next year. And that's from none other than the CEO, Jerry Shen, himself. The guys over at Laptopmag got the low-down from Shen, who confirmed the machine will exist by "early 2009," and will actually be running Windows 7 by mid 2009. That's pretty interesting stuff, and though he wouldn't specify a form factor for the touchy Eee, Shen also spilled the beans on a few other aspects of the Eee success story.
Four million Eee sales to date have pretty much secured the Eee's status at the top end of the netbook market, and Shen plans to see figures top five million by the end of this year. The original 7-inch display 700-series version looks like the main seller in these figures.
Shen also promised the EeeTop all-in-one machine will arrive this month, and it'll run XP in Easy Mode. The EeeStick for gaming is also on its way, and may come bundled with some games alongside the EeeBox, EeeTop and Eee PC. Where it's sold elsewhere it'll cost $US50 to $US100.
The Eee PC will also get a 10-inch screen model at some point in the future, but Shen said that that's where his company is drawing the line between netbooks and notebooks: the N10 was a specific attempt to create a full notebook with a 10-inch display, but future models will start at 11-inches, leaving the 10-inch and smaller range to netbook machines.
And though Shen wouldn't say whether the touchscreen Eee would follow a conventional or tablet form-factor, he did admit "We are considering both. We are considering a tablet one and also a different alternative and form but we cannot talk about the details. We plan to talk about it in Q1 of next year."
Watch this space. And head over to the Laptopmag link for the full details on the interview. [Laptopmag]