Feeds

Acer big cheese: Microsoft Surface sales will be 'superficial'

Redmond bite will inflict only minor wound on us

Business security measures using SSL

Microsoft Surface tablets

Microsoft Surface: No competitive threat, says Acer

Acer EMEA boss Oliver Ahrens has brushed aside Microsoft's foray into the tablet market, dismissing the Surface as a competitive threat.

Last week the covers were lifted off the Surface, a 10.6 inch devices, based on ARM and Intel platforms.

"Microsoft still has a big agenda for improving the user touch experience on Windows 8 and we hope this approach does not defocus them, but from a competitive point of view we are not concerned, not a bit," said Ahrens.

He took the helm of the PC maker's EMEA operation last year amid a significant changing of the guard as the firm tried to get a hold on its inventory issues and return to profits.

Ahrens told The Channel that later this year Acer is launching a portfolio of hardware that will run on Win 8 already – tablets, ultrabooks and clamshell notebooks – and reckons Microsoft should stick to its knitting too.

Microsoft in 'complex situation'

Distributors have yet to be informed if they will get access to the Surface but several assume they will - at least that is what they told us.

Asked if Microsoft's stab at fondleslabs was due to a lack of confidence in the ability of PC makers to get the most out of the next-gen OS, Ahrens replied "could be", but he found this line of thinking "astonishing", given Acer's line-up.

"If Microsoft doubts that [OEM] partners can do that job that is fine. I think they are in quite a complex situation because they are suppliers and partners for all the PC vendors, and [now] they have their own hardware," he added.

He said Acer has placed its chips behind Windows 8 with "products for every client [type]" despite not yet knowing which SKUs will be the biggest sellers.

And the reason for the relaxed attitude to Microsoft's Surface – at least publicly – is that the PC vendor does not anticipate many being sold due to the price tag, which Microsoft has not yet confirmed but which Acer has estimated.

"Like our [Iconia] W700 [Ivy Bridge Windows 8 tablet] it will have a price of €800, so from a pricing point of view it's a premium segment," said Ahrens.

Office out of the box

Last week, DigiTimes claimed that Taiwanese contract manufacturer Pegatron is building the Surface – with the Ivy Bridge model reported to be above $799 and the ARM-powered Windows RT above $599.

The build quality of the Surface is "impressive", said Tim Coulling, analyst at Canalys, but he suspects that Microsoft had paid for this development, which would be reflected in a high buy price.

"RT will compete with the iPad and Android devices and will be priced higher which may make it struggle... Microsoft could be on dangerous ground because the market has told us that if prices are high there has to be a round of cuts before it sells out".

Both the HP TouchPad and RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook were subject to massive price reductions before they started to shift, and it seems only Apple is able to command a premium.

Coulling said the extent of the danger was dependent on the volumes that Microsoft orders Pegatron to build.

He said Microsoft was putting its weight behind the device, offering "Office out of the box", but questioned if there was any consumer demand for that group of softwares on a tablet. He pointed out:

"It [Office] has never been on an iPad; there are plenty of alternatives out there that are cheaper."

According to Canalys market share numbers for 2011, Apple accounts for more than 71 per cent of tablet sales, Samsung had an 8 per cent share and Acer had a 4.4 per cent slice.

Microsoft declined to comment. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears
RIP 2001 – 2014. MP3 player beloved of millions. Killed by cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.