Micro-Star International (MSI) is set to launch Wind, an ultra-low cost laptop running on Intel's Atom microprocessor, in the US this summer.

The US edition of Wind will come in two different versions, one for US$549 (£274) running Microsoft's Windows XP. A few things set Wind apart from competitors, including the 1.6GHz Atom microprocessor, larger screen size and a six-cell battery that gives it around six hours of power. Wind also carries an 80GB hard disk drive (HDD), instead of a flash memory-based Solid State Drive (SSD).

The latest version of the popular Eee PC by Asustek, a rival to Wind, comes with an 8.9-inch screen and up to 20GB of storage space.

The other version of Wind will use Novell's SuSE Linux OS and cost $399. The Linux device shares the same screen size, HDD and microprocessor as the XP device. But it carries a three-cell battery that allows only around 2.5 hours of power and does not offer wireless data transfer using Bluetooth, which the XP device does. The Linux version also comes with less DRAM (dynamic RAM), 512MB versus 1GB for the XP laptop.

There will also be several hardware configurations users can choose from that can make the laptop more or less expensive. For example, Wind can carry up to a 320GB HDD, which would cost more.

MSI will market a smaller version of Wind with an 8.9-inch screen elsewhere in the world, but not in the US, at least not initially.