8 Aug 2012

[News Update] Acer CEO Criticizes Microsoft Surface, Hints at OS Alternatives

Microsoft Surface

Acer CEO, JT Wang, has strongly criticized Microsoft's strategy with the Surface tablet for entering direct competition with OEM partners. While numerous hardware partners have criticized Microsoft after the Surface announcement, Wang's indictment is the strongest one yet. According to him, Microsoft's Surface tablet would be "negative for the worldwide ecosystem" and even hints at abandoning Acer's partnership with Microsoft.

Here is JT Wang's full quote on the Microsoft Surface:
We have said 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. If Microsoft is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?
When the Microsoft Surface was first announced, I stated that Microsoft may be putting OEM relationships at risk by entering the hardware business. Based on this quote, it seems like that has become a reality. If Microsoft does not manage deteriorating relationships, Acer & other OEMs may just follow HP in abandoning the Windows RT platform.


  1. "find other alternatives" !!!!???? What other alternatives?

    Linux? Chrome OS? There are no alternatives..

    Acer CEO is only covering his own failure, using these silly reasoning.

  2. Acer isn't the only company making noises. And in the short term, it seems like there's alternatives because we're trained to look at x86 devices as the beginning & end of computing.

    But looking at the impact ARM based devices have had, it isn't out of the realm of possibility that we may be looking at a client-server cloud based model with ARM devices making up the bulk of the client side.

    This is the whole reason Microsoft launched Windows RT. And the ARM side is where OEMs can begin to abandon Microsoft, in favor of Android. HP & Dell are the only two OEMs who don't have ANdroid based products and HP has already said no to Windows RT. If other OEMs abandon Windows RT, they have readymade alternatives.

  3. Let me narrate two real scenarios I am in. (assuming Windows 8 has already launched)

    First, home computing. I have a four year old Dell laptop running XP. I am in no hurry to replace it, since we have Android tablet at home. But say I need to replace the laptop with another one. Chrome OS is not mature, Apple products are expensive. Only option left is windows ultrabook / surface (although Android tablet with keyboard dock comes close)

    Second, office laptop. I can guarantee that my company wont give me chrome OS or Apple laptop as replacement for my current Windows 7 laptop. Again, I am most likely to get Ultrabook or surface.

    Acer has to stick to Windows, atleast if it wants to target business customers. For consumer PC market, which i think will shrink dramatically going forward, it can afford to exit, since anyways it is manufacturing Android tablets

  4. See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. We're not just talking about x86/Intel based computing here. No one considers the Chrome OS or Mac OS as a real alternative. The threat to Windows isn't on the x86 platform, but the threat is to the x86 platform itself.

    The fact of the matter is that x86 PC sales are extremely stagnant. The reason for that is that PC penetration is extremely high. And PC replacement sales have stagnated because there is very little development happening on the x86 platform. You said yourself that you're in no hurry to replace your Dell laptop, even though it's four years old.

    This is why replacement cycles have become elongated and PC sales have suffered. Windows 8 will make the problem worse, not better. With the drastic UI changes, you have even more reason to hold onto your old PC/laptop. This has been the case for both consumers and enterprises.

    If development activity has slowed for PCs, what are developers doing? They've moved onto ARM based mobile devices. That's one reason why sales growth here is so strong. This is what Microsoft's goal was with Windows RT and this is the risk they face.

  5. Thanks for reply. I get your point.

    People are likely to delay their replacement or stick to Windows 7, in the wake of Windows 8 failure.
    I think Google has a huge window of opportunity, for Chrome OS. If can perform common tasks (which are not many) offline on Chromebook, I would happy to buy one, if its priced similar to an equivalent PC. I would also save $25 in annual anti-virus fees :-)
    Google should do to Chromebook, what they did to Tablets with Nexus 7. A compelling hardware-software package at a low price point

  6. That could be a short-term solution for a small section of the consumer market. Google & their OEMs haven't put a whole lot of marketing weight behind them.

    Long-term, I've heard Google's been planning to merge the Android & Chrome OS code bases. If that happens, it'd be interesting to see what breed of devices that generates.

  7. If the manufacturers were really pushing the envelope Microsoft wouldn't need surface. This is the same as Google and nexus. Chrome is DOA because the limited hardware cost the same as a full computer.