Thursday, November 1st 2012

Acer Windows RT Tablets Delayed to April 2013

Acer announced a delay of its planned Windows RT product line from early-2013 to closer to Q2-2013. The company is keeping a close eye on how Microsoft's recently-launched Surface RT tablet is faring in the market, and could take strides towards its Windows RT-based products, perhaps even redesigning them, based on its performance in the market.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Acer President Jim 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," adding "Originally our plan was Q1, but now I don't think it will be earlier than Q2." Windows RT is a version of Windows 8 designed for the ARM machine-architecture, which allows for low power non-x86 tablets that compete with Apple iPad, and various Android-driven tablets.

Source: Reuters
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5 Comments on Acer Windows RT Tablets Delayed to April 2013

just another way for saying 'we can't compete with surface, so we're taking the easy way out'
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arterius2 said:
just another way for saying 'we can't compete with surface, so we're taking the easy way out'
Yep exactly. Too bad they are running scared compared to other companies
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they might as well cancel them altogether.
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"I go fast!1!11!1!"
They should be able to beat Microsoft's $500 price tag and get a lot of business that way. They have to know that too.

I think the real motive is that they want to guage how well (or not) Surface does. If Surface can't get some serious market share, their product likely won't either so why bother. All these companies (Acer, Dell, HP, etc.) make laptops, ultrabooks, and desktops. Tablets are a relatively new market for them and with Windows 8 getting poor publicity, they don't think it's worth the risk. If Surface takes off in a specacular fashion, I think Windows 8 tablets from other manufacturers will rapidly follow.
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Engadget had a different quote:
"I don't know what's next, what Microsoft will do," Wong said. "We are watching how Surface is doing ... How is RT accepted by customers... We don't know... We want to see."

Ironically this type of OEM feet shuffling very well might have been what motivated Microsoft to enter the hardware market with the Surface and Surface Pro in the first place. Recall that the HP Slate 500 could have come to market earlier and was marketed as a enterprise / business tablet. Other OEMs were slow to produce Windows 7 tablets too but ASUS and Samsung eventually got to it as well as some others.

So if OEMs zig and Microsoft wants them to zag, why not learn from that apathy or indifference and do it themselves?

Acer is a fairly large and noteworthy company in this space but they are effectively giving the market away to other companies more willing like HP, ASUS and so on. They may be right in doing so though because Windows RT might never take off. However, if they have already started development on Windows RT tablets that is potentialy wasted money.
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