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Handhelds Microsoft Hardware

Acer: Microsoft Surface 'Negative For The Whole PC Industry' 360

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-that-they-have-a-dog-in-this-fight dept.
Shortly after Microsoft announced its upcoming Surface tablet, there was speculation that it might sour the company's relationships with OEM partners. Statements from an Acer spokesperson indicate that's definitely the case. The spokesperson told Bloomberg, "On one hand Microsoft is our partner, but on the other, Microsoft’s move makes them compete not only with us but all PC makers. We think that Microsoft’s launch of its own-brand products is negative for the whole PC industry." The company is reportedly considering whether or not they want to keep relying on Microsoft's software products.
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Acer: Microsoft Surface 'Negative For The Whole PC Industry'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:31PM (#40910887)

    Most hardware vendors are Microsoft's bitch, and they have NO ONE to blame but themselves. They've been loving this relationship with them. I don't think PC manufactures can do anything.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I wonder how many people at ACER have apple products. The fact is, these companies cant make good devices so the software companies have to start doing it. I don't blame MS one bit.

      • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @11:51PM (#40914369) Journal

        No matter it's Acer or ASUS or Dell or HP, their "PC" and "Laptop" business hadn't had any significant upheaval since the 1980's.

        The original IBM PC, and IBM's decision to (sort of) "open-source" the hardware design was the one thing that gave birth to all these companies (except for HP).

        And ever since that happened, in the 1980's, these companies had been doing the-same-old-thing and for once, I'm glad that Microsoft decides to manufacture and market their own "Surface" - for no other reason than to shake up the entire "PC business".

        We, the users, deserve much better devices.

        For almost 40 years we are stuck with the same-old-thing (tablets and smartphones only enter the field not that long ago) and I hope that this shakeup will bring us more diversed devices, to make our lives more productive, more enjoying
         

    • by wmac1 (2478314)

      Crappy products and performance of Acer and the like has had even more negative effect on the whole Windows (and PC) ecosystem.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:35PM (#40910917)

    If anyone is bad for the PC industry its Acer. Short of those $70 netbooks you find on Craigslist, Acer is the bottom of the barrel.

    • by graphius (907855) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:53PM (#40911759) Homepage

      I have owned a couple of Acer laptops over the years and they were great bang for buck. They were cheap and broke down, but by then I wanted an upgrade anyway. Buying a higher end machine would have still been out of date, I would still want to update, and the resale value would not pay back the difference I initially paid...

      • I have owned a couple of Acer laptops over the years and they were great bang for buck. They were cheap and broke down, but by then I wanted an upgrade anyway. Buying a higher end machine would have still been out of date, I would still want to update, and the resale value would not pay back the difference I initially paid...

        I've got an Acer laptop and will never buy from Acer again.

        It kills batteries - after only a year their capacity is significantly degraded. But Acer considers batteries "consumables" so the fact that the charger in the laptop kills them isn't covered by the warranty.

        They flatly refused to refund my Windows licence fee (first thing I did when I got the machine was wipe Windows since I have no use for it). Not that long after they did this a French court ruled that they weren't allowed to decline to refund the Windows licence so I guess I should've tried again.

        The machine has a DSDT bug, which I reported to them, then I wrote a DSDT patch and sent that to them too in the hope that they might release a new BIOS for the machine to correct it. They won't even acknowledge my emails any more: http://www.nexusuk.org/~steve/acer.xhtml [nexusuk.org]

        I find the hardware largely ok, but their complete refusal to provide any kind of after-sales support, even for design defects, would stop me buying from them again.

    • by fast turtle (1118037) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @10:53PM (#40913879) Journal

      My first prebuilt system was an Acer running Win95b from Walmart. Yes it didn't have the LEET hardware that was being offered in Computer Shopper but it sure as hell worked for what it was bought for. Over the years, I've owned several pieces of Acer kit and have been pretty satisfied with the quality so more then likely I'd buy again.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Azathfeld (725855)
      Acer, along with Toshiba, has by far the worst warranty support in the business. But unlike Toshiba, who have been improving their reliability scores over the years, Acer still uses bottom-shelf parts. These are still the only two companies that won't overnight replacement parts to a qualified technician, and instead send them seven-day mail. Acer is only worth buying if you upgrade like a madman or you can stand being without your machine for a couple of weeks. And every time I say this, someone jumps
  • 2013 (Score:4, Funny)

    by M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:36PM (#40910937)

    Is the year of the linux desktop!

    • Re:2013 (Score:5, Funny)

      by StripedCow (776465) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:16PM (#40911353)

      I'm not so sure. According to MS, it will be the year of the notebook with a stand to keep the screen from falling flat on the table.

    • Re:2013 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:19PM (#40911395) Homepage Journal
      I mean seriously who else are they going to use. There was a time when a *nix desktop might work. Several years ago Lenova agreed to purchase a billion in MS licenses and install them on all their machines because any computer that is sold without a MS license is considered a pirate machie. Then, there are all these OEM who depend or are afraid of MS so they pay protection fees to MS, like HTC and Samsung because any *nix phone infringes on the IP of MS. It is one thing for apple to say the design is too similar to iPhone, it is another for MS to say it owns *nix, which is what Android OEMs are saying every time they give MS $10.

      In fact in this market MS should be happy if everyone starts using non-MS OS. Look at the facts. Samsung is paying MS at least a half million dollars a year for the right to use Android. OTOH, MS has to pay Nokia $250 million to use MS phone OS. Which is better for MS?

      Back in 200 when Apple showed that *nix could be used as the basis for a Desktop OS, I thought some of the major MS partners might go this route and develop a consortium to create a desktop OS for PC users, using emulation such as we see with WINE. Of course they were happy sucking the teats of MS and making the easy money. It would have been too much work for them to develop and innovative product.

      • by styrotech (136124)

        I mean seriously who else are they going to use.

        Has Google given up on Chrome OS yet? Just curious - it's been quiet for a while in that dept. Maybe x86 Android some day?

        (Yes I know they both use the Linux kernel, but they aren't a Linux Desktop in the usual sense)

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Back in 200 when Apple showed that *nix could be used as the basis for a Desktop OS, I thought some of the major MS partners might go this route and develop a consortium to create a desktop OS for PC users, using emulation such as we see with WINE. Of course they were happy sucking the teats of MS and making the easy money. It would have been too much work for them to develop and innovative product.

        Aren't you forgetting the small fact that any OEM that tried that would quickly be Microsoft's least favorite OEM? Now on the other hand, if there's going to be war they have little to lose by returning a few punches.

        • Re:2013 (Score:4, Insightful)

          by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @01:30AM (#40914941)
          The best example I can think of was with the eeePC turnaround that happened within the space of lunch at a tradeshow. In the morning the ASUS CEO was boasting of the features of the new model on stage. After lunch with representatives from Microsoft the ASUS CEO went back on stage and issued a public apology for not having Microsoft Windows on the eeePC.
          They are run by lawyers that picked up bad habits from gangsters and don't care who knows it.
    • Re:2013 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:29PM (#40911481) Homepage Journal

      Actually thats true. In the post-pc computing era 2013 is the year when Android will have sold more copies then Windows 7. With the post-pc era I'm talking about pc, smartphones and pads merged into one market for computers.

      Currently the linux distrubution Android is outselling Windows 7 with about 50%. By the end of 2013 Android will have delivered
      more units then Windows 7. In the longer run - with the current sales continuing - we are looking into future a situation where about 3 of 5 of the post pc era computors will be running a linux kernel and most of the others splitting with running Windows and iOS.

      Well, unless the linux kernel distributions penetration and market share of sales goes up even more of course.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by LurkerXXX (667952)

        A little reality check:

        Most folks who are getting those smartphones are updating their phones every 2-3 years when their contract runs out with their carrier.

        Most folks continue to use the same PC for 5+ years before upgrading.

        So the larger Android output is very much tenuated by the devices far higher churn rate.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Currently the linux distrubution Android is outselling Windows 7 with about 50%.

        No it's not. Microsoft sells more than 300 million licenses a year to Windows 7. Even at the 700,000 a day Android activations (assuming each are a unique sale) that is still less than all the license sales in a year.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          Android activations are up over a million a day now, and it's not Christmas yet.
  • by Bert64 (520050)

    Of course they don't want to rely on microsoft, that was a stupid position to get themselves into in the first place. NEVER rely on a single source for anything of any importance!

    MS isn't going to hurt the industry as a whole, only the OEMs since it wont reduce sales, just shift them. There's not a lot the OEMs can do about it, they need MS and MS don't need them.
    MS can treat the OEMs however they like and they will still keep lapping up whatever scraps they are fed because they have no choice now.

    • Re:So? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:45PM (#40911035)

      Of course they don't want to rely on microsoft, that was a stupid position to get themselves into in the first place.

      Acer already makes a line of Android tablets. If those were selling brilliantly, we wouldn't see Acer voicing any concerns. But they're not selling, and Acer isn't keen they were left out of the initial group (Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung) to build Windows RT tablets, selected by Microsoft. It's no wonder Acer was left off the list, given the crappy hardware they produce.

      • Re:So? (Score:4, Informative)

        by oakgrove (845019) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:03PM (#40911213)

        Acer already makes a line of Android tablets.

        There are more products available for Acer to manufacture than Android tablets and Windows PCs. They're heavy in the personal computing sector but in addition to owning the largest franchise retail chain in Taipei, they also make storage devices, displays, smartphones, projectors, televisions, and peripherals none of which are dependent on Microsoft's goodwill. In 2011 they only pulled in 200 million on 16 billion in revenue so PC sales are almost certainly not making them a ton of money anyway. They're in a tough spot but it isn't all doom and gloom even if they do stop making PCs.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      MS isn't going to hurt the industry as a whole, only the OEMs since it wont reduce sales, just shift them. There's not a lot the OEMs can do about it, they need MS and MS don't need them.
      MS can treat the OEMs however they like and they will still keep lapping up whatever scraps they are fed because they have no choice now.

      I think you underestimate the importance the IBM-PC clones [wikipedia.org] has had on MS Window dominance (and on the ascent of the Open Source as well).

      MS reaction (why am I not surprised?) is "me too", trying to walk Apple's way, but without the perception of "cool, trendy, fashionable" Apple has - so MS has something to lose by reducing the impact surface on its market, especially if it walks in the "hardware exclusivity" area (look [guardian.co.uk] how well XBox does - with "unexpected losses" April this year).

      On the other side, the

      • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:46PM (#40911679) Journal

        People won't buy android desktops anymore than they'll buy android netbooks, why? Because if it looks like a PC it had damned well better run PC software, aka windows software, or they will take it back!

        This is why I wish the OEMs would sink some cash and back ReactOS, because whether anyone wants to accept it or not there are millions of programs out there that people want and they simply don't want your hardware if it don't run their software. Everything from that stupid little program that came with their camera to all the little funky printers and hardware to bookkeeping, there is just too much time and money invested for most to switch. And don't even bother bringing up alternatives, the cost to switch a user from program A to program B is simply too high and honestly a lot of the current FOSS software just don't cut it, no way you could replace QuickBooks with gnuCash, or some specialized inventory software with a simple spreadsheet, it just won't cut it.

        But this is why you see MSFT royally fucked when it comes to ARM, because the sword cuts both ways. Why the hell would they want Windows if the device won't run Windows X86 software? Well as we can see from WinPhone the answer is "they don't" so as i see it the OEMs have one of TWO choices...1.-get something like ReactOS running so people can have their software on X86 while they can get out from under Steve "LOL I think I work at Cupertino! herpa derp" Ballmer or get out of X86 altogether and see how old Steve-O likes having to actually BE Apple and do the whole damned thing himself.

        Because you can't just slap Linux or Android on an x86 box or laptop and sell jack squat, it just don't work. Dell has tried it, Walmart, Best Buy, Asus, they all tried it and found the exact same thing over and over AND OVER, folks try their software, software don't work, unit goes back. People don't know Operating systems from operating tables folks, that's a fact. I've seen it myself when it comes to netbooks which according to my customers are NOT general use computers but "baby laptops" and as such should run all the everyday stuff they want, only slower because babies are smaller and weaker than big people.

        No different that how a tablet is a "big screen i poke and play games on" and a smartphone is a "phone that lets me Google" so too does the X86 desktop and form factor come with notions you simply aren't gonna be able to remove, instead they'll simply hate your guts and bring your units back en masses. Nobody wants to learn how to use Wine, Google for tricks and fixes, learn CLI, all they want to do is go "clicky clicky" and have the software install and go, that's it. that's all they want.

        Personally I think the OEMs are getting upset over nothing, surface will end up on woot! at 80% off, Win 8 will be the new MS Bob as the butt of all the jokes, Win 7 the new XP, and hopefully Steve "I heart Apple herpa derpa!" Ballmer will finally flush enough Redmond money down the shitter the board gets his fat sweaty ass out of the big chair and brings someone with a fucking brain to run the company. Hell I'm a little shop owner in BF nowhere and I could run that fucking company better!

        • by graphius (907855)

          How about this scenario....

          - Tablets are seen as a content consumption device that doesn't really work for Work or creating said content.

          - People still want a "real" laptop/desktop and don't want to pay for a touch screen

          - Windows 8 flops like a dead fish (yeah, I know it is a mixed metaphor, but it is kind of visual...)

          - Developers, Developers, Developers start writing and porting software to Apple and then Linux, as they are the most desired platforms for a Desktop (Read not a tablet)

          - Since Linux is easi

          • by c0lo (1497653)

            - And then gnome developers f**k it up more than it is now and everyone moves back to Windows 9

            What's wrong in starting with LXDE at the "People still want a real desktop" step?

          • If it didn't work during the Vista fail why would it work now?

  • As if their gonad piercings aren't chained directly to MS? Please. Give me a break. What are they going to do, install Linux? License OSX from Apple? That'll last as long as the first grandma trying to open a forwarded power point file.

    • by oakgrove (845019) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:51PM (#40911097)
      Profits for PC integrators is already strained to the breaking point. The logical conclusion of what MS is doing here is that the OEMs will either diversify like Samsung and Sony or just one by one go under. MS has looked to Cupertino and seen the light. They see that 100 Billion dollar pile of cash Apple is sitting on and they have a pretty clear idea how they got it. And there is nothing Acer or Dell or anybody else can do because win32 is too deeply entrenched and we are nowhere near an heir apparent. WinRT is only available to the blessed chosen few and all MS has to do is just stop selling OEM copies of the desktop version. I'm not suggesting they are about to do this tomorrow but should they choose to, the "partners" that are dependent on PC sales to stay afloat are done.
    • Time to bring back OS/2!

  • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:41PM (#40910977)

    So, we have:
    - Dell (project Sputnik. Partners with Canonical to sell Linux PCs)
    - Valve (Steam for Linux)
    - Blizzard (only blasted Windows 8, not announced their contingency plan yet)
    - Mozilla (Windows 8 revives the IE browser lockin)

    and now Acer
    how can you not take the "think twice" line as a threat of defection

    • by ianare (1132971) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:11PM (#40911299)

      Dell has already sold several different consumer grade systems pre-loaded with Ubuntu, but never with much publicity (/. notwithstanding) and therefore not in significant numbers. These efforts have also not lasted too long. This time may be different, but first let's see if they actually release it, at this point it's still vaporware.

      Valve is a big deal for Linux, but they haven't said they would stop supporting Windows, so to MS it's not an immediate danger. Sure, some people may no longer need to boot into Windows as often, and a few may remove it entirely from their systems, but I highly doubt it will lead to a big decrease in Windows licenses sold.

      As you said, Blizzard has not publicized any plans for a possible strategy shift as Valve has.

      Mozilla is an obvious anti-MS, Firefox was started in part to restore open standards on the web, IOW, to loosen IE's iron grip on the web.

      Don't get me wrong, as a longtime Linux-only user, nothing would please me more than my favorite OS getting some much needed attention from important software and hardware companies, especially at the expense of MS and/or Apple. I just don't think it will happen any time soon. Look at LibreOffice, it's free and roughly equivalent to MS Office for the average non-professional user, but it has yet to gain any kind of significant traction. And as long as MS has a hold on Office, Windows will be around.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      Add to that:

      * Asus (Making x86 and ARM tablets running Android - they've been doing PCs for years)

  • by metrometro (1092237) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:42PM (#40910981)

    Where are they going to go?

    Option A) Yes, they could just pick a Linux distro and run with it. But now they're a software company, and they don't want that. Most of these things are publicly traded, and they don't have margin to do a year of no profits while they spin up of a new division without getting killed in the markets.

    Or option B) they bitch a little and keep selling Windows.

    • by ianare (1132971)

      Option C) Keep selling windows, but partner with a Linux distributor as a back up plan. Canonical would be a good candidate for such a partnership.

    • by fwarren (579763)

      If MS goes 100% propritary someday and cuts the OEMs out alltogether, they will have to jump at some point. Here is the problem.

      Pioneers take all the arrows.
      The second Mouse gets the cheese.

      If they jump to soon, they take the brunt of the transition and will likely go out of business. If they jump to late, they will have to much debt from not leaving the party sooner. By that point switching won't matter.

      I think everyone sees the hand wirting on the wall. They just want somone else to come up with a viable

    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      I'm sure that with just a little support from the manufacturer Canonical will be happy to make Ubuntu run well on their machines.
      While OTOH right now I'm trying to make this TimeLineX behave.
      There's some very good deals on Sandy Bridge TimeLineX out there at WalMart, TigerDirect and probably all the other usual suspects too. They're probably cleaning out inventory to launch Ivy Bridge. I was looking to replace a netbook but found that real 14" SB laptops are about the same price and generally cheaper than a

      • by oakgrove (845019)

        I'm sure that with just a little support from the manufacturer Canonical will be happy to make Ubuntu run well on their machines.

        I think that between Canonical, Google, Ubuntu, ChromeOS, Android and some pissed off former PC OEMs there's a market in there somewhere. Of course this could all be a ploy by Acer like what happened when MS bent over and started selling XP for 15 dollars a copy for netbooks when Linux got a little too close to the castle gates for comfort.

    • by oakgrove (845019)
      C) Sell something else. Most PC OEMs have other businesses even Acer. Think about vendors like Samsung and Sony. They could get dropped from MS tomorrow and still be banking.
      • by symbolset (646467) *
        If Asus, Dell, HP and Acer all dropped desktop PC sales their margins would go up. If Lenovo did they might actually turn a profit.
    • Everybody knows that Microsoft makes Windows incompatible with their competitors products. "Windows isn't done till Lotus won't run." To continue to ship Windows is to pay them to do this as they gradually make your products worse and steal your customers. The OEMs are dumb, but they aren't THAT dumb.
  • Stop your crying and focus on your products.

    I used to love Acer back in the 1990s as they had quality products. My CRT 19 inch screen lasted until a few years ago and the color quality and craftmenship was amazing. Today?

    They are not the same company. I needed a 2nd source of income a few years ago and worked at an office store. Guess which machines had BSOD on display even! Acer. Guess which ones were always returned? Acer. Guess who has no tablet presence? ACER

    Samsung and Asus kicked your ass whil

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:42PM (#40910991)
    Seems like sour grapes to me. Microsoft picked Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, and Samsung to launch Windows RT tablets (they also picked HP, but HP declined, and decided to focus on x86 tablets instead). Acer is not on that list, so these words are no surprise. You don't hear any of those companies selected speaking out against the Surface.

    Source: http://www.unwiredview.com/2012/07/24/asus-lenovo-toshiba-samsung-to-launch-windows-rt-tablets-this-year-others-await-microsofts-permission-in-january/ [unwiredview.com]
    • by Narishma (822073)

      Seems like sour grapes to me. Microsoft picked Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, and Samsung to launch Windows RT tablets (they also picked HP, but HP declined, and decided to focus on x86 tablets instead). Acer is not on that list, so these words are no surprise. You don't hear any of those companies selected speaking out against the Surface.

      Don't worry, you will hear from them if (once?) Surface starts outselling their tablets.

  • Hi, consumer here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedy AT tpno-co DOT org> on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:43PM (#40910993) Homepage

    Dear Acer ( and everyone else ):

    Please give me what I want at a price point I want it at, and I will buy your product. I have no loyalty to any specific vendor, indeed, why would anyone show brand loyalty?

    If it works and it's cost effective, I'll buy it. Maybe you should try competing against MS on those grounds. Us consumers would appreciate that, i think.

    Sincerely, me.

    • by metrometro (1092237) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:58PM (#40911159)

      "I have no loyalty to any specific vendor, indeed, why would anyone show brand loyalty?"

      In related news, Apple Inc. PR released the following statement: "BWAHAHAHAHAHA BWAAAAHAHAHAAA BWAHAHAHA"

    • You've pretty much just described the problem Microsoft has with the current OEM landscape and the reason they're releasing the Surface at all. Let me break it down for you:

      I have no loyalty to any specific vendor, indeed, why would anyone show brand loyalty?

      Brand loyalty arises when you interact with a company, and they give you a positive experience whether through sales, support, returns, customer service, etc. If I have a positive experience with a company, I will probably purchase from them again, 1) as a reward for their good support ant 2) because I want that good support again, and d

      • Brand loyalty arises when you interact with a company, and they give you a positive experience whether through sales, support, returns, customer service, etc.

        I think you're absolutely correct about that, and Microsoft's strategy here might be more about the support & customer service channels than just the shiny hardware. On slashdot, we may mock the "Genius Bar", but Apple absolutely owns the "Geek Squad" in terms of support experience for the average user. Of course, there's only a handful of Microsoft Stores right now, but that will probably change quickly.

    • Dear Acer,

      And I forgot, please do not give me any lock-in, walled gardens, crystal prisons, DRM, UEFI or any of that crap the other vendors try to shove up my rear end.

      Thanks!
      Me

  • Cue the apologists (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @06:44PM (#40911015)

    You will get a ton of MS apologists on this story telling us how the PC makers have "failed" Microsoft and how MS had no choice but to blaze the trail. This is bullshit. When Windows Vista and 7 were both released we were assured by MS and their hangers on that it was finally touch friendly and anyone that argued that it was just the same old crap was shouted down in comment forums all over the internet. When sane people pointed out the fact that even if you could manage to put up with desktop Windows on a touch screen you still had to put up with the heat and bulk of the x86 chipsets available they also were shouted down. The funny thing was that despite the echoing chorus that Windows was tablet ready, Windows tablet after tablet bombed. Ballmer in a case of extraordinary egg on face even headlined CES with another HP tablet dud. Where is it now?

    Then something strange happened. Another company took an idea that MS had failed to execute on for a decade and ran away with the market completely. And now we hear that MS is coming out with its own gear because somehow the OEMs have failed. No. Microsoft failed the OEMs. How were they supposed to compete with the iPad with fucking Windows 7 on a sawed-off netbook? Get fucking real. Of course this wouldn't even be an issue if the internet echo chamber weren't once again running to MS' defense and pointing the finger everywhere but at where it belongs. MS has failed their partners. Fortunately for Acer et al, Surface in both its incarnations is fundamentally flawed. It doesn't know if it's an ultrabook or a tablet. Windows 8 is some kind of weird FrankenOS that doesn't know what it wants to be and WinRT is as sure a dud against the iPad as any number of $79 tablets hanging in blister packs in Walgreens.

    So fear not, dear Acer but have fun posturing. MS has failed you before and they are failing themselves now.

    • by dhavleak (912889)

      And now we hear that MS is coming out with its own gear because somehow the OEMs have failed. No. Microsoft failed the OEMs.

      You're not hearing this from MS -- you're hearing this from random people on the internet. Where OEMs have failed MS is in the quality of the hardware they put out, and the crap they pre-install.

      I suspect MS needed to make Surface PCs because they needed an iPad competitor and they alone had the bucks and design chops to pull it off. The OEMs are busy working on Android tablets. Left to the OEMs they would take an Android tablet design and re-purpose it for windows. That basically means no differentiation

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        MS isn't blameless in the OEM crapware problem. MS has clearly pushed to make Windows an OEM product. If MS didn't want OEM crapware on the machines, they would have sold Windows in retail for close if not the same price as the price paid by the hardware manufacturers. If they had, more people would have bought windows retail without the crapware. Not everybody, but enough that the hardware manufacturers would have had to think twice before loading down a machine.
    • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:18PM (#40911381)

      When Windows Vista and 7 were both released we were assured by MS and their hangers on that it was finally touch friendly and anyone that argued that it was just the same old crap was shouted down in comment forums all over the internet. When sane people pointed out the fact that even if you could manage to put up with desktop Windows on a touch screen you still had to put up with the heat and bulk of the x86 chipsets available they also were shouted down.

      I think you're remembering wrong. Windows tablets have always been laughed at on this and many other tech forums. I should know since I argued for them back them, having used one daily through my college career, and I was the one constantly being shouted down. I still maintain for specialized use cases, pen and finger input was ideal and something you didn't have from any other manufacturer or OS vendor at the time. But that's where the problem was: MS and all OEMs saw Tablet PCs as niche systems meant for business, and they marketed and priced them that way. Since they lacked the audience, they lacked the apps. Apple saw tablets as consumption devices for the consumer, and they won that side of the bet, for pretty obvious reasons (size, price, usability).

      So you'll forgive me if I don't seem to remember this history you're painting where forum nerds everywhere rushed to the defense of Tablet PCs. It was really quite the opposite.

      • Remember the netbook ? The ones that ran Linux ? The ones that was a huge sucess with screen sizes of 7 and 9 inches ?

        Then Microsoft came and got everyone to agree that a netbook has to have a 10 inch screen. And it killed netbook making them
        small cheap notebooks. Now the pads is the netbook option once more and without a keyboard.

        So everyone could have seen this coming - if they bothered to look and see what it was that got the consumer to fuss about the smaller 7 and 9 inch netbooks.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        But that's where the problem was: MS and all OEMs saw Tablet PCs as niche systems meant for business, and they marketed and priced them that way. Since they lacked the audience, they lacked the apps. Apple saw tablets as consumption devices for the consumer, and they won that side of the bet, for pretty obvious reasons (size, price, usability).

        I think it might have been the other way around, to get the necessary touchscreen and horsepower it ended up in a business class price. Remember back in 2002 when Microsoft launched their first tablet desktops were still outselling laptops 3:1 and both were pricey while your phone was dumb as fuck. That your average consumer would buy a tablet as a second computer was unthinkable. Today it's a whole different ballgame when you can get the trifecta of a smartphone, tablet and laptop for under a grand. An and

  • by organgtool (966989) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @07:03PM (#40911203)

    We think that Microsoft’s launch of its own-brand products is negative for the whole PC industry.

    Is it really a negative "for the whole PC industry" or just a negative for Acer and the other OEM partners?

    The company is reportedly considering whether or not they want to keep relying on Microsoft's software products.

    And do what? Write their own OS and take on Microsoft head-to-head? Release only products with Linux on them? I love Linux, but let's be realistic. Acer obviously isn't happy about Microsoft's entry into the hardware side of tablets, but they have few other options, so they will whine about it and continue selling Microsoft products all the while.

  • The best open source office suite is a decade behind MS, the best linux distro is still a headache for nerds let alone normal people, tons of peripherals like printers act pants on head retarded or flat out crash the print server, and never mind you cant even force people from XP to a newer version of windows let alone something that's going to break all their shit.

    so seriously

    "The company is reportedly considering whether or not they want to keep relying on Microsoft's software products."

    What are you going

    • by oakgrove (845019)

      The best open source office suite is a decade behind MS, the best linux distro is still a headache for nerds let alone normal people, tons of peripherals like printers act pants on head retarded or flat out crash the print server, and never mind you cant even force people from XP to a newer version of windows let alone something that's going to break all their shit.

      As unthinkable as it once seemed, a consumer computing product has set a precedent for an alternative to what MS offers. I'm not saying the iPad would suffice as a full-time replacement for a laptop for most people but it doesn't do any of the things you mentioned yet many people use them a lot more than their Windows computers. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch for people to just simply not upgrade their laptops and start buying alternative OS devices.

      What are you going to replace it with, that wont drive away normal, average, everyday customers?

      Little crappy Linpus gave Microsoft the devil for

  • MS is making their own Windows8 driven tablets, huh?

    If I were an OEM, I'd just passively ignore that for a time. Win8 might be passably usable on a tablet, but does anyone think MS can take any significant marketshare from the iPad? Besides that, tablets as consumer devices are bound to fail, present hype notwithstanding.

    But when my OEM Windows distribution contract comes up for renewal, I'd demand that I can put whatever OS i want on any of my hardware, since MS decided to compete with me directly by mak

  • If I was Acer, I'd be very quietly talking to Valve right now. Valve's recent Linux investments look like one of the first serious efforts to completely streamline the Linux hardware experience. If they can finally be the ones to kick the video/sound compatibility and performance problems, even to an Apple style 'this hardware approved' level it would make them an interesting partner for a hardware vendor. If Acer spends the next twelve months on a very heavy and quiet investment into something like OpenOff

  • by Junta (36770) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:32PM (#40912303)

    When you don't own your stack, your 'partner' can quickly become your competitor. Google has a long way to go to get there, but maybe a decade from now partners in Android may find themselves in an awkward position too. It is always possible to take the platform and go home if Google goes against your interests, but the result is fragmentation.

    Of course, the challenge would be for all the vendors to competently participate in an endeavor like Debian (i.e. a project that while coherent with neutral governance with a nearly zero chance of *ever* getting the ambition to compete commercially with current-day 'partners'), which seems unlikely.

  • by holophrastic (221104) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @08:46PM (#40912507)

    Microsoft gave Acer the last three years to come up with a consumer tablet. And Acer didn't. Sure they made one or two, but those weren't anything ipad-competitive, and Acer didn't market them at all.

    So after this many years of the iPad being basically the only marketed tablet, I can respect Microsoft's choice to step up. . .since no one else seems willing to do so.

    And yes, in order to do so itself, microsoft needs to make the entire solution, and market the entire solution, and take all of the risk, and force the start screen, and everything else that may be required to compete with the iPad.

    And if those tablets are relatively successful, Microsoft will turn it back to Acer-like partners. And if those tablets are very successful, Microsoft will rightfully keep things for itself. And if they fail entirely, then Acer will be right.

    It's that simple.

    So next time, Acer, try to actually innovate products yourself, instead of yelling at those who try. And stop complaining when someone steps forward to do something that you specifically avoided doing yourself.

    • by oakgrove (845019) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @10:05PM (#40913429)

      Microsoft gave Acer the last three years to come up with a consumer tablet. And Acer didn't.

      How did Acer have three years to come up with a tablet for Microsoft with no OS from them to run on it? Windows 7 on a tablet in the face of the iPad is doomed. What good would throwing money down a hole, e.g., marketing something like that against the iPad have done?

      So after this many years of the iPad being basically the only marketed tablet, I can respect Microsoft's choice to step up. . .since no one else seems willing to do so.

      Microsoft are "stepping up" because they think they have something now that actually has a chance. How do you expect Acer would have gotten Windows 8 from 2 years ago? A time machine?

      And if those tablets are relatively successful, Microsoft will turn it back to Acer-like partners.

      Do you think Acer won't be making Windows 8 tablets from day one? They are locked out of WinRT tablets but that doesn't have anything to do with the x86 version. There is nothing for MS to "turn over" unless you are referring to the aforementioned WinRT stuff and if you think that's going to do anything against the iPad you need to ask HP who refused to even try to compete with ARM Windows because they know better.

      So next time, Acer, try to actually innovate products yourself, instead of yelling at those who try. And stop complaining when someone steps forward to do something that you specifically avoided doing yourself.

      Again, how the hell was Acer supposed to make a touch screen Windows and accompanying ecosystem? Steal the source code and work on it themselves? None of what you are saying makes a lick of sense.

      And if you try to come back talking about their Android efforts I'm going to laugh at you as you led with "MS gave Acer three years" which doesn't have a good goddamned thing to do with Android.

  • by knorthern knight (513660) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @09:41PM (#40913143)

    The following may come across as paranoid, but here goes. This is what I think Microsoft's plan is. I'm not guranteeing it'll succeed, but it's what they want.

    * MS has not been able to beat linux in the server room. There's a lot of big bucks in corporate software.

    * The problem is that PC's are open architecture, and MS can't stop corporations from running linux on a PC.

    * They'd love to follow the Sony game console example and lock out other operating systems from Intel/AMD hardware, but they would run into anti-trust problems. The most they can do is ask OEM's to default to signed UEFI boot on motherboards, with a "legacy boot" option available in the machine setup.

    * However, on the ARM platform "everybody does it", so MS has no anti-trust problems demanding that ARM Windows machines be signed UEFI boot only.

    * So they bring out Windows 8, which will be deliberately horrible on desktops, but optimized for tablets.

    * Tablet sales will take off, and "economies of scale" will kick in, pushing prices down. PC Desktop sales will crash and "economies of scale" will disappear. The price of an Intel/AMD "workstation" will shoot up to $4 K or thereabouts.

    * Most people who need a desktop will find it cheaper to emulate a "desktop" by plugging in an external monitor/keyboard/mouse to an ARM tablet.

    * Since the ARM Windows tablets will be locked down with signed UEFI boot only, they can't be re-purposed as linux machines.

    * MS will probably also set up their machines so that apps can only be bought from an app store where they charge a fee for each app loaded. Good-bye OpenOffice for Windows, etc.

    * Don't be surprised if MS follows Sony's example, and lobbies to get unlocked ARM PC's outlawed.

    Somewhere, former US senator Fritz Hollings will be smiling.

  • Than try selling linux systems. Seriously Apple has done this since day one. They are usually called beautifully designed, innovative etc etc. Not saying MS is likely to match Apple in design but as long as MS continues to make most of their money on selling software their is no worries of them having a product of their own. It just might be the next Zune.

  • by Deathlizard (115856) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @10:35PM (#40913715) Homepage Journal

    If you want to beat Surface. Make a better tablet. Make it as thin or thinner, or make it cheaper, or target a different market (7in tablet for Windows 8)

    Frankly, Surface is what WIndows 8 Tablet needs. It's a well designed thin and light desktop replacement tablet, and If it's under $1000 it'll fly off shelves.

    As for Windows RT Surface. I'm pretty sure MS is making that cause not one OEM wants to touch RT with a 10 foot pole. A Crippled Windows 8 lookalike of Windows Phone 8 is just going to piss off consumers.

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