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Acer delays Windows RT tablets after Microsoft moves into market

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Natalie Huet

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Holding back ... Acer has delayed its Windows RT tablets.

Holding back ... Acer has delayed its Windows RT tablets. Photo: Reuters

Taiwanese computer maker Acer is delaying the launch of tablets using Microsoft's new Windows RT operating system to see how Microsoft's own Surface tablet fares.

The world's No. 4 PC vendor by shipments initially planned to roll out Windows RT tablets based on ARM chips early next year. However, the launch of Microsoft's tablet last week and the mixed reviews it has drawn has prompted Acer to wait and see until at least the second quarter of 2013.

"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," Acer President Jim Wong said.

"Originally our plan was Q1, but now I don't think it will be earlier than Q2," Wong said on the sidelines of a presentation of Acer's new line of Windows 8 touchscreen notebooks and tablets.

Acer was one of the first companies to criticise Microsoft for moving into the computer hardware business and competing with its partners' devices.

Wong said research and development for the Windows RT tablets was still moving forward but that the company had many questions to address with regards to manufacturing and pricing.

He noted that rivals Lenovo and Asustek had unveiled plans for Windows RT tablets starting at $US599 before Microsoft surprised the market with its $US499 home-built Surface.

"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, how Microsoft is aggressive on RT and on Surface, we don't know... we want to see."

Reuters

3 comments

  • Acer must have lost many a millions of dollars in Android tablets so they are more cautious this time with Windows 8 tablets.

    If MS's tablets do sell well and do better than Android tablets, Acer probably will abandon Android tablets.

    Acer and Lenovo should approach Apple to clone lower end iPad and lower end Mac instead.... I am sure they will make more money from cloning Apple products.

    Commenter
    JJ
    Location
    Hornsby
    Date and time
    October 31, 2012, 12:09PM
    • Why? Do you think there is anything special about an iPad? They all use exactly the same components, sourced from exactly the same manufacturers. e.g. Apple might call their processors A5, A5X, A6, etc. but the fact is that an Apple A5 is manufactured by Samsung and uses the same ARM Cortex A9 CPU as an nVidia Tegra 3, except Tegra 3 has twice as many of them. That makes a Nexus 7 twice as powerful as an iPad Mini.

      Commenter
      MotorMouth
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      October 31, 2012, 2:29PM
  • I think this is a smart move by Acer. The market for Windows RT devices is going to be relatively small, as most sheeple are holding out for the full Windows 8 experience. In reality, a WidowsRT tablet has all of the same limitations as an iPad or Androud tablet, whereas a Win8 tablet will be able to run all your PC software as well as doing all the usual touch-based tablet stuff. Acer would be smart to get those devices out to market before MS starts shipping their Surface Pro next year.

    Commenter
    MotorMouth
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    October 31, 2012, 2:31PM
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