updated 06:59 am EDT, Tue August 7, 2012
Acer CEO JT Wang tells Microsoft to rethink its approach with Surface
Acer CEO JT Wang has highlighted the anger felt by its Windows partners towards its unexpected hardware debut with its Surface tablets for Windows 8 and Windows RT. Speaking to the Financial Times, Wang said that he had spoken with Microsoft and told them to rethink releasing its Surface tablet range. "We have said think it over. Think twice," Wang said.
"If Microsoft is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?," said Wang, in a thinly veiled threat. From Wang's perspective, Microsoft's' initiative will be a "negative for the worldwide ecosystem," echoing sentiments expressed by other partners following the unveiling of the Surface tablets.
Microsoft unveiled its Surface tablets in mid June to much fanfare as the company attempted to drum up interest in its controversial new Windows 8 operating system. While the tablets have an innovative keyboard cover, there is else that otherwise distinguishes the devices from the hardware that other OEM's might otherwise develop themselves.
Windows 8 remains a significant gamble on behalf of Microsoft as it aims to transition is previously desktop-focused Windows OS across to more mobile tablet configurations that can compete with Apple's market leading iPad. However, many pundits remain unconvinced by the approach, believing that its marriage of a traditional desktop OS with a more touch oriented home screen is an awkward marriage.
For OEM's already feeling nervous about the prospects for Windows 8, the largely secretive development and unveiling of the Surface tablets is the last thing that they would have also expected to contend with. Viable alternatives to Windows 8 include Windows 7, but beyond that OEMs could consider investing more heavily in Linux devices if they start to look for ways of selling their hardware.