During Lenovo's first fiscal quarter 2013 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Yang Yuanqing waved off Microsoft's own entry into the tablet sector with the Windows 8-based Surface. In response to an analyst's question, he admitted that Lenovo wasn't thrilled about Microsoft producing its own hardware, but in the end, the Redmond company just becomes one more competitor on the list.
"[They're] just one of our many competitors. We are still confident that we are providing much better hardware than our competitors including Microsoft," he said.
Microsoft reportedly didn't tell its partners about the Surface tablets until just hours before the public reveal. Since then, Acer has seemingly been the only OEM highly vocal about the tablets, saying that Microsoft is making a mistake and that Surface will hurt its partners. HP has seemingly shrugged off Microsoft's efforts, and now Lenovo is doing the same.
"They are strong in software, but [we] don't believe they can provide the best hardware in the world. Lenovo can," Lenovo's CEO said. "To be frank, we're not that worried about [Surface]. Microsoft is still our strategy partner. We are very optimistic on the Windows 8 launch so we will fully leverage that to launch our new products."
Earlier this week, ABC News said that Lenovo is gearing up to launch both Intel and ARM-based Windows 8/RT versions of the convertible IdeaPad Yoga later this year. The Intel model will feature the Core family of processors, up to 8 GB of RAM, up to 256 GB SSD, and a 13.3-inch screen. It will have an estimated price of $1,199 -- so far there's no word on the specs and price of Lenovo's ARM-based version.
Microsoft confirmed four Windows RT OEMs earlier this week, naming Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung. However Toshiba said it has pulled out of the Windows RT race for now due to problems acquiring the necessary components for a "timely" launch. "For the time being, Toshiba will focus on bringing Windows 8 products to market. We will continue to look into the possibility of Windows RT products in the future while monitoring market conditions," a Toshiba spokesperson said.