Microsoft has demonstrated its Windows 7 operating system (OS) on an Asus Eee PC featuring just 1GB of RAM and a 16GB solid-state drive.

The software giant showed off the new OS at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) and pledged that Windows Vista's successor would "run well on netbooks".

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Last month, Asus CEO Jerry Shen said Windows 7-based Eee PCs could be available before the end of 2009, despite previous indications from Microsoft that the OS won't ship until early 2010.

"I think in the future, in the second half of next year, we will put Windows 7 on Eee PCs," said Shen. "We don't plan on putting Vista on any of the Eee PCs. For now it will be Linux and XP and then Windows 7."

Microsoft plans to broadly release a feature-complete beta of Windows 7 early next year, according to Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president of Windows and Windows Live engineering.

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