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Acer doubts its software partner Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) can rival Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the tablet market and says the Windows maker will be better off focusing efforts on software development. Acer is the world’s fourth largest PC maker.
Oliver Ahrens, Acer’s senior VP and president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Reuters that Microsoft was simply trying to copy Apple’s strategy, but would not succeed. “I don’t think it will be successful because you cannot be a hardware player with two products,” Ahrens 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 wants,” he added.
Last week, Microsoft announced its tablet, Surface, to take on Apple’s iPad and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices.
Ahrens was also worried that this new move into hardware from Microsoft will force the company to take resources off from making sure that Windows 8 is a big success. “Instead of enhancing the user experience for Win 8 (…) they open a new battlefield,” he said. “I worry that this will lead into a defocus internally for Microsoft, and then we have to suffer because we are working with their products.”
Ahrens said Windows 8 was “extremely important” for Acer, which is planning to launch four or five devices alongside the new operating system’s release. He added that the Taiwan-based company was expecting a 50 percent rise in revenue in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region in this second quarter, though the next period may be tougher. “Q3 will be more challenging because it’s a transition quarter from Windows 7 to Windows 8,” he said.
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