An executive at Acer has become one of the first representing a major PC maker to express a real opinion on Microsoft's Surface tablet plans. Reuters reports that Oliver Ahrens, Acer's senior VP and president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, is quoted as saying, "I don't think it will be successful because you cannot be a hardware player with two products."
Ahrens added Microsoft's situation was different than Apple's, which has always made its own hardware and has never licensed its operating system to other PC makers. He said, "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 want. Microsoft is a component of a PC system. A very important component but still a component."
The Surface tablet could caused Microsoft to shift the focus away from supporting Windows 8 to third party PC makers, according to Ahrens, He added. " ... we have to suffer because we are working with their products."
Acer, which is the fourth largest PC maker in the world (behind HP, Lenovo and Dell), will still release about four, maybe five, products for the Windows 8 launch later this year. Ahrens said that Windows 8 is still "extremely important" to Acer.
Earlier this week, the retired founder of Acer, Stan Shih, expressed the opinion that Microsoft has no real intention of entering the hardware market. He added the Surface tablet, announced on Monday, is just a ploy by the company to help encourage other hardware companies to make Windows 8 and Windows RT hardware and that Microsoft will pull out of the tablet market when that happens.