New Microsoft tablet worries Acer

At least one of Microsoft's hardware partners is concerned about the company introducing its own competing device.

By Benzinga Aug 8, 2012 6:24PM

By Louis Bedigian

Microsoft (MSFT) hopes to turn its first tablet, Surface, into a successful competitor to Apple's (AAPL) iPad. However, Windows PC and tablet manufacturer Acer fears that the Surface could also have a detrimental effect on its prized industry.

"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," Acer spokesman Henry Wang said in an interview with Bloomberg. "We think that Microsoft's launch of its own-brand products is negative for the whole PC industry." (Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)

According to Mashable, the spokesman's comments follow an earlier statement from Acer CEO JT Wang, who referred to the tablet as a device that is "negative for the whole PC industry."

"We have said [to Microsoft] think it over," Wang told The Financial Times. "Think twice. It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice."

These men are not the only Acer employees concerned about Microsoft's decision to manufacture its own tablet. Campbell Kan, head of Acer's PC global operations, asked The Financial Times, "What should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?"

In June, Benzinga reached out to some of Microsoft's biggest PC partners to get their take on the new tablet. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) declined to comment while Dell (DELL) maintained a positive outlook on the situation.

"We remain a committed partner of Microsoft and are continuing to develop a full slate of Windows 8 products," a Dell spokeswoman told Benzinga.

If Acer and Dell are willing to share their thoughts on Surface (no matter how restrained), what should investors make of HP's silence? Are corporations more likely to speak up when they are excited or disappointed?

Whatever the case, Trip Chowdhry, the managing director of Equity Research at Global Equities Research, said that Microsoft's partners have recourse. "Their recourse is to do better than Microsoft," he told Benzinga after Surface was unveiled.

More from Benzinga
Aug 8, 2012 7:38PM
Maybe if Acer, Dell or HP showed they could make a competing Android tablet Microsoft wouldn't have to make Surface devices. Sure sounds like sour grapes. Nokia and Samsung have viable competing smart phoens and tablets and they're not complaining. Bye, bye Acer the free lunch is over.
Aug 9, 2012 12:44PM

Acer: "It is not something you are good at so please think twice."


Well, Acer, it's for sure not something that YOU are good at either, and you have a well proven track record for being not good at it.


I'll take my chance with 'unknown with potential' over 'known and crappy'.



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