I just tested a Samsung SE-S084C drive on my daughters Asus Eee 1005HA with Windows 7 Starter and DVD file access and playback is fine as well as DVD playback with VLC (no CSS on the DVD thanks to Slysoft). I would imagine the desire to run more robust Windows 7 products on them will be more desirable to many, but at what additional cost?
I do know Asus makes a utility for my daughters Eee that can change the desktop background and it works fine. Perhaps others netbook mfg's will follow suit.
Windows 7 Starter is not bad, but XP is better for these little devices today. That said, I will agree with the author that if MS wants to snuff out demand for XP, polish up Windows 7 Starter by giving it the ability to change backgrounds by default and a few other extras... Overall though, it is not bad considering our use for it and the fact we have desktop PC's as well.