Redmond seems quite intent on ignoring vendor concerns over its upcoming Surface tablet.
Despite Steve Ballmer’s rather transparent attempt to reassure jittery partners that Surface is simply a “design point,” a number of industry heavyweights such as Hewlett Packard (HP) and Acer remain up in arms over Microsoft’s decision to blithely enter the lucrative market with its indigenously designed tablet.
Indeed, JT Wang, chairman and chief executive of Acer, recently warned Microsoft that Surface would have “negative [implications] for the worldwide [computing] ecosystem.”
“We have said [to Redmond] think it over. Think twice. It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice,” Wang told the Financial Times.
“If Microsoft… is going to do hardware business, what should we do? Should we still rely on Microsoft, or should we find other alternatives?”
Wang’s remarks echo those made by Acer founder Stan Shih last month.
“I think Microsoft’s getting involved in the hardware business is designed to promote its Win8 [operating system],” Shih opined. “But I sincerely recommend they withdraw from the hardware market when they get what they want.”
According to Shih, Redmond’s Surface tablet will compete with devices introduced by various hardware manufacturers – which are also Microsoft’s business partners.
“I think they will [ultimately] consider and decide the best solution for themselves,” he said.
However, Silicon Valley tech guru Charlie Demerjian remains skeptical about Microsoft’s overall mobile strategy.
“Rather than learning from their past mistakes, [Redmond is] repeating them for tablets… It is painfully apparent that Microsoft management does not comprehend mobile computing,” Demerjian wrote in an extensive analysis published on SemiAccurate in July.
“Instead of modifying their strategy to deal with the new realities that face them, they are circling the wagons ever tighter to disastrous effect. The question now is not if the mobile plans will work, they won’t, but how much the repercussions will end up costing.”