Position: Chairman, ASUSTeK Computer
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
ASUS has long been known overseas for its compelling designs, top-notch service, and affordable laptops, but the company made its biggest mark in the United States late last year with its ground-breaking Eee PC. Jonney Shih, chairman and former CEO of the 100,000-
employee, Taipei-based company, initiated the Eee PC concept in response to today’s digital convergence. Shih wanted to create a product that would enable unsophisticated PC users (think elderly and children), as well as more advanced users, to have easy access to the Internet and digital media.
To put the Eee PC in perspective, the company has sold over 1 million units since November 2007 and projects its Eee PC sales to exceed Apple’s total notebook sales this year. The Eee PC line has already branched out from its easy-to-use, tabbed, Linux interface to Windows XP, and you’ll be seeing an 8.9-inch system with both Linux and Windows hitting the market around the time you read this. The company is also employing multi-touch technology and is extending the brand to desktops.
While Shih admits he didn’t know how much impact the Eee PC would have on the computing industry, the fact that major players, including HP, have introduced their own low-cost mini-notebooks is a key indicator that ASUS’ innovation—and Shih specifically—are forces to be reckoned with. Under Shih’s direction and influence, chances are high that his ideas will churn out products that end up in your home, office, or school in the coming year.
Did You Know: Shih had one weekend to come up with the name for the Eee PC.