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Unable to compete, OEM bemoans Microsoft decision to step up

Like King Theoden of The Lord of the Rings, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), old and gray, watched as Apple, Inc.’s (AAPL) tablets, which were increasingly cannibalizing users' screen time, imperiled its kingdom.  Like the king, Microsoft's advisors whispered false promises of security.  Any day now a successful Windows tablet would come out...

Except it didn't.  So Microsoft, at last awoken, took up the sword unveiling the Surface -- a slick Windows 8 tablet that shocked the tech world.

Now its finding that some of its former allies have taken its awakening quite badly.  Among those is Acer, Inc. (TPE:2353).

Acer played the role of Wormtongue to Microsoft's Theoden, ever lofting big promises in the tablet space, and ever falling behind Apple misstep by misstep.  Now the company hisses at its former ally for taking matters into its own hands.

Comments JT Wang, chairman and chief executive of Acer, in an interview with The Financial Times, "We have said [to Microsoft] think it over.  Think twice. It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice."

Campbell Kan, Acer’s president for personal computer global operations, adds a not-so-subtle threat, suggesting, "If Microsoft … is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?"

Microsoft in regulatory filings has acknowledged that its OEMs may be hurt by Surface.  But the key thing to note is that the whole reason that Microsoft entered this face was because its partners failed, miserably, to compete against Apple.

Acer's sour grapes are perhaps a testament to the overall weakness of its tablet line.  J.T. Wang in Dec. 2011 called his company's product's "cheap" and "unprofitable".  Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) and others have outsold Acer in the emerging Android tablet market.

Even if Microsoft's Surface proves successful, volumes will likely remain relatively low, by Microsoft's own accounting.  Thus companies like Samsung who have promising Windows 8 tablet products should be fine.  

For companies like Acer, who lack viable tablet product of any flavor, there will likely be much bellyaching.  But at the end of the day they forced Microsoft to make this decision in the first place, and if they focused on creating viable products rather than making hollow threats, then they would have far less to worry about.

Source: Financial Times

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RE: Aaaha
By kondor999 on 8/7/2012 4:38:51 PM , Rating: 3
I love my Acer 4820TG that is now 2 years old and *still* there is nothing quite as balanced:

* i5-460m @ 2.8ghz.
* Radeon 5650 easily oc'ed to 700Mhz (from 550 stock).
* 8 hours battery life with a 9-cell.
* Room for 2 drives in a thin/light chassis.
* Crappy 1366x768 screen (oops - plenty of those).

It's dead reliable, very fast (esp with a Vertex 4 512gb SSD) and even has room for 2 drives. All in a thin/light platform with great battery life. It eats everything I throw at it: from Battlefield 3 (med and high settings) to ARMA 2 (courtesy of the strong CPU). I have a monster desktop with tri-SLI GTX580 3gb, 5ghz i7-2600k and the works - but this little notebook can handle 90% of everything I need to do.

If Acer is a "joke", why can this little $899 notebook from 2 years ago (get them on eBay for less than half that now) *still* wipe the floor with 99% of the thin/light notebooks available in 2012?

RE: Aaaha
By Master Kenobi on 8/7/2012 7:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
Acer's notebook line has always been good bang for your buck, even more so recently, but their mobile line aka tablets are just jokes.

RE: Aaaha
By yomamafor1 on 8/7/2012 7:05:39 PM , Rating: 2
Because it overheats way too often. To include all these "great" hardwares in an ultralight form factor, they installed a fan that was way too underpowered.

RE: Aaaha
By Mitch101 on 8/7/2012 7:35:47 PM , Rating: 1
I have an Acer laptop which I recently gave an SSD to put life back into the unit and I have a few Acer monitors going strong. If you dont mind a little bulk and a little give in the plastic for the lower price you pay then Acer is not a bad build. My laptop is 3 years old and cost me $300.00 and Im running Windows 8 smooth and fast on it.

Still Microsoft had to make a tablet because they need to push the envelope of design, innovation, hardware. If not we would get a plethora of those cheap garbage disposable Android tablets that are floating around ruining the experience. Google had to do the same and came out with their own tablet too because of similar issues. Too many cheap tablets not enough quality ones. Kudos to Google and Microsoft for stepping up the game and challenging the industry to keep or or do better.

RE: Aaaha
By xti on 8/7/2012 9:46:01 PM , Rating: 2
we just told you "civic > neon"...and you came back with "BUT THE VIPER IS AWESOME"

RE: Aaaha
By kmmatney on 8/8/2012 11:21:39 PM , Rating: 2
2 years isn't enough to matter. My 2006 Dell Inspiron 17" 9400 is still running great. Any laptop should have no trouble lasting 2 years.

RE: Aaaha
By kondor999 on 8/9/2012 10:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
Just wanted to add that my little 2-year-old 4820TG scores 1364 on 3DMark11, which compares quite favorably with much more expensive hardware released *this year*:

I'm just saying this: Acer makes a damn fine notebook, and maybe they should just stick to that. I've got $2000 set aside for a new notebook, but quite honestly, I can't find anything with the same combination of lightness, size and graphics power along with space for 2 drives.

Maybe the Lenovo Y580 with the GTX660m?

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