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Acer Begs Microsoft To Come Clean on Surface

Of all the PC OEMs (and there are far fewer than there used to be), Acer is the one making all the noise about Microsoft's Surface plans. At one point early on I remember the Taiwanese company threatening to not build Windows 8 machines in response to Microsoft's plans. Like that would ever happen.

That'd be as crazy as Friendly's not making ice cream.

Later on, Acer backed down and said it had plans to, yes, make Windows 8 machines.

Most recently it reportedly tried to get Microsoft to disclose what it planned to charge for its Surface machines so Acer could figure out how exactly it would position (price) its units. Reports had it that Microsoft wasn't forthcoming.

One reader commented this way:

 "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 Win 8 loved touch, but how many new laptop models have touch display? Approximately 0 percent !"

My take? Acer having years in the OEM space and massive factories in Taiwan (and an equally massive worldwide supply chain) should have a massive advantage over Microsoft. The only exception is that Microsoft doesn't have to pay for the OS and could, perhaps, design more tightly around what the OS does. I don't know, do we then call it even? You tell me at

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/13/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 Tom

My only concern, as a vendor like Acer - okay, like HP, Lenovo, et. al. - would be will Microsoft pull the rug out from under us and not even let us produce for that OS? Apple would have done that if they ever let anyone produce a self-branded device in the first place. Acer, well they have much bigger concerns as already stated....

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 Sparky669 CT

Call it even. Microsoft like Apple won't "make" the hardware, they will have some OEM produce it for them. The "cost" will be probably be more than Acer's cost so the difference would probably be negligible.

Tue, Aug 14, 2012 Michael Michigan

Microsoft must do more than just get into hardware. With Microsoft Research, they have a very innovative group. Get rid of their bell curves and forced rankings, quit trying to protect "Windows", and don't be afraid to cannibalize their own products before someone else does. They also need to understand, people have expectations of elegance in their experiences. It's time for big changes, including leadership.

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 TheManRetired

Way to go Microsoft. I would rather buy a complete system from Microsoft without all the bloat than from the crybaby's that have to cripple a system and make me spent at least two hours cleaning all the crapware they put into it out so it is usable. I hope Microsoft's Surface takes off real good and takes over the tablet world.

Mon, Aug 13, 2012

Ballmer committed to a level playing field with respect to OS royalties. See

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 Sarbjit Singh

Well said Doug !! GO Microsoft !!

Mon, Aug 13, 2012

Basically, GO MICROSOFT! It's about time MS looked at the computerworld around it especially the OEMs it deals with to see that they are NOT stepping up to the plate to produce innovative hardware. I have been looking at PCs recently to purchase one and all I really see is the same old, same old. Apple at least tries to break out of the box and try new things. Glad to see MS doing the same!

Mon, Aug 13, 2012

Maybe Acer should have done what Lenovo did and come out with what looks to be a compelling tablet. I for one am probably going to buy a ThinkPad 2 as it will have everything I need, know it will have a good build, and also will have a ThinkPad keyboard dock (with a TrackPoint) which is the easiest way sans mouse, sans touch, to navigate Windows 8. I was going to wait for a Surface, but think will jump on ThinkPad 2. They have always built the best laptops.

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 Larry Cleveland, OH

The guys at Acer should know that it is a felony to fix prices and that only an idiot would respond to Acer's request. This story is so dumb that it can't be real.

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 DaveN

Acer is the model for why Microsoft needs to produce their own hardware. Poor build quality, loaded with crapware, horrible service. I'm glad Microsoft has finally taken the initiative to produce quality, innovative hardware that users will enthusiastically embrace - it's about time they stopped giving up this whole market to Apple.

Mon, Aug 13, 2012 mcpetty AZ

Acer sucks as a company anyway. All they seem to produce is junk that falls apart just after the warranty.

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