Microsoft fired the shots earlier this week with its Surface tablet announcement that not only took most of the press by surprise but even most of Microsoft’s OEM partners. While we believe that the Surface is more of a poster device for Windows 8 and Microsoft does not intend to alienate its hardware partners, the seeds of distrust have been planted. Oliver Ahrens, Acer’s senior VP and president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, made his feelings clear in an interview with Reuters where he dismisses Microsoft succeeding in becoming a vertically integrated company like Apple. Also Read - Microsoft might discontinue using Intel chip for its own ARM-based lineupAlso Read - Microsoft announces Surface Laptop Go and updated Surface Pro X; Check price, specifications
Ahrens calls Microsoft “a component of a PC system” and says it cannot succeed while having its own hardware and licensing the platform to other OEMs. “You cannot be a hardware player with two products,” he is quoted saying in the report. Also Read - Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review: Best Windows tablet in the market in 2020 but it needs to evolve
The distrust and fear, however becomes apparent when Ahrens says, “Instead of enhancing the user experience for Win 8 (…) they open a new battlefield. I worry that this will lead into a defocus internally for Microsoft, and then we have to suffer because we are working with their products.”
Despite the Surface announcement, none of Microsoft’s OEM partners have defected though LG mentioned it is exiting from the tablet space. Well, in a way the OEM partners cannot defect, considering their almost complete dependence on hardware running on Microsoft’s Windows operating system. This is the first real reaction we have heard from any major OEM. Will others follow? Unlikely. But we would surely be hoping they do.