Acer president: Jury is still out on success of Windows 8

We have heard pretty conflicting reports on the sales of Windows 8 PCs so far. Dell CEO Michael Dell said earlier this month there was a lot of interest in Microsoft's latest OS, but Fujitsu President Masami Yamamoto has said interest in Windows 8 has been "weak" for their company and blamed it for the company's lowered sales predictions of its own PCs.

Acer president Jim Wong, in a new interview with Digitimes, says that his company still has a "wait and see" attitude for Windows 8. He points out that the OS didn't officially launch until the end of October, which left little time for Acer and other PC makers to promote their new products. The article states, "Therefore, Acer is waiting for more representative figures before judging the market's acceptance of Windows 8."

One thing that Wong does see happening is a trend for notebooks to use touch screens. He claims that, according to Acer's own internal studies, people who use a touch screen-based notebook for more than 20 minutes will touch any notebook display they see, whether it is a touch screen or not. As a result, Acer says that touch screen notebook will become the mainstream solution in the next two to three years.

Source: Digitimes

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Alright cool, we'll see who was right in lets say 5 years from now. But FYI I'm not looking at my own experience. I've been using a Fujitsu tablet-PC since 2007 so I've always been a fan of touch and mobility. But I never saw the succes of the iPad comming (or the iPhone for that matter).

But the response from average consumers around me towards tablet (and yes primarily the iPad) has been very positive. I'm not talking about Apple fans but regular people who normally don't care about computers or tech in general. They're actually talking about it, they dont use it they are actuallty interested in it. And not just the young people but 50+ as well. In fact the iPad is the number 1 requested '40 years at the office' gift. Of course it coolness factor also has to do with it but they talk about how useful it is so I expect interest in tablets to only increase. And why not? If surfing the web and checking for emails/other updates is your primary use then tablets are perfect.

But it's always interesting to see who was right after a few years. I remember when I said the Xbox would be a huge succes because they were bringing PC genres such as shooters (Halo) and RPGs (Morrowind/KOTOR) to consoles and was laughed at. Of course I was only partly right because interest in the Xbox picked up after the release of the X360 but nevertheless Call of Duty and Skyrim are much bigger then classic console games such as platform and racing.

dvb2000 said,

I predict the opposite. People will drop their tablets when they realise what a compromise they are, and how awkward they are to use, and how limited their functionality is. The "apple" cool factor is what has made them a blip on the screen to date, and like ipods they will soon disappear into obscurity.

In case you aren't aware, Bill Gates has been promoting and predicting tablets would become popular for well over 10 years now, and has just seem them fail every time they were bought to market.

This time is no different, despite Microsoft trying to force a touch based O/S down everyones throat.

I have to agree, my nieces and nephews over the past few months (especially this past Christmas) have ditched and have expressed their desire to ditch their tablets. It all started when two of my nephews ditched their iPads a couple of months ago for Apple notebooks. Now my other nieces and nephews are looking to do the same "because" tablets are so "yesterday".

The tablets I have in the home hardly get used, and even then they are only used by the kids to play Angry Birds or to watch streaming movies when Mommy and Daddy refuses to watch a certain movie they want to watch.

dvb2000 said,

I predict the opposite. People will drop their tablets when they realise what a compromise they are, and how awkward they are to use, and how limited their functionality is. The "apple" cool factor is what has made them a blip on the screen to date, and like ipods they will soon disappear into obscurity.

In case you aren't aware, Bill Gates has been promoting and predicting tablets would become popular for well over 10 years now, and has just seem them fail every time they were bought to market.

This time is no different, despite Microsoft trying to force a touch based O/S down everyones throat.

I think iPods fell into obscurity because people upgraded to iPhones. That's just my opinion. I see no point in having an iPod and an iPhone (or any other smartphone).

so funny seeing acer backtrack.

first, the hard rice comments. then saying Microsoft doesn't know hardware. then saying the demand for windows 8 is low. then comes out and says the future of acer is windows 8 and touchscreen notebooks, then says we will wait for sales data to determine if there is demand for windows 8.

It blows my mind that there are manufacturers still making PC's without touch screens. These companies must have a death wish. Did they even try Windows 8 before they shipped their PC's?

Acer, Lenovo, and Dell seem to be the only manufacturers that really got it and shipped a decent number of touch screen PCs. Asus gets it too but failed to deliver their products to market. Really disappointed on that as the Transformer Book and Taichi look excellent.

Avatar Roku said,
It blows my mind that there are manufacturers still making PC's without touch screens.

Are you kidding?, no one is going to reach over a keyboard and a mouse to touch a screen on their desk.

I had a touchscreen maybe 10 years ago on my desktop, and I used it for maybe 5 minutes before realising how useless it was. They just don't work on a desktop (or a laptop for that matter).

They are designed for small screens like phones. They are even cumbersome to use on a tablet, but some people seem to like their portability, and the "coolness" factor when apple made the ipad. I suspect tablets will disappear (not become more popular) over the next few years as people realise their limitations and awkwardness (and admit their mistake in buying them).

Avatar Roku said,
It blows my mind that there are manufacturers still making PC's without touch screens. These companies must have a death wish. Did they even try Windows 8 before they shipped their PC's?

Touch on a desktop computer is a horrible story of ergonomics. This is a good example of needing to bring suitable UI concepts with the hardware.

To avoid having to reach forward to manipulate a touch screen on a computer with a keyboard that you usually lean back while you use it (because the keyboard is in the way), the focus should be on a touch pad or mouse, since it gives you the user interaction on a comfortable distance. For this kind of usage, Windows 7 or OS X with their desktop-oriented interfaces excel.

For phones and tablets which you interact with closer to your face, the display is already close enough for touch interaction, so everything's just fine there. For these devices, Windows 8 Phone, iOS, Android are all great options.

For a hybrid device where the keyboard can be detached, a hybrid OS like Windows 8 makes sense.

I personally don't feel that I should even have to explain this, it's that obvious to me.

Edited by Northgrove, Dec 29 2012, 9:28pm :

There is a scenario where touch on a desktop could be ergonomically acceptable - where the screen is not vertical but rather flat on the desktop or (better) at a slight inclination. This does open doors to innovative designers. Then again, this is an article about Acer.

dvb2000 said,
Are you kidding?, no one is going to reach over a keyboard and a mouse to touch a screen on their desk.

Of course not, that is silly. But you're imagining an office, hardware systems, and applications where touch is not necessary. But touch can perform an operation simply impossible with Mouse and keyboard: multiple simultaneous input... aka multitouch.

Applications, operating systems, hardware systems, and indeed workspaces will evolve in incorporate this. If a task critical to my job uses a multitouch interface, I'll be the one saying "Why the hell would I want to move away from my monitor to a mouse and keyboard when I can just touch my screen?"

windows store near me only has touch sony and acer laptops. the sony one is sucky but acer has nice ultra books there.

I got a Samsung smartpc a week ago for Christmas and I love it. If the other oems step up and actually put good quality and good looking hardware out for reasonable prices they'd see more success in the market. It doesn't help at all that you don't see many of these new devices out there yet. Something I expect to change as time goes by.

Windows 8, its not Windows 7 for the desktop, and its not Windows Phone 7 for the tablet. As a user of Win 7, Win 8 and Win Phone 7, I can happily say Win 8 is the OS makes you want to kill your brain and all its logic because Win 8 just hurts it.

Orange Battery said,
Windows 8, its not Windows 7 for the desktop, and its not Windows Phone 7 for the tablet. As a user of Win 7, Win 8 and Win Phone 7, I can happily say Win 8 is the OS makes you want to kill your brain and all its logic because Win 8 just hurts it.

Could you give an example? I was able to explain how to use Windows 8 to my 12 year old nephew in 10 minutes. I'm not saying you're stupid but I fail to see how Windows 8 can seem so illogical to some. Is it the way the desktop is implemented? That was the only thing I personally had any difficulty with.

Once I started seeing it as a seperate app to launch legacy applications instead of a part of Windows 8 the whole of Win8 suddenly made sense. I now consider the desktop app similar to DOS-mode for Windows 98.

Ronnet said,

Could you give an example? I was able to explain how to use Windows 8 to my 12 year old nephew in 10 minutes.

do you nephew learned how to configure windows?, do you nephew know how to download and install and uninstall a game?. Or, are you saying that "i know how to use windows" = navigate between pre-installed applications

Brony said,

Or, are you saying that "i know how to use windows" = navigate between pre-installed applications

This is pretty much what the majority of Windows users know how to do.

Brony said,

do you nephew learned how to configure windows?, do you nephew know how to download and install and uninstall a game?. Or, are you saying that "i know how to use windows" = navigate between pre-installed applications

He actually does know how to install applications and not just in the easy Windows 8 way but also via the old desktop install wizards. Of course he doesnt know the advanced configurations of Windows 8 but neither does he of Windows 7.

But when I said he knows how to use Windows 8 I was mainly talking about navigating the UI, switching between apps, changing settings, using the other charms and basically understanding the interface.

But that was in response to Orange Battery's comment about Windows 8 being illogical. I disagree with this but I also find that Windows 8's interface is easy to explain to someone else if this person has hardly any preconceived notions on how an OS is supposed to be. He is growing up with Windows on his father's PC, iOS on his mother's tablet and Android on his sister's phone. So for him Windows 8's different UI isn't a big deal.

Dear Mr. Wong,
Why prolong the agonizing uncertainty. Just declare Windows-8 as a "misfire" for laptops and proceed accordingly. Let the tablet makers "duke it out" with Windows-8.

I can attest to the touchscreen thing. My children touch every screen now and I have to remind them when it's not a touchscreen.

Also, touch on laptops is great for occasional use. It's not a replacement for the mouse if you're a heavy mouse user, however.

I can't understand how someone who hates Microsoft products so much is commenting in every single article about them. Seriously. You like Macs? Perfect! Go to Macrumors, not Neowin.

I can actually understand why someone who hates Microsoft comments every single article, maybe he use to love Microsoft before, maybe he complained a lot about Windows 8 when it was in beta and no one listen to him/her, I think there are people like me, but I did not switch to Mac, not yet, just Upgraded from Crap 8 to Windows 7.

The problem with the OEMs (in UK at least)is that they had little fresh kit to sell. Folks want touch-enabled laptops and tablets - the OEMs had old Win7 kit. No brainer on Win8 sales until they get their logistics sorted.

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