Acer sees Windows 8 as more potent challenge to Apple

Acer's chairman sees Windows 8 offering up a stronger challenge to Apple and reviving the Windows PC hardware camp, which is currently seeing tepid growth.

Acer Chairman JT Wang sees a resurgence of Microsoft software in the coming years, enabling Windows to more effectively take on Apple, according to a report.

The challenge right now for Microsoft and Windows is the strong growth of Apple's iOS on smartphones (iPhone) and tablets (iPad), according to an article in Taipei-based Digitimes, which reported Wang's comments on Monday.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook.  Future Windows 8 devices will be more competitive with Apple's consumer hardware, according to Acer's chairman
Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook. Future Windows 8 devices will be more competitive with Apple's consumer hardware, according to Acer's chairman Acer

Microsoft's Windows "has not had any achievements within these two markets that can help it gain share," precipitating a decline in Netbook shipments and resulting in only "slight" growth in the traditional laptop market, according to the report citing Wang's comments.

Though the article does not elaborate on Wang's point, presumably Wang is talking about market encroachment by the iPad, for example, on the Netbook and low-end laptop market.

A recent report from Gartner forecasts only modest growth in PC shipments in 2011. The Acer Group was ranked No. 4 in the world in PC shipments in the third quarter, according to IDC.

Wang also noted that Apple's "notebook products are only minor drivers" for growth and pale next to the heady growth seen in its iPhones and iPads.

But Windows 8 could change this. Over the next couple of years, Wang sees a resurgence of the Microsoft camp on the back of Windows 8 as Microsoft responds more effectively to "consumer demands," according to the report. Windows 8 is expected no later than 2013.

Windows 8 is expected to power a wider range of devices, including tablets, tablet-laptop hybrids, and Ultrabook clamshell laptops--the latter competing with Apple's MacBook Air.

And Hewlett-Packard's decision to stay in the PC hardware business was welcomed by Wang, who said that "HP's move will help expand the market share of Windows to better compete against Apple."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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