Everybody has been talking about Microsoft’s Surface tablet since it released, though not everybody is doing so in a positive manner. Some of Microsoft’s partners, like Acer for instance, aren’t big fans of the upcoming device. Acer’s Senior VP and President for Europe, Middle East and Africa Oliver Ahrens recently told Reuters that Microsoft’s attempt to take on Apple with the Surface will fail.
To be fair, Apple did leave its partners in the dark on the tablet when it unveiled it at a secretive press conference earlier in the week. Even though the unveil got buzz for the tablet started, it still left some serious questions about price, battery life and connectivity, things that may take away from the initial hype. In addition to that, Ahren’s comments didn’t do the tablet any favors either.
According to Ahren, “I don’t think it will be successful because you cannot be a hardware player with two products. 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.”
This is a direct contradiction to the positive feedback Acer Founder Stan Shih was reported giving when he said that Microsoft will use its tablet to spur device makers to bring out their own tablets featuring Windows 8 and then withdraw from the market. Shih also said that Microsoft has “no reason” to sell hardware because it is less profitable than licensing software and that he “analyzed” Microsoft’s strategy in order to make that conclusion.
Dell is kind of in the middle on the whole thing. A spokesman for the company recently stated, “We remain committed partners to Microsoft. We remain committed to Windows 8, and we will have a Slate product at the time of launch.” Even though this isn’t necessarily negative, it isn’t really positive either.
The fact that many of Microsoft’s key partners are starting to question the company’s plans to compete with them isn’t surprising, especially considering that none of them were aware of the Surface until just before it was announced on Monday. According to Ovum Analysts Jan Dawson, “The move is a vote of no confidence in these partners, who should rightly feel slighted…or challenged.”
This could also just be a simple move by Microsoft to spur competition with its partners in an attempt to get bigger and better tablets on the market to compete with the iPad. Whether or not this is a good move, however, remains to be seen. The only way we will find out is to wait until the Surface launches and see how it stacks up against its competition.
Source: CNET – Acer says Microsoft’s move against Apple will fail