Acer puts Windows RT tablets on hold, spooked by Surface

Acer won't sell any Windows RT tablets until April, following lukewarm reviews for Microsoft's machine.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Acer has delayed the launch of its Windows RT tablets, putting the brakes on its hybrid gadgets after seeing the lukewarm reception that Microsoft's Surface has received.

Acer boss Jim Wong told Reuters that, "Originally we had a very aggressive plan to come out very early next year," going on to explain, "But because of Surface, our R&D development doesn't stop, but we are much more cautious."

Based on Wong's comments, we won't see any Windows RT tablets from Acer until at least April. Bad news for anyone who was craving the Iconia W510.

The Taiwanese tech giant has had a bee in its bonnet about Microsoft's own tablet for a while now, saying back in August that Ballmer and pals should "think twice" about wading into the world of hardware.

Wong's issue seems to be that Acer wanted to produce Windows RT gadgets that were much more expensive than Microsoft's own, also telling Reuters that Lenovo and Asus had originally planned to make devices that were a hundred dollars pricier than the Surface, but were caught off guard when Microsoft revealed the Surface's £399.

"I don't know what's next, what Microsoft will do," Wong is quoted as saying, going on to opine that Acer will observe how popular Windows RT proves to be, and how aggressive Microsoft is with pushing its own products.

Sounds like sour grapes to me, but this is potentially the worst-case scenario for Microsoft -- a laptop-making partner has been put off producing Windows RT devices. Meanwhile Microsoft's own Surface has been treated to lukewarm reviews, with critics unhappy with occasionally sluggish performance and a lack of apps.

Has Microsoft made a serious mistake, or will the Surface prove a winner in the long run? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.