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Chrome makes up as much as 10% of Acer's US sales

Acer has been having a difficult time in the computer market over the last several quarters, and has posted consecutive annual losses. Acer also announced during its latest quarterly report that it had taken $120 million write-off due to the declining value of Gateway, Packard Bell, and eMachines-branded computers.

Despite these troubles, the company is touting strong sales of its Chromebooks that use Google’s Chrome OS, while still talking negatively about Windows 8.

Acer says that notebooks running Chrome OS account for 5 to 10% of its U.S. shipments since the machines were released here in November. Acer President Jim Wong said that he expects the ratio of Chrome sales to be sustainable in the long term. He also said that the company is considering offering additional Chrome OS models in other developed markets.


Acer C7 Chromebook

Acer and many other computer makers are looking for alternatives to the Windows operating system because consumers continue to stick with older versions of the operating system rather than upgrade to the latest version.

“Windows 8 itself is still not successful,” said Wong. “The whole market didn’t come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch, that’s a simple way to judge if it is successful or not.”
 
Wong criticized Windows 8 earlier this month alleging that Microsoft was getting marketing for its new operating system wrong.

Source: Bloomberg



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RE: Surprising
By 91TTZ on 1/28/2013 3:22:14 PM , Rating: 1
I don't know why people find this hard to understand. To me it just shows a breakdown in their ability to understand the scope of the situation or the business/customer relationship. They don't understand what factors are in the business's control and what factors are out of their control, and as a result they have trouble getting the most out of a situation.

A company is in the business of selling products to customers. Customers demand certain features in those products. If a company gives customers what they want (regardless of why they think they want it), the company makes money. If the company makes a decision to "improve" upon their product and they take away features that customers want, they risk losing those customers. That is exactly what Microsoft did here.

It's very similar to the car debates the pop up on Dailytech. People ask why car manufacturers keep coming out with SUVs when most people never go offroad, the SUVs don't handle as well, and they got poor gas mileage. By all accounts these customers would be better suited to buy an economy car or minivan. But the customer with cash in hand wants to buy an SUV.

The manufacturer can either give the customer what she wants or it can listen to critics who don't give them any money. I can tell you where the money and profit is- catering to customer demand.

During the development of Windows 8 Microsoft had to make the decision whether to keep the traditional look of Windows that its customers liked or to try to force them in a different, mobile-oriented direction. Microsoft made a decision that the majority of their customers didn't like so their bottom line is reflecting that decision.


RE: Surprising
By Mint on 1/28/2013 5:06:36 PM , Rating: 2
Why did you write an essay to answer something I didn't ask?

I am not asking whether there are some people who don't like Win8, nor am I questioning why sales are slightly down in the face of that reaction.

I am specifically asking why using a start page (where you only click on desktop shortcuts) is a "huge negative change" vs a Win7 start menu. I'm asking for a rational reason, not a restatement of your claim.


RE: Surprising
By 91TTZ on 1/29/2013 11:06:42 AM , Rating: 2
I can give you my own opinion, but I don't don't speak for everyone:

1. The Start Button is a more efficient user interface for a desktop user because you can click in the corner and see a list of programs you installed. A list is a more logical display of information than a set of tiles. From Phonebooks, restaurant menus, presentations, book indexes, Google Search results... pretty much anytime you need to display a sorted set of information, a list is the most logical and efficient manner to display it. It's inherently easy to sort and categorize information in a list, so it scales well. Laying out tiles or thumbnails may look attractive but it's not as straightforward or logical. It also takes up more space so the information density is lower. It also doesn't scale well with larger numbers of items.

For a tablet operating system I can understand why they'd do it. The large tiles are easier to manipulate with your finger than a list would be. The problem is that the vast majority of Windows 8 users won't be using it on a tablet; they'll be using it on a desktop or laptop that has a keyboard and mouse. For these users, the Windows 8 touch optimizations were an unnecessary tradeoff. If I wanted a tablet OS I'd buy a tablet that came with one.

Also, probably the biggest thing that pissed people off is the fact that Microsoft took away the ability to remove the touch optimizations. The tiny Start8 program does it very effectively so it wasn't a technical hurdle on Microsoft's part. I can understand that they'd want to include touch functionality for tablets. But to 1) make that the default setting and 2) remove the ability of users to disable it just showed hubris on Microsoft's part. Why not give customers the option to choose classic mode like all previous versions allowed?

It's because Microsoft is trying to FORCE its users to buy into their mobile strategy. Microsoft has a 90% market share on desktops/laptop operating systems but only a tiny fraction of the growing mobile space. Microsoft wants to MAKE SURE their desktop users get used to their mobile look and feel so that they become more likely to buy a Microsoft phone or tablet. I don't like being corralled like that.


RE: Surprising
By Mint on 1/29/2013 12:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A list is a more logical display of information than a set of tiles.
For common actions, the vast majority of applications use icons and buttons in a tile-like layout. Imagine if Word or Excel got rid of buttons and put everything in menu lists.

It's funny that you mention restaurant menus, because when speed and efficiency matter (drive through menus, fast food menus at the cashier), you overwhelmingly have a tile-like layout extending horizontally, dominated by pictorial information.

For searches, win8 gives you lists just like win7, google, etc, except using the whole screen as it should. Imagine if you googled something, but the results were squeezed into the left fifth of the screen. That's the win7 approach, and win8 is a vast improvement.
quote:
It also takes up more space so the information density is lower.
Density is lower, but total information presented is higher. This argument is similar to how Apple fans say the iPhone display is superior due to higher dpi, but how is that an advantage if resolution (i.e. total information) is less?

You only click on the start button when you intentionally want to change tasks, so why conserve space and limit information?
quote:
Why not give customers the option to choose classic mode like all previous versions allowed?
I can understand attachment to what's familiar, but I don't understand the claims of the start page being less productive. You bring it up, click once, and it's gone.

You're right that there's a little hubris, but that's not all. Having two start menus would make win8 even more bipolar. There's value in having a unified look across a company's entire product line, particularly with the way tasks are shifting from one platform to another. It's very likely that we'll have tablet hybrids displacing notebooks/desktops for 90% of the market, with docks and monitors for desktop use, and a few years later I can see PadFone type devices where smartphones become the only computing device. What else are we going to do with ever increasing mobile computing power? All things considered, I think MS has chosen a pretty optimal solution to the disruptive impact of mobile technology.

Their biggest mistake is in not being more helpful out of the box. There should be a better, more accessible tutorial, and there should also be a guide about how usable the start page can be for organizing and launching desktop apps, typing to search, etc.

But for educated power users? I just don't see how win8 slows you down in any way if you just ignore metro.


RE: Surprising
By 91TTZ on 1/29/2013 2:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's very likely that we'll have tablet hybrids displacing notebooks/desktops for 90% of the market, with docks and monitors for desktop use, and a few years later I can see PadFone type devices where smartphones become the only computing device. What else are we going to do with ever increasing mobile computing power? All things considered, I think MS has chosen a pretty optimal solution to the disruptive impact of mobile technology.


The problem is that they did not need to deal with it on their desktop operating system. They could have added the capabilities without making them the default, and they certainly shouldn't have forced users to adopt that style. Apple did not change OSX to become like iOS, they realized that iOS works best on the iPhone/iPad while OSX worked best on their desktops/laptops.

Microsoft made a tradeoff where one was not necessary. They tried to satisfy multiple market forces that were pulling in different directions and they made a bad tradeoff. They made another Pontiac Aztek. I remember when that thing was new how automotive press claimed how innovative the design was, how roomy and versatile it was, how it was a new trend in vehicles, etc. People hated it and it went down in history as being one of the worst car designs ever.

As far as mobile/tablets go, there's a lot of hype surrounding them right now because it's a new market that has enjoyed a high profit margin. People tend to extrapolate the growth trends and come to the conclusion that mobile devices will take over and become this huge cash crop. This will not happen. As in every new market, the rapid growth that occurs in the beginning eventually yields to slower sustainable growth. Products get cheaper and the profit margins dry up. Innovation slows as all products adopt the most useful features. The devices become a commodity.


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