Acer Founder: Microsoft Should Stick With Software

While Americans were shooting off fireworks (or shotguns) in their driveways on Wednesday, Acer founder Stan Shih was firing off comments about Microsoft entering the tablet business first-hand... again. Apparently he's still not thrilled with the Windows giant entering the hardware sector, and rightfully so: Microsoft essentially has become its chief competitor when it comes to Windows 8-based gadgets.

"I think Microsoft's getting involved in the hardware business is designed to promote its Windows 8 [operating system]," he said, echoing a similar comment made back in June. "But I sincerely recommend they withdraw from the hardware market when they get what they want."

Shih went on to say that Microsoft shouldn't be competing with hardware manufacturers who are also their business partners. "I think they will consider and decide the best solution for themselves," he said.

Shih made his comments while speaking about a sluggish personal computer sector that has been impacted by the growing tablet market over the last several years. Yet despite the competitive form factor, Shih stressed that Acer's laptops will still have their place on the market even though tablets are biting into laptop sales as well.

"For students, laptops with keyboards will still be the best choice," Shih said.

Shih's comments about Microsoft arrive after Bill Gates backed the company's plans to produce its own Windows 8 tablets earlier this week. "I actually believe you can have the best of both worlds," he said during an interview with Charlie Rose Monday night. "You can have a rich eco-system of manufacturers and you can have a few signature devices that show off, wow, what's the difference between a tablet and a PC?"

As previously reported, Surface will arrive in two flavors: x86-based featuring Windows 8 Pro, and ARM-based using Windows RT. It will feature a unique cover that also serves as a super-thin keyboard, and go head to head with other Windows 8 tablets manufactured by HP, Dell, Asus, Lenovo and others. Yet due to the keyboard peripheral, consumers may opt out of a notebook and go with the Surface tablet instead -- a factor that Acer's Shih likely dreads.

But many partners are reportedly bailing out of the Windows RT boat, one of which is HP who confirmed rumors at the end of June. "The decision to go with x86 was influenced by input from our customers," HP spokesperson Marlene Somsak wrote in an e-mail to Bloomberg. "The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future."

Previously sources indicated that a "whole flock" of formerly close Microsoft partners are looking at Google's Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" as their new best friend. Most are currently debating on whether it will be worth their time to develop Windows RT tablets.

Both Microsoft and Google are producing first-party devices in order to tackle Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle Fire. While the former device created the tablet sector, the latter created the low-cost $199 tablet segment that briefly posed a problem for Apple at the beginning of the year. Now there are rumors that Apple is gearing up to release its own 7-inch tablet in order to control that market as well.

Is the quest for taking down Apple gotten out of hand? Has it damaged the relationship between 1st-party software developers Google and Microsoft, and their hardware partners? Acer seems a little bitter, so it seems likely that others feel the same -- they're just not quite as vocal.

  • memadmax
    hehe, someone feels threatened huh...
  • AndrewMD
    I have to say it again on this post, recently Apple patented the design of their MacBook Air which had the other posting fuming with hate.
    Microsoft wants to capture the market this time with Windows 8 and to do this it needed to create something it had control over. Acer, instead of innovating, they copy and cheapen designs that are worthless knock-offs. People don't want knock-offs, they want something that is stylish and cool.

    Instead of Acer complaining, they need to bring out something that will gain wide acceptance than thank Microsoft for kicking them in the rear...

  • alidan
    acer... there is a reason i stear clear of everything they brand...

    if you didnt want microsoft to join, maybe you shouldn't have sucked so much.
  • aznplayer213
    Microsoft Founder: Acer Should Stick To Making Cheap Laptops
  • Kami3k
    A popular internet meme is perfect for this...

    You jelly Mr. Acer founder?
  • JamesSneed
    Begun, the tablet war has.
  • NightLight
    lol, acer should talk, if there is a brand with the most hardware fails in the world, it's acer!
  • Sined
    Get the fuck outta here Acer, we want that IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 back with improved materials and sensor!

    till then, Get your tounge stuck on a frozen street lamp
  • kniped
    And Acer should stick with...Well nothing, Acer fucking sucks.
  • boycottmicrosoft
    great article!
    OEM's will ultimately win with not being partnered with Redmond anymore, why continue to face a loss since everytime msft creates something it fails and majority of the loss is taken by the partners.

    This is the same thing going on right now with box as they screw their gaming business partners!
    Its a shame all those game developers still do not understand that manufacturing cd's, the majority of their revenue will be wiped out very very soon. Those game companies will take a serious beating when they roll complete online games without cd's. Another blow to OEM's and game manufacturers. They are basically taking all the money now and giving a tiny percentage to game developers, when before that actually made more distributing their own cd's. Now the game will turn and MSFT will steal all of majority of the profits from the developers and give them a fraction of percent. Disgusting how they helped xbox become what they are and now msft will do as it has always done in the past in every product they ever build. Why do you think activision is selling their stake? Cause they already know that there will be zero profit left in this market...
    Why support a company that will not support locally. Why support a company that will not hire American natural born citizens? Why support a company that hires thousands of inmates in prisons in Washington and Texas to package Microsoft products for pennies an hour? Why even care anymore about a failing company that would do anything to compete even it they have to steal the profits from its own partners?