Acer Chief Takes Aim at Microsoft Surface

Robert Budden and Sarah Mishkin, reporting for the Financial Times:

JT Wang, chairman and chief executive of Acer, said Microsoft’s plans to launch its own “Surface” tablet in October — in direct competition with his company’s Iconia or HP’s TouchPad tablets would be “negative for the worldwide ecosystem” in computing. He is the first head of a big PC maker to criticise Microsoft’s move publicly.

“We have said [to Microsoft] think it over,” he told the Financial Times. “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.”

A little late for that now.

Campbell Kan, Acer’s president for personal computer global operations, said the Taiwanese company was debating internally how to respond to the Surface and any further challenges that could arise if Microsoft expands further into hardware.

“If Microsoft … is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?,” Mr Kan said.

Here’s the problem for Acer and all the other PC makers — what alternatives? Linux? No one wants it. Android? Google’s in the hardware business now too. That’s why Microsoft can make this play — the PC makers have no leverage.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012