Dissension amongst the ranks: Acer executive doesn't approve of Surface

Dissension amongst the ranks: Acer executive doesn't approve of Surface
At Microsoft’s surprise Surface event last week, CEO Steve Ballmer indicated that they had alerted Windows OEMs to their tablet plans before the announcement. When asked what the OEMs thought about it he demurred from answering, tossing out the line that he was sure “they would opine” on the subject soon enough.

It turns out that Acer is quite happy to opine, and they aren’t very impressed with Microsoft’s foray into the world of Windows hardware. Acer senior VP Oliver Ahrens said that Microsoft’s attempts to mimic Apple’s success combining hardware and software were probably not going to work.

As Ahrens explained:

"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. Microsoft is a component of a PC system. A very important component but still a component."

Ahrens also expressed concern that Microsoft’s tablet ambitions could lead to Microsoft splitting its focus between Windows 8 software development and growing its retail and hardware chops. Given how radically different Windows 8 (and Windows RT) will be compared to previous versions of Windows, anything but a fully polished and perfectly executed product could lead to a Windows Vista-style sales debacle, which would hurt the entire Windows ecosystem.

We imagine that Acer isn't the only Windows OEM that is frustrated right now. With Microsoft apparently relying on the strength of Windows 8/RT sales to try and grow interest in their flagging Windows Phone division, a Vista-like launch would be a much larger disaster this time around than it was with the actual Windows Vista, which existed before the post-PC movement had really taken root.

What do you think? Will Surface work to Microsoft’s benefit, or will it hurt them in the long run by distracting them from perfecting the software and supporting their OEMs? Sound off in the comments below.

source: Business Insider

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27 Comments

1. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

I think Acer is just making a big deal because Microsoft will be taking sales away from them. Bottom line, Acer doesn't want MS as competition.

2. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Acer should take it as a cue to make a great product instead of taking it as a cue to whine. Google's Nexus devices have every advantage over a regular android device, yet you dont hear hardware vendors whining about it.

20. Deicide

Posts: 82; Member since: Jul 02, 2011

You do hear hardware vendors complaining about it. There was an article when Google began the Motorola acquisition and all Android vendors were concerned b/c Google would always pick the manufacturer it deemed worthy of producing it and if Google bought Motorola, would that mean that Motorola be the sole manufacturer of Nexus devices.

24. droid4all

Posts: 17; Member since: Feb 13, 2011

That's exactly what I was thinking. I swear in 2012 some of these CEO's are freaking out that they actually have to start doing some work now (being creative). There is always a solution, so what Microsoft is making it's own device. Find another way to still profit and compete. That's why you are CEO.

27. Frazer.xnm

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 25, 2012

your rite there remixfa, companys unfortunately dont look at a new product and see how its better than theres to improve there next phone, instead they will look at what patents have been infringed and sue them for it, with these patents there is no way for companys to truly innovate and truly compete with each other, unfortunately products are not really made "for" us but rather there back pockets :(

3. MickDM

Posts: 63; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

and...we have a new victor, welcome scott :)

18. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I wouldn't say that; I'm a WP7/WP8 fan, and I would say this article was very fair and presented good thoughts and questions.

4. RoundBallmer

Posts: 43; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Acers pc never had a decent battery life =.=

5. flexile

Posts: 78; Member since: Jun 03, 2012

I would really like to see an Acer WP8 phone. They make decent prodcuts for their price.

6. jove39

Posts: 2142; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Don't know why acer is so pissed off...as if only their customers are going to buy surface...acer should take it easy...they'll have plenty of market share...provided they could position a tablet speced similar to surface and priced lower.

26. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i think it is more that fact that microsoft blind-sighted them… i mean how trustful would u be if your largest software partner made a huge hardware decision without even alerting you? i feel that microsoft should have communicated with their partners and explained their reasoning… its kind of like googles protests that they dont plan on using moto for their direct benefit-- the promises are there but there is the threatening potential

7. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

Microsoft charged $85 per tablet that used WP8, Acer can't make a cheaper tablet using WP8.

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

sure they can. most high end tablets including the ipad only cost around 200-250 to make. Add in the fee and your still only around 300 bux for cost. with MS setting the bar up high, that gives the other manufactures a lot of wiggle room for pricing set ups.

14. Glim12808

Posts: 394; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

This! The Surface is nothing more than a reference material much like the Nexus which OEMs can emulate, add upon, subtract from when they make their own W8 products!

8. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

Make something better then instead of complaining.

10. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

Hi Lubba, we are only Khmer reading phonearena.

11. lubba

Posts: 1313; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

I never thought I'd meet my own people. Feels so good! Hope to see you more often. By the way, what device or Os you sporting? im a WP enthusiast but don't call me a fanboy. Lolzz!

16. Glim12808

Posts: 394; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

And this!

9. RagingCalm

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

I think there is room for Microsoft and OEMs. Imagine how cool it would be to have more choice of hardware with iOS on it. I think Microsoft selling a product that defines their vision of a product, but still allowing OEMs the latitude present their products is the best of both worlds. A rising tide lifts all ships and if the Surface is a winner it will help all windows tablet OEMs.

13. rob5150

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

here comes linux.... perfect storm rising... android dominance on mobile. and a major player on desktop looking to protect itself. in reality nowadays..... what is it that the consumer needs from windows? that they cant get from a customized ubuntu pre-installation. people are now used to android or iOS. everything is apps now, so apps on ubuntu .. no difference

15. Phullofphil

Posts: 1755; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Linux is not consumer friendly enough to go main stream especially into the business area where Chang is slower than updating to Inc cream sand witch. Linux is more of a developers operating system that in the long run is sometimes more expensive to operate than just getting a copy of windows that works with everything already with beyt security.

23. rob5150

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

android is built on linux. iOS is built on unix. all you need is a big company with big dollars to build the framework for a sleek user interface. and an easy to use developer network

17. snowgator

Posts: 3616; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

There was a ton of worry and "opining" when Google bought Motorola, and that will end up fine as well. I expect some stress lines among Microsoft's hardware partners. Those Hardware makers should rock the boat, just to protect their side of the business. But, Microsoft ain't no Apple. Couldn't be if they wanted to be, at least no time soon. MS knows they need these hardware makers if they truly want to own the tablet biz like they own the pc/laptop biz.

19. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I really don't think the Surface is going to be a displacement product that will snatch all the sales away from Microsoft's hardware partners. They still have a lot of ways they can counter, with proper transformer tablets, cheaper Windows RT tablets, as well as lower and higher end Windows 8 Pro tablets than the Surface. However, immediate impact aside, I think the much more important question is where does Microsoft plans to go with this? Are they just releasing their own hardware this time around to pressure their hardware partners into making better products, thereby ensuring a solid showing for Windows 8? Or are they trying to get into the hardware game to increase profits, a strategy that may very well lead to alienating their partners?

25. snowgator

Posts: 3616; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Good questions, Penny. I would not be at all surprised if they are trying to get these manufacturers to get off their rears and actually promote and support Windows products. This Tablet market is still wide open. The iPad may be a monster, but it's sales alone do not even make a fraction of those who may be willing to buy a tablet. MS wants those, and the Android model in mobile as well as their own experiences in PC's screams that multiple partners is the way to dominance. Apple is the exception, not the rule.

21. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

This is simply becoming the norm. Google aquired Motorola, and they help produce the Nexus handsets. While they might not phyically produce the Nexus sets themselves, and they don't use Motorola to create Google branded phones, they still have their hand in the pie. I think more companies are finally realizing the benfits of more deeply controlling your hardware. They don't want another Android debacle where it takes forever to update a platform, or give to much power to the OEM's. The reason for that is obvious: the general public doesn't tend to see an Acer tablet as an Acer tablet... They see it as a Windows device. The same goes for any phone that's an Android. When the OEM's make life a hassle for their consumers, it reflects more poorly on Google and MS than it does on the OEM.

22. mrochester unregistered

I'd say it's completely the opposite. People don't go out and buy Android or iOS phones, they go out and buy Galaxy or iPhones.

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