The impact of the Eee PC

Had most people in IT even heard of Asus' Eee PC a year ago? Probably not. Yet its impact has been nothing short of remarkable...

TheoryBut the biggest impact is perhaps cementing some theories that many have held for some time. Over in the console sector, Nintendo paced itself and put out a lower specified, more functional and cheaper machine in the shape of the Wii, and has now seized the lead in the market away from Sony with its PlayStation 3 and Microsoft with its Xbox 360. In the computer space, Asus gambled that power wasn't everything, and that even a modestly specified machine could handle 90 per cent of the day-to-day tasks that are likely to be thrown at it. Asus' reward is a healthy head start in a lucrative new market space, and the legacy of that may see the firm finally breaking through in the American market, and giving Acer a run for its money too.

There are still, of course, some voices of dissent where the Eee PC as a machine is concerned, with the extremely modest size of the product a deal breaker for a good number of people. But that's likely to be addressed even before the year is out, as larger machines built around the same ethos head to market. In the meantime, the PowerPoint presentations of every portable computer maker on the planet are addressing a sector that barely existed outside of a few press releases a year or so ago, and the repercussions of that will continue for a long time to come.

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