An Eee PC running Windows 7 could ship as soon as the second half of 2009, says Asus CEO Jerry Shen.

Despite the fact Microsoft has yet to unveil the first alphas of the new operating system, let alone an official release date, Shen told LaptopMagazine: "I think in the future, in the second half of next year, we will put Windows 7 on Eee PCs".

"We don't plan on putting Vista on any of the Eee PCs," he said. "For now it will be Linux and XP and then Windows 7."

Regarding the touch screen function, which Windows 7 will include, Shen said: "The touch function has its advantage but also some disadvantages. The machine will have to be thicker if it has touch and we want to have slim machines still".

Shen also revealed Asus is considering launching new versions of the Eee PC including a tablet model.

See also: Windows 7 preview: what we know so far