Acer has publicly criticized Microsoft’s Surface tablet project, with CEO JT Wang describing the own-brand tablet as likely to “create a huge negative impact” for the Windows 8 and tablet ecosystems. “We have said [to Microsoft] think it over … Think twice” Wang told the FT, citing Microsoft’s poor track record in balancing its own hardware and software as the key reason. “It is not something you are good at” Wang warned Microsoft, “so please think twice.”
Although other Windows OEMs aren’t believed to have been pleased with Microsoft’s surprising decision to enter the tablet marketplace itself, Acer is the first to so publicly damn the project. Surface “will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction” Wang insisted, while others at the company suggested that their loyalty to Microsoft might have to be questioned as a result.
“It Microsoft … is going to do hardware business, what should we do?” Acer president for personal computer global operations Campbell Kan asked. “Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?”
Previously, Microsoft has been content to work on Windows software and leave its OEMs to implement that onto notebooks, desktops and tablets. With Surface, however, that strategy changed; the company reportedly looked at the Windows 8 roadmap efforts of those OEMs and found them significantly lacking, thus decided to take on the challenge of the iPad itself.
That apparently came as a surprise to most of those partners, some of whom only got a warning tipoff of the project’s existence a few days before Microsoft publicly announced it. The company has been upfront with the possibility that it could damage partner relations with the move, but CEO Steve Ballmer has been equally adamant that Microsoft must address each area in which Apple has a foothold.
Surface is expected to launch in October, alongside Windows 8, and though pricing is not confirmed Microsoft has said it should be “competitive” with the rest of the tablet ecosystem.