Acer Warns Microsoft to Watch Its Back if it Greenlights Surface
August 7, 2012 1:33 PM
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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. (
), old and gray, watched as Apple, Inc.’s (
) 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...
. So Microsoft, at last awoken, took up the sword unveiling
-- 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. (
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
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. (
) 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.
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8/7/2012 5:32:21 PM
I grew up on an Acer with a 75 MHz Pentium processor and Windows 95/98SE. It originally came with this Acer UI running ontop of Windows 95, it was... weird but kinda interesting, useful if the computer had been a tablet, maybe. It put things in categorical areas with GIGANTIC buttons. But then we upgraded to 98 SE when it came out.
BSODs were a regular part of computer use back then. Amazing how things have changed.
8/7/2012 7:11:16 PM
Sony had a similar thing back in the Windows 95 days...they called it "VAIO."
You had this goofy little screen that had big, huge icons to click on, meant to be used by people who were befuddled by digital watches.
Reminds me of Metro...
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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