Missing the point
Ye guys are missing my point.
***You are treating a netbook as a laptop, and it should not be.***
And that's what exactly what "they" (manufacturers) want. What I believe happened was: Asus came out with the EEE 701 and it was very cheap, and very successful, and did what it was made to do (access web, skype, etc.... NOT run freaking Photoshop and Office). Everything **pre-installed** (this invalidates a good proportion of the comments above), working as intended. Then all other manufacturers jumped in the bandwagon, of course no one wants to miss the party. But "they" were mightily scared by the monster Asus had created. Where are the nice, fat margins now!? Where is the MS protection racket "money" now? The money from all the "free" crapware loaded into every MS computer to protect it from itself (or not), where did it go? And look, all these people complaining that their dishwasher does not make coffee...
So, as you can see, there are less and less netbooks out there now. "They" kept getting them more and more expensive and bigger and bigger. Laptops, basically. "They" say it's customer demand, and against your better judgment you believe it. Might be, but I doubt it. "They" are trying to go back to the good, not-yet-old days, before it's too late. I bet "they" will succeed, with your collaboration. And "they" will be back to selling only overpriced, over-spec'd machines to everyone (and not just those who actually need them) to check their email, surf the web, Skype, and mess around in some social network.
Netbooks should be more comparable to an appliance, a smart phone -- that's more how it looked like with the original EEE, and I suspect that's why Asus had the different UI. Does any moron want their phone to run XP too, since the only thing known is the "Start" button? Run Photoshop in your sat nav, anyone? Apparently few people here can change their phone or buy a new appliance, since they can't spare the time to learn a little of a slightly different interface.
Yes, stupid and/or lazy. Rationalize it any other way you want. Truth hurts only when it applies to ourselves, isn't it?
P.S. As someone mentioned above, you wouldn't be getting XP nearly for free now if it wasn't for Linux. You wouldn't be getting XP AT ALL; you would get Vista or nothing -- and there would exist no netbook either, since Vista does not run on that. How does it feel, fanboys?