Nearly three months ago Acer chairman JT Wang openly criticised Microsoft's newly announced plans to enter the tablet market with the Surface, saying the company didn't have the experience and “other brands may take a negative reaction”.
Well, he's right – other brands have had a negative reaction, brands like Acer. Fellow company bigwig Jim Wong has just revealed the company will be holding back plans to launch a Windows RT tablet from Q1 2013 to Q2 – and specifically names the Microsoft Surface as the reason.
Speaking to Reuters while showing the rest of Acer's Windows 8 product lineup, Wong said: “originally we had a very aggressive plan to come out very early next year but because of Surface. “Our R&D development doesn't stop, but we are much more cautious [now]. Originally our plan was Q1, but now I don't think it will be earlier than Q2.”
Does Microsoft care? Right now, possibly not a great deal. It has two new OSes going into the world, and supposedly 1,000 Windows 8-certified new products coming out imminently – not to mention the Surface and Surface Pro.
But Wong suggested Microsoft would be wise to pay attention – particularly to how its own movements on issues such as marketing and pricing the Surface were affecting its partners. He pointed to the example of Lenovo and Asus, who both outlined plans for Windows RT tablets costing $599 before Microsoft undercut them with the $499 Surface.
“I don't know what's next, what Microsoft will do,” Wong admitted. “We are watching how Surface is doing. How is RT accepted by customers, how Microsoft is aggressive on RT and on Surface... we don't know. We want to see.”