Digitimes reports that ASUS shipped 1.7 Million Eee PCs in the third quarter and expects to ship 1.8 million in the fourth, exceeding the 4 million goal CEO Jerry Shen mentioned in his interview with us two weeks ago. If the 4th Quarter goes well, ASUS may even get to 5 million, a big accomplishment in the now-crowded netbook field. Also interesting to note is that hard drive units are out-shipping SSD units and “the ratio of Eee PCs preloaded with Windows XP to those with Linux stands at 7:3.” In 2009, Shen expects to grab a 30% share of the netbook market. ASUS may end up exceeding that goal as well if its claims of being able to bring out a $200 Eee PC finally come to fruition. We’re not sure how the company is going to pull that off since, according to Digitimes, ASUS is phasing out the 7 and 8.9-inch products in favor of 10 inchers. I still think there’s plenty of need for the 8.9 inch size, though, I will admit that the netbooks with the more impressive keyboards tend to be 10 inches. A 10 inch $200 Eee PC might be the closest we can get to a “dream” netbook. But one has to wonder what will be sacrificed to get to that price point.