Acer founder claims Microsoft will pull out of tablet market

Is the whole Surface tablet launch from Microsoft just a ruse to get others to enter the Windows 8 business? That's what the founder of Acer, Stan Shih, said in an interview. According to Digitimes, Shih said that in his opinion, Microsoft has no intention of entering the hardware market and that the Surface tablet is just a ploy by the company.

Shih, who retired from Acer in 2004 after forming it in 1976, believes that Microsoft wants to see other hardware vendors offer Windows 8 tablets. In fact, he believes that other PC makers should be encouraged by Microsoft's move as they will benefit from the company's marketing power.

Once more PC makers enter the Windows 8 tablet market, Shih says that Microsoft will pull out of the hardware sector. He also says that selling hardware is much less profitable for Microsoft than licensing software to other companies.

Shih's argument sounds a little bit like the reaction some people in the game industry had when the original Xbox was revealed in 2000. Some also claimed that the Xbox was just a ruse in order to shake up one of Microsoft's big rivals Sony. In the end, Microsoft ended up with a highly successful hardware and software business with the Xbox.

Source: Digitimes

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Watch Microsoft's Windows Phone event live stream right here!

Next Story

Unlock your Galaxy S III with a simple application

43 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Weird that so many people think this is a BS story...

However if you look at the history of Microsoft hardware, this is EXACTLY what they do when they cannot get hardware MFRs to build in features they feel are important, and once it becomes 'common' from the imitation, then Microsoft drops out.

MS Windows Sound System, MS Digital Speakers, MS HD Video Cameras, on and on. Even the keyboard and Mouse lines is a constant change of features, and once the features are common the product is dropped (original mouse, wheel over PS/2 conntection/ optical tracking, ergonomic keyboard, etc.) The Zune hardware was also to influence other MFRs which didn't happen for PlaysForSure v2 and the features, but it did influence the market, output of 720p video in a media device, gorilla glass, 4 point multi-touch, etc.


Seriously, go find the Microsoft hardware timeline, and see that it introduced new concepts, and then as the features became common, they pulled out of competing.

The flip side to this is that there are features in the Microsoft Surface Tablets that NO other hardware vendor was willing to include that Microsoft thinks are important features to become common.

Which could be the new mold composite it is made from, or it could be the pressure keyboard with touch pad or something we haven't realized or been shown yet about the Surface tablets.

The keyboard with touchpad is important, as it reminds people that the devices are not limited to touch, and with the Pen, you can draw on the devices, and put your hand down, like TabletPCs, or hook up even a regular external mouse. These are things the current iPads will NEVER be able to offer or do.

This is certainly an interesting spin on the whole Microsoft Tablet issue, and I don't think it beyond the realms of possibility that Acer might be right!

...and as for everyone on Neowin who constantly bashes Acer products as being rubbish - maybe I'm the exception here, but I currently own 5 Acer Laptops, and an Acer Iconia Windows Tablet, and have had never had problems with any of them (and they get very hard and consistent use, as I'm a software developer!)... I'm sorry, but I personally can't fault Acer products!

I doubt it's a ruse but even if Microsoft pulled out later on and I had the money / need for a tablet, I still would never with a sound mind purchase an Acer tablet device - even if it shipped with Windows 8.

MS should really raise the quality bar of a Windows PC (or tablet in this case) higher than ever created by its hardware partners. That's how to truly compete with iPad.

mahara said,
MS should really raise the quality bar of a Windows PC (or tablet in this case) higher than ever created by its hardware partners. That's how to truly compete with iPad.

That's where Surface Pro comes in. However, Ultrabooks aren't meant to compete with the iPad, but with the MacBook Air; and Surface Pro is a benchmark Ultrabook.

What is this obsession about pitting Intel (as opposed to NV Tegra/Qualcomm Snapdragon, and ARM) against the SAMSUNG A9 in the iPad? Does Intel make a CPU that competes in the same space as even ARM or Tegra? Atom certainly can't (poor battery life - that's why it has problems in the netbook space today).

PGHammer said,
That's where Surface Pro comes in. However, Ultrabooks aren't meant to compete with the iPad, but with the MacBook Air; and Surface Pro is a benchmark Ultrabook.

Yes, that's what I meant.

Windows PCs released by MS hardware partners are always subpar in terms of DESIGN QUALITY compared to any MacBook (Pro/Air)/i(Pad/Phone) hardware released by Apple. It's a very effective way to downgrade design quality standards of a Windows PC/tablet. There would be no WOW factor there.

MS should take over this situation by setting an example to its hardware partners on how to do the things RIGHT. Hopefully, it would completely change the situation with the introduction of Surface.

I think alot of people need to get over this idea that Surface must destroy the ipad. Even if it does not seel as much as an Ipad that does not mean it should not have been put out.

I'm really glad companies are putting out new devices instead of just packing it in leaving us with only apple devices.

I don't think Microsoft wanted to get into the market in the first place. They had no choice, though, because all the OEMs (inspired by their PC lines) pump out mediocre garbage.

So far pretty much everyone failed with tablets (except the iPad), I don't see MS being very successful either. Maybe they'll steal a bit of market share from the Kindle Fire and other Android tablet but people want an iPad because it's an iPad

The biggest difference is that Windows 8 is actually a decent tablet OS, whereas Android tablets are pretty much oversized phones. Whether it will be enough is unknown but it all depends on how much Microsoft puts into it. Without the proper advertising or support it is destined to tank.

MS has said that they don't expect to make much off of Surface hardware, but on the other hand the money is going to come from selling software through the store (just like selling software on the Xbox makes that system money in the end).

Maybe they won't come out with a flood of new models as much as other OEMs do, giving them a chance to step up their game, but they don't have to. In the end the Surface will just be 2 more tablets in a larger group that we'll see later this year and next.

I think Microsoft was scared they would just be releasing crap Android tablets running WinRT.

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

ryuh3d said,
I think Microsoft was scared they would just be releasing crap Android tablets running WinRT.

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.


Running Android and Windows RT? Confused.

Edited by Ryster, Jun 20 2012, 3:00pm :

TCLN Ryster said,

Running Android and Windows RT? Confused.

what he meant was taking existing android tablet hardware and pushing WOA on it and not even careing if it works right

I think he is right in a way. The whole point of surface is spur computer hardware manufactures to innovate. Something very few of them were doing to a great degree. Look at what intel had to do.

Exactly. If Intel hadn't pushed ahead with SSDs then everyone would still be using mechanical hard drives. Microsoft has a poor record of supporting hardware, with the Zune being one of the highest profile examples.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Exactly. If Intel hadn't pushed ahead with SSDs then everyone would still be using mechanical hard drives. Microsoft has a poor record of supporting hardware, with the Zune being one of the highest profile examples.

With the Xbox being one of the highest profile examples of their good record of supporting hardware. Zune wasn't supported for long because it wasn't overly popular and because they couldn't topple Apple.

TCLN Ryster said,

With the Xbox being one of the highest profile examples of their good record of supporting hardware. Zune wasn't supported for long because it wasn't overly popular and because they couldn't topple Apple.

For all the crap Zune gets do people realize the Zune brand was supported for almost 6 years? And still if you buy a Zune today software works the device works fine etc. So I'm not sure why the Zune is used as an example of bad support.

The Zune was a good device even though it did not sell like wildfire they still supported the brand for over 5 years.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Exactly. If Intel hadn't pushed ahead with SSDs then everyone would still be using mechanical hard drives. Microsoft has a poor record of supporting hardware, with the Zune being one of the highest profile examples.

The Zune was unable to be a proper *benchmark* music player; besides, we all know what became the *benchmark* music player - Apple's iPod.

Microsoft in terms of hardware is about quality hardware that is *affordable* - Apple's iPod set that benchmark (in the eyes of customers) better than any other offering - including Zune. As good as the Zune was, it (in the eyes of customers) was no iPod - despite it being better than most other non-Apple players out there.

I don't doubt MS is looking to shake up the market but if it's successful, why stop? XBox anyone? I think MS has a 'if you want it done right then do it yourself' mentality with Surface. OEMs have to step up their game if this thing is as good as it looks.

LOL Acer hardware sucks, Microsoft wouldn't put this much time and research into something if they were just going to pull out of the market. This guy is an idiot.

Chris123NT said,
LOL Acer hardware sucks, Microsoft wouldn't put this much time and research into something if they were just going to pull out of the market. This guy is an idiot.

it wouldn't actually surprise me.
MS has a HUGE R&D department, vast amounts of money flow in there. Compared to what they do there, this Surface tablet is nothing.
Its actually a good tactic from MS. They are able to create such a device without much trouble for not TO much costs (its rather cheap for an i5 tablet) able to create a stunning device to set the standards for the hardware manufacturers. Big chance indeed that if the others step up and produce similar or better devices. MS will pull out of the market, as this project is then complete. provide a GOOD device.
Altho its just a guess and I can see Shih's view on this. But also really doubt it. MS can produce hardware. No trouble there. They have plenty of money and partners

Chris123NT said,
Microsoft wouldn't put this much time and research into something if they were just going to pull out of the market.

Wouldnt be the first time.

sanctified said,

Wouldnt be the first time.

No, it would not be although this strategy was very successful in the past: does anybody remember MS line of wireless routers?
They were excellent and helped to increase the popularity of such devices at the time.

Fritzly said,

No, it would not be although this strategy was very successful in the past: does anybody remember MS line of wireless routers?
They were excellent and helped to increase the popularity of such devices at the time.

They also had a basic *wired* router (it was, in fact, my first router of any sort - I still have it).

PGHammer said,

They also had a basic *wired* router (it was, in fact, my first router of any sort - I still have it).

True, I was enrolled in the Beta and all the devices had a very efficient, straightforward and simple Setup software; nowadays is different but at the time setting up a wireless connection was not so much a "Friendly" task for average users.

Translation: Acer founder hopes that Microsoft will pull out of tablet market as even less people will look at relatively crappy Acer hardware now.

BigBoy said,
Translation: Acer founder hopes that Microsoft will pull out of tablet market as even less people will look at relatively crappy Acer hardware now.

what he is trying to say is that Microsoft is just building the first device to get compete with the ipad.. after this first device they will not make a second.. They are not going to make the same mistake as windows phone and let their partners ruin the launch..

This will probably be Microsofts only tablet because the market with be flooded with windows 8 tablets in a year. This move is really helping their partners by creating more buzz for windows 8 tablets and getting people to start making apps.. This is a huge risk for Microsoft and one that their partners would most likely not want to take

BigBoy said,
Translation: Acer founder hopes that Microsoft will pull out of tablet market as even less people will look at relatively crappy Acer hardware now.

No joke but I have an Acer laptop, and I have never had a single problem with it. It's running Windows 8 RP currently. Then again, it just sits there on my desk/couch/coffee table. I don't really travel with it anywhere or use it hardcore like you might. I really though Compaq were the junk computers...