Acer CEO criticises Microsoft’s decision to manufacture own tablets

7 Aug 2012

The risk Microsoft knowingly runs with launching its own brand of tablet computers is burning bridges with its hardware partners. The backlash has now begun with Acer chair and CEO JT Wang warning Microsoft against entering a market it’s not familiar with.

“It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction,” said Wang, according to The Financial Times. “It is not something you are good at so please think twice,” he cautioned Microsoft.

Wang’s comments are likely too late to have any real impact, as Microsoft is preparing to ship the new Surface devices alongside the launch of Windows 8 on 26 October. But with manufacturers apparently caught off guard by Microsoft’s decision to develop its own hardware, the Acer chief never really had an earlier chance to voice his concerns.

The fears of Microsoft’s manufacturing partners have probably been increasing since Microsoft’s Frank X Shaw recently described Surface as a “new family of PCs”, which implies there could be more to come, and the tech giant is also producing its own peripherals for Windows 8 computers.

As our own John Kennedy has pointed out, the release of its own hardware running on Windows 8 should convince other manufacturers to smarten up their Microsoft products to compete, but the approach may alienate some of Microsoft’s key partners.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic