surface_05 (Photo credit: SpicaGames)
Today the tech press is awash with words from Acer, which has become the first PC manufacturer to square up to Microsoft about the launch of its Surface tablet – its own hardware attempt to house its upcoming Windows 8 operating system.
The company’s CEO, JT Wang, told the FT he had warned Microsoft to “think it over” when it came to its entrance into the hardware market – which will directly compete with Acer’s own Iconia tablets – and claimed it would create “a negative impact for the ecosystem” if the software giant muddies the waters of the hardware vendor pond.
Campbell Kan, president for PC global operations at Acer, even went as far as telling the FT that his company were asking themselves: “Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?”
It is understandable. Hardware vendors who have been making their own play in the tablet market will of course be annoyed that Microsoft is stepping on its toes. Microsoft is meant to be the software guy, spending its budget on reinventing the insides of the latest gadgets, whilst the hardware makers can throw their cash into boosting the product capabilities.
Windows 8 was meant to provide a platform for hardware vendors to adopt, embrace and roll-out on their own devices. Now, rather than a partner, it has begun to embody a competitor with Microsoft adding yet another tablet option to the already busy marketplace.
Although Wang and his colleagues may have been brave to bitch about the world’s largest software vendor in public, I think it is a waste of time and I don’t see what other option they have than to go with the next Microsoft release.
Acer isn’t going to start installing Mac OS onto its machines and, whilst Google’s Chrome OS is an option, the vast majority of people want the main software component of their computer on their hard drive, not out in the cloud somewhere.
I am not surprised they are making a song and dance but an idle threat from Acer’s president isn’t going to get his company or its partnership with Microsoft anywhere.
Hardware vendors need to put their own annoyances aside. They are the hardware specialists, not Microsoft, and it is far more likely they can develop a better tablet than the Surface once they get their hands on Windows 8.
With that in mind, Acer should put its efforts into that development, rather than moaning to the FT, and keep hold of the healthy relationship it has had with Microsoft up until now