Acer Boss Airs Displeasure over Microsoft’s Surface Release

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By Erik Pineda | August 7, 2012 12:46 PM EST

One giant PC maker has spoken - Microsoft's decision to sell its own tablet line, the Surface, will surely damage the whole Windows ecosystem.

According to Acer chair and chief executive JT Wang, Microsoft will only drive a wedge between the tech giant and its partner PC vendors should its plans of marketing the Surface tablet computer pushes through.

"It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction," Mr Wang told The Financial Times on Monday, highlighting the concerns raised by analysts when Microsoft unveiled Surface, which simultaneously will hit the global markets along with the new Windows 8 on October 26.

The Acer chief broke the eerie silence of the struggling PC industry, which has been hoping that the revamped Microsoft operating system, to be deployed in PC, smartphone and tablet computer, would reinvigorate dwindling sales in the immediate quarters following its scheduled Q4 2012 launch.

But analysts said such hope was somehow dampened by Microsoft's surprise move to come up with its own tablet line, purportedly to compete head-to-head with current mobile computing market leaders - Apple, Google and Samsung.

In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Microsoft itself has admitted that "our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform."

It appears though that the company was prepared to bite the bullet to finally make a difference after years of being clueless on how to dip its fingers on the growing mobile computing industry, which largely has been the major force that drove up Apple's financial stature.

According to GeekWire, Microsoft has opted to try its hands on the computing hardware business following successive failures by manufacturers like Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo to come up with a hero tablet computer that would boost Windows ecosystem.

The Surface was a gamble that Microsoft was all willing to take, analysts said,  to shore up the market chances of Windows 8, which Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer predicted will power more than 500 million devices worldwide in due time.

Mr Wang, however, is pessimistic, with only the gaming console Xbox as Microsoft's veritable hardware badge, that the software giant would create a dent in so short a time.

"It is not something you are good at so please think twice," the Acer big boss called on the American firm.

Taiwan-based Acer is reportedly apprehensive that Surface would be "negative for the worldwide (PC system)," which analysts said could be the undercurrent sentiments shared by computer vendors relying on Microsoft's core product.

And in the event that Microsoft decides to actually set up its own hardware division, Reuters said Acer is bracing for such eventuality but still grappling with alternatives that would replace Windows from PCs the company sells.

"If Microsoft is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?," the news agency quoted Campbell Kan, head of Acer's global PC division, as saying on Tuesday.

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