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Acer urges Microsoft to "think twice" on Surface

By Matthew Handrahan

Acer urges Microsoft to "think twice" on Surface

Tue 07 Aug 2012 9:11am GMT / 5:11am EDT / 2:11am PDT

Entry into the tablet market could have a "huge negative impact" on the Windows ecosystem

The PC hardware manufacturer Acer has asked Microsoft to reconsider its move into the tablet market with Surface, The Financial Times reports.

Microsoft unveiled the Surface tablet in June, marking the company's entry into hardware production. The move caused consternation among existing PC companies, some of which have shared a close and mutually beneficial relationship with Microsoft for several decades.

"We have said [to Microsoft] think it over," said Acer CEO J. T. Wang. "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."

While Microsoft is certainly unproven in terms of hardware production, the main concern for companies like Acer is that a powerful ally will become another competitor in an increasingly difficult business. For Campbell Kan, Acer's president for personal computer global operations, the Surface could prompt an exodus away from Microsoft's Windows OS.

"If Microsoft ... is going to do hardware business, what should we do?" he asked. "Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?"

The Surface is largely a response to increased competition from Apple and the failure of PC companies to create strong competitors for the iPad. However, there is a growing concern that products like Surface and to some extent Windows 8 signal a significant change in direction for Microsoft's PC business, towards the "walled garden" approach of Apple or its own Xbox Live console service.

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James Prendergast Research Chemist

783 492 0.6
What other alternatives? Linux/Google OSes? I'm sorry, but I was fairly sure they were already making and promoting devices with those alternative OSes...

Posted:4 years ago


Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 708 0.8
Seems to me you don't ask someone not to do something like this unless you're scared they'll become a success. Oh, and what James said.

Microsoft's key concern should be Microsoft.

Posted:4 years ago


Wesley Williams Quality Assurance

145 89 0.6
Oh Acer, you so funny. Microsoft aren't going to give two hoots about what you say to them.

Posted:4 years ago


Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,289 126 0.1
Microsoft's only concern right now is trying to compete with Apple. I doubt they give a flying fig about what Acer have to say, especially when following this 'advice' would result in them abandoning development of hardware which they've no doubt spent tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on.

Posted:4 years ago


Bostjan Troha CEO, Zootfly

31 16 0.5
How is Microsoft "certainly unproven in terms of hardware production"? Are you kidding me? MS is in HW development and production for over 30 years, for crying out loud.

This site is getting better and better.

Posted:4 years ago


David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers

361 80 0.2
Bostjan: I think what Matt as specifically saying is that they're unproven in terms of personal computing and tablet production; you might notice that most of what's on that page you linked are computer mice and keyboards.

Posted:4 years ago


Rod Oracheski Editor, Star News

58 23 0.4
Microsoft adds a marketplace to Windows 8 and software devs call it the worst thing ever. Microsoft does hardware and hardware manufacturers call it a mistake.

It's starting to sound like there are ulterior motives here...

Posted:4 years ago


Bostjan Troha CEO, Zootfly

31 16 0.5
@David Radd: And a couple of worldwide best-selling consoles...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bostjan Troha on 7th August 2012 8:11pm

Posted:4 years ago


Bostjan Troha CEO, Zootfly

31 16 0.5
@Rod: I think you are absolutely correct. Suddenly a number of people and companies are incredibly concerned about Microsoft's well-being. How odd.

Posted:4 years ago


John Owens CEO, Wee Man Studios Ltd

1,037 1,355 1.3
This is the reason I expected Surface to be a Nokia device and I guess he's warning them that the PC manufacturers will drop Microsoft Windows completely or at least not promote it as much and move to Android.

I guess Microsoft thought that the Nokia partnership which should have kept everyone happy just wasn't working but it's a huge gamble.

Personally I think Microsoft jumped too soon.

Posted:4 years ago


Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd

1,025 1,486 1.4
@ Bostjan Neither the Xbox 360 nor the Xbox are "worldwide best selling consoles." Worldwide 2nd place consoles? Yes, but the "worldwide" word there is pretty sketchy as well, considering the 360 has found zero purchase in Asia and quite a bit less in Europe than North America.

Anyway, that said, I support Microsoft here. The Surface is a good idea, and this is how competition works. If you don't like their product, or feel threatened by it, make something better!

PS: That said, Acer could still be right that hardware manufacturers focus more on their Android products than competing on Windows, which long-term would be to their detriment (this is literally exactly what happened to the Zune).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 8th August 2012 2:42am

Posted:4 years ago


Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ

213 77 0.4
I think Microsoft pulled off the Xbox very well indeed. It could have failed, but it's done very well.

I certainly don't blame them for wanting to build more of a walled garden, and trying for a larger cut of revenues from games and apps made by those who publish on Windows platforms. They look at Apple and Google, and see them taking 30% of sales, while Microsoft just have an open market for developers.

The weakness of "the Microsoft experience" (in my opinion) over the past 5 years or so, is that when I'm using their software, I'm never using their hardware, and the two never fit together very seamlessly. Windows always feels a bit clunky because you're trying to plug in your latest 3rd party mouse, keyboard, and software, and there's often some driver issue that you can't figure out, or your wifi card has dropped off the map, yada yada. If Microsoft build more of the hardware, they can really improve that experience, and I think that would really help to keep people on board.

I've recently bought my first Apple prpoducts, and I LOVE how integrated the experience is. I never thought I'd leave Windows, but I find my Macbook Pro so much more of a pleasure. I plug in a printer, and the iOS says, "You've plugged in a new printer, press OK to download the software and install it." ONE BUTTON LATER, the printer has downloaded the drivers, installed it, and I'm ready to print. THAT is such a massive relief after trying to get a printer setup on Windows.

Despite Microsoft having to make a big change to their whole business model and public perception, the Surface just might help to give people a pleasurable experience while using Windows. But then again, if they keep those "blue square" buttons as their main UI, forget about it. So ugly.

Posted:4 years ago


Antony Johnston Writer & Narrative Designer

112 18 0.2
Hardware-wise, MS have indeed done quite well with the Xbox (although let's not forget the RROD debacle which cost them billions), but here's an interesting thing; not one of the Xbox hardware devs was involved in the Surface. They didn't even know about it till the announcement. So none of that prior experience is actually being put to use.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Antony Johnston on 8th August 2012 12:38pm

Posted:4 years ago


Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster

1,471 1,572 1.1
Why don't they just compete? Hmm, maybe they can't.

Posted:4 years ago


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