Acer’s JT Wang is part of the problem

I find it hysterical that Acer Chairman JT Wang is the most vocal critic of Microsoft getting into the hardware business with the Surface.  You see, I still haven’t experienced Windows 8 in Portrait mode and it is his company’s fault.  Acer chose not to release a 64-bit driver for the Iconia Tab 500W tablet’s Accelerometer (without which it is locked in landscape mode), the very machine I use for testing Windows 8.  I’m not talking about a Windows 8-specific driver.  They never released the driver for Windows 7.  If they had it would work just fine with Windows 8.   It is exactly this kind of crap that is forcing Microsoft to get into the systems hardware business.

JT Wang should stop harping on Microsoft and focus on fixing his own company’s poor execution.  If Acer did a proper job on Windows tablets then Microsoft wouldn’t have done the Surface in the first place.

 

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20 Responses to Acer’s JT Wang is part of the problem

  1. dave says:

    As much as anything, he’s probably worried that Windows8 will eat into his Android tablet sales. He’s starting to sound shrill and petty. Not very executive.

  2. Bob - former DECie says:

    That is a very good example of why the only Acer gear in this household is a 22″ lcd monitor that is used as a secondary monitory on a system.

  3. Joe Wood says:

    That’s one way to think about it. But why doesn’t the Windows 7 logo requirement *require* support for switching to portrait if an accelerometer is present. It takes two to tango.

    • halberenson says:

      In Windows 7 Accelerometers were optional and tablets an almost forgotten form-factor, so why would it be a logo requirement? The OEMs would be no happier, and have previously demonstrated said unhappiness, over very stringent logo requirements than they are with Surface.

      Does Acer really need Microsoft to tell them, after a decade of pushing them to adopt 64-bit operating systems, that they need to write 64-bit drivers?

      • Joe Wood says:

        Right, but this is really a problem with the logo requirement. It’s a black and white thing. There should be a premium standard for OEMs to optionally adhere to that includes things like “no crapware”, “driver support for hardware supplied”. Sure, it may cost more – but so does Apple’s hardware. Maybe a bronze, silver and gold logo program.

  4. maxvernon says:

    My immediate thought about Microsoft entering the tablet fray, was “it’s about time”. Microsoft hardware rocks. I can’t wait to try it out. And if it sucks, I’ll buy some other brand. Or, put another way, if Acer could execute a great Windows Tablet, they’d already rule the fondleslab world.

    • halberenson says:

      Well…Microsoft hadn’t done its part (pre Windows 8) to enable OEMs to create Windows tablets that people want so I won’t knock Acer over that. But it isn’t like Acer’s Android tablets are taking over the world either.

  5. Alique Williams says:

    It will be interesting to hear the industry response to the next WinRT based Xbox which will be able to run full blown “Metro” apps.

  6. guest says:

    PC OEMs are lucky to make 10% margins. There’s very little money available for them to do advanced R&D. MS was happy to ignore that problem for most of the last decade while it enjoyed 40%+ returns. Also, why would they bother doing innovative tablet work with MS when Microsoft has been unable to field a compelling tablet OS for all this time? It’s not even clear whether W8 is that.

    Increasingly Acer’s tablet focus, like a lot of OEMs, is Android. If they’re going to do any innovative work at all, that’s where it will occur. That’s probably not in their best long term interest, but I guess they see it as having the two things MS doesn’t: a successful mobile OS and a large inventory of touch-enabled apps.

    • halberenson says:

      If you read my earlier posts you’ll see that this is not a tablet-specific probem, it is a problem with PCs overall. And while indeed the OEMs have lousy margins it is a chicken and egg problem. If they can’t find a way to differentiate and charge a premium for their devices then it is simply a commodity race to the bottom. Instead of investing in solving this problem they’ve been investing their money in enterprise storage companies, paying outrageous premiums for BI companies that no one even understands what they do, etc. Or in the case of Acer and some others, investing in Android. Fine, then stop complaining and let Microsoft eat your lunch.

      • guest says:

        How do you solve a commodity image problem when the OS you’re shipping – the thing that does the majority of the work and represents the better part of the value – is itself seen as commodity and undifferentiated? The fact is that several OEMs tried to offer premium devices at higher prices. A few were even quite good, like HP’s Envy. But virtually all of them failed. Why? Because Windows itself wasn’t seen as a premium or exclusive offering. You could get 90% of the experience on a machine that cost $300. Again, I think there’s clearly blame on both sides.

      • Stuart says:

        Microsoft would need effective leadership in order to eat anyone’s lunch. Maybe if they replace Ballmer…

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  11. JoeC says:

    So, you are faulting Acer for not setting up the W500 for Windows 8, when it predated Windows 8 by two years? Your comments are pretty laughable.

    • halberenson says:

      No, I faulted them for not having a 64-bit Windows 7 driver.

      • JoeC says:

        Ha, so you were mad about there not being a 64 bit driver, and that would have helped you run Windows 8 (which wasn’t released until two years later) and that is why JT Wang is “part of the problem?” What problem? Have you run Windows 8 on Acer’s award-winning W510, W700 tablets or S7 Ultrabook, which were designed for — Windows 8?

        • halberenson says:

          To be clear, I was mad about JT Wang making idiotic comments when his company was busy demonstrating the problems with the OEM channel. The transition to 64-bit was a priority long before Windows 8 was a glimmer. I could have gone further and knocked some of the rest of the W500 design, like winning the award for the all-time most likely to break keyboard/tablet docking mechanism. But it wasn’t a review of the W500.

          I was thinking about another blog post on how Acer has screwed up getting those devices into retail. I could find neither the W510 or W700 in stores before Christmas. Right after Christmas I found a W510 in a Microsoft Store, but still nothing in the local Best Buy. After the most recent comments out of Acer about Windows 8 and Chromebook I went back to the Best Buy and discovered they had 1 Gateway Desktop running Windows 8, 2 Acer Ultrabooks, neither the W510 or W700, and a couple of leftover Windows 7 All-In-Ones on the clearance rack. That’s it. Oh, and I checked the Microsoft Store and they no longer had the W510. Acer can’t sell Windows 8 systems if they actually aren’t out in front of consumers.

          I played with the W510. It has a toy-like look and feel and the worst build quality of any Windows 8 or Windows RT tablet. Put it in a store next to products from ASUS, Samsung, and the other big boys and given equal prices (which is what they all are at right now) it is going to lose.

          Acer needs to put up a serious, obvious, try at succeeding with Windows 8 rather than mouthing off about it. When they do I’ll give them credit. And if they don’t want to do that? Then just get out of the Windows PC business. ASUS is doing a great job. Lenovo is doing a great job. Others are starting to do decent jobs. They’ll pick up the slack. The ecosystem doesn’t need a player who apparently doesn’t want to be in it.

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