updated 06:00 pm EDT, Sun June 24, 2012
Business focus, Windows 8 launch problems feared
Oliver Ahrens, Acer's senior VP and Europe president, has declared Microsoft's secretive Surface line of tablets doomed to failure. Specifically citing business focus issues and a change in core business principles, Ahrens urged Acer's primary software partner to focus on Windows 8 and pre-existing business arrangements instead of the potentially-risky product launch. "Microsoft is working with two dozen PC vendors worldwide, including the local guys, whereas Apple is alone, it can more or less do what it wants," Ahrens said when further questioned about potential problems with the tablet.
Ahrens continued by adding "Microsoft is a component of a PC system. A very important component, but still a component." He was also concerned that resources would shift from Windows 8 development to building consumer hardware with the associated demands on retail, with the result of losing focus on Windows 8 and the rest of the PC industry. "Instead of enhancing the user experience for Win 8 ... they open a new battlefield," Ahrens added. "I worry that this will lead into a defocus internally for Microsoft, and then we have to suffer because we are working with their products."
In a move similar to Apple's back in at the beginning of this century when G4 processor speeds fell behind equivalent offerings from Intel, Acer is now building an advertising campaign focused on the user experience with Windows 8 and its hardware, rather than performance and specifications. "Acer wants to be more about value than volume," Ahrens said.
Ahrens' statements may be self-serving rather that a realistic prognostication. A failure to properly launch Windows 8 is likely to have significant repercussions on both the future advertising campaign, and the sales of future Acer Windows 8-dependent products. The Microsoft Surface line of tablets can also be expected to cause some cannibalization of Acer's Iconia Tab A and Tab W-series Android-based tablet sales.