"To Asus, Linux was nothing more than a means to an
end; namely, find some mechanism to make a lower-cost,
small-form-factor portable PC possible. Microsoft wouldn't come to
the party, either on morphing Windows to fit such a
small-form-factor device (Microsoft was instead pushing Vista up
that Sisyphean hill at the time), nor on price ("What, drop the
price on Windows to make a cheap laptop possible? Are you nuts?").
"So, Asus did something clever: they reached for Linux, which
they could morph into a viable desktop environment, suitable for
something like the original Eee PC, and which would also reduce
their product bill-of-materials by a substantial amount, by
avoiding the OEM Windows licence fee."