I tend to agree abou t the "pressure MS" point, but it's market pressure. The "rules" also involve Intel, as they want to position their CPU parts in certain ways.
On topic with ASUS: I was quite font to read exactly my thoughts in the last issue of a German linux mag, they also took up that topic with ASUS' "it's better with Windows". Apparently ASUS might have used Linux only to pressurize MS to lower the prices. (But then still there are the ridiculus rules about max. storage space, display res. etc. for these Windows on Netbook licenses)
Yes I dislike MS biz practices in many ways. SunMS sued MS to prevent them from embrace/extend/exterminate-ing Java. Now SunMS is part of the Novell MS collaborator schema. Also note this subsumes OpenOffice under Novell. When M$ said they wanted to collaborate w/ Novell I didn't understand they meant collaborate in exterminating M$ competition. They exterminated Netscape, tho' they lost the lawsuit. They aren't exactly helping TomTom.
Nice read, that on smiaccurate.com, but that is typical MS behaviour. And that is also the reason why I dislike MS, despite Linus being the pragmatic tech guy and telling us not to hate MS on slashdot. Yes, I read that yesterday.
And if MS provides free code and it is usable code, okay, why not. But still I see them f*ucking their competitors in all evil ways possible. Competitors, free or commecial, business partners (Logitech once nearly went bankrupt due to MS), customers.