OK.... so Best Buy had a deal on an Eee 900A I couldn't refuse. (They had other Eees there, but they were contaminated with Windows.) I bought one and took it home...only to find that after the preinstalled Xandros grabbed the various (large) updates available, all but 165 MB of the 4 GB SSD was used up, and the install process for the packages soon ate the rest of it. The way it's set up to use UnionFS so as to allow easy restoration to its initial state, combined with that tiny SSD, renders it unusable.
Now, I knew enough to Google around and find Ubuntu Eee, which is now chugging along happily on my Eee with the better part of a gigabyte free. What about Joe User, who takes his shiny new netbook home only to find it immediately unusable? Or worse yet, gives it to Joe User Jr. whose delight is immediately crushed when he first turns it on and finds it can't even make it past updating itself, much less let him do something useful or fun? Hell of a Christmas, huh?
Of course, Joe User will stomp back to Best Buy, and the salesman will steer him towards a larger, more expensive model... with Windows... and assure him that, by golly, he can get some real work done on this baby!
ASUS has been noted in the tech press and blogosphere as saying "Yeah, consumers are returning netbooks preloaded with Linux in droves." If they're putting out systems like this that give a horrible, you should excuse the expression, out of the box experience--not the fault of Linux, but because they put such a tiny SSD on it that it immediately fills and makes the system unusable--I have to wonder, IS ASUS DOING THIS ON PURPOSE? Then they can say "Well, gee, we offered Linux, and people hated it!" and go back to pushing Windows in the Evil Empire's good graces.