Wouldn't it make a lot more sense for the hardware guys to eschew Windows for these machines and move to some Linux distro? Today's multivendor announcement of Microsoft-free desktops is a great start toward this ideal.
I have the Asus Eee PC and despite some battery issues that were eventually resolved with a firmware update, it's great. I use it at home watching TV and can even let my 1-year-old play with it since Linux doesn't get completely hosed as Windows would. And the interface is so easy to navigate you don't have worry about icons, registries etc. $400 well spent.
At this point, 95 percent of all business users should be able to survive with just browser-based applications. Laptot machines give you everything you need running Linux.
As the target customer for pretty much every piece of technology I find it disappointing that hardware vendors aren't thinking this through more.