News

Acer Reportedly Seeking Price Assurances on Microsoft Surface

PC-maker Acer is consulting with Microsoft after Redmond's announcement that it is building its own Surface tablets running Windows 8, according to a news report.

The news isn't surprising, but it was attributed to J.T. Wang, chairman and CEO of Acer Inc., in a Digitimes story. On Thursday, Wang reportedly said that Acer doesn't fear the competition with Microsoft, but it "only wishes to understand the new rules of the game, and so will continue to try to communicate with Microsoft to understand the situation."

Microsoft unveiled its line of Surface tablet machines on June 19. Some of its hardware partners building Windows 8 PCs, including Acer, were taken by surprise and were not made aware of the Surface project until its debut.

Wang suggested that Microsoft is considering "creating a price gap to minimize the negative impact on other vendors' product lineups," according to the Digitimes story. At the $499 to $599 price range for a Surface device, the effect would be less severe on partners, according to the story.

Microsoft hasn't announced pricing for Surface, which is being launched on two hardware platforms. The Windows RT version of Surface supporting ARM components is expected to be available when Windows 8 is launched on October 26. Surface Pro, the Windows 8 version based on x86 components, is planned for launch three months later.

The fact that Wang apparently does not know what Microsoft is planning to charge for Surface at this point, two months before launch, shows the difficulties that PC makers face when Microsoft acts as both supplier and competitor.

Wang has publicly criticized Microsoft's move into the tablet hardware space. He reportedly has said that Microsoft should "think twice" about producing its own hardware, saying that "it will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction." Wang suggested that Acer could abandon the Windows platform as a result.

Microsoft has acknowledged the potential harm in a 10-K Form filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. That form states that "our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our [Windows] platform."

Original equipment manufacturers that have indicated forthcoming Windows 8 products include Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba, based on June Computex announcements.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

comments powered by Disqus

Reader Comments:

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 SANDY India

In India Acer already sells most PCs and Laptops without Windows pre-installed. And in some cases even without an OS altogether. Their OS of choice is Linux and it's variants or in some cases PC-DOS (yes that is not a typo and I haven't been smoking pot). So with all due respect, Mr. Wang can go ahead and continue to threaten Microsoft. It won't make a difference to the market ... and I bet Microsoft knows this already. Funny how an international perspective clears things up, isn't it?

Fri, Aug 10, 2012 Monopoly

Doesn't this sound like price fixing and collusion? Microsoft has shown what they got, if Acer wants to play in the ball game, they had better come up with a better one or similar one at a lower price. Stop whining that Microsoft screwed you. How did they screw you? By building a better widget than the folks who are supposed to be the experts? I'm kind of tired of Microsoft coming up with great ideas and manufacturers poo-pooing them because they don't think anyone would buy it. Everybody knows that Win8 loved touch, but how many new laptop models have touch display? Approximately 0% ! The manufacturers are just not trying to compete with Apple with the ultrabook devices, why isn't Apple trying to compete with PC devices?

Add Your Comment Now:

Your Name:(optional)
Your Email:(optional)
Your Location:(optional)
Comment:
Please type the letters/numbers you see above

Redmond Tech Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.