Earlier this week, Best Buy started carrying the Asus eeePC with Windows XP Home installed. Mine arrived yesterday (no suprise there, eh?) and I have been having some fun with it.
The original eeePC had a 4gb flash memory drive and came with a flavor of Linux. Those are still available, are speedy little items, and come with a nice suite of office, creative, and educational applications.
The Windows XP Home version, at the same $399 price point, comes with Microsoft Works 9 in addition to the default Windows operating system applications. Since the Windows OS is larger and uses up a substantial portion of the 4gb hard drive, I had to make some application decisions since I was planning to use this device as a traveling and presentation device. I deleted the Windows Live applications and Microsoft Works, and installed PowerPoint XP (I figured it was smaller than the current versions) and some really old, tiny versions of FTP software and HTML editing software which will do what I need them to do while on the road. I also installed a very old version of Paint Shop Pro which will give me the capability to do image editing if need be.
As for new apps, I installed Skype and Trillian, AVG antivirus, and MS ActiveSync for my Treo.
When I am in a networked environment, I can use all the great Web 2.0 apps for everything from databases to full image editing. I just wanted to make sure I had the things handy I needed when not on a network. In addition, I loaded up a USB flash drive with PortableApps (http://portableapps.com/) so I also have access to some versions of pieces of software that run directly off the Flash drive. Using the SD slot to house a card for storing files, I still have 1/4 of the drive free for future needs.
For schools thinking about purchasing the eeePC, you will want to talk to your tech gurus to find out the feasability of Windows XP Home in a server/domain environment and also consider the Linux version of the device if there is a client that will work on your network. For me, it is nice to have the familiar XP environment, but the suite of apps on the Linux version would be nice to have for students.
If you have any questions, feel free to write!